You can reach Glasgow directly from Edinburgh by car or train in about an hour. You can also make a couple of interesting stops along the way if you fancy. Here are a few tips:
The Colinton Tunnel: This 140-metre-long railway tunnel, abandoned since 1967 and dating back to the 19th century, is home to the biggest mural of its kind in Scotland. (approx. 20 min by car/40 min by public transport)
Carlingnose Point: Wildlife Reserve offers a whole world of rare flora and fauna to discover, as well as stunning views of the Forth Bridge. This railway bridge, which opened in 1890, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and you can even travel across it by train from Edinburgh (approx. 20 min by train/40 min by car).
Culross: This picture-postcard Scottish village Culross was a filming location for the TV series Outlander. The village was an important port on the river Forth in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the heart of the village, you can visit Culross Palace and its gardens, where you can buy fruit and vegetables or stroll through the enchanting village streets, where you feel as if you’re in a living museum (approx. 50 min by car/1.5 hrs by public transport).
Falkirk: North-west of Edinburgh, in the Forth Valley, you’ll find the oft-overlooked town of Falkirk, which actually has a lot to offer – especially for fans of modern engineering. This is where you’ll find The Kelpies, two gigantic (30-metre-high, 300-tonne) steel horses created by sculptor Andy Scott. Kelpies are aquatic spirits from Celtic mythology – but the sculptures also pay tribute to the workhorses that drew cargo barges along the canal during the Industrial Revolution. Another impressive sight is the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s biggest boat lift – and its only rotating one. It’s a bit like a Ferris wheel for boats (approx. 50 min by car/1.5 hrs by public transport).
Tip for castle enthusiasts: you can also travel straight to Falkirk from Edinburgh and skip the stops mentioned above. Along the way, you’ll find Linlithgow Palace – the Stuarts’ lakeside summer residence – and coastal Blackness Castle with its unique ship-shaped layout.
Known as the Gateway to the Highlands, Stirling was once Scotland’s capital city and a trade and farming hub. Today, this little city is most famous for its medieval castle, Stirling Castle, perched on a hill, one of the main residences of Scottish kings until 1685. Nearby, you’ll also find the Wallace Monument: the tower overlooks the fields where national hero William Wallace – the real-life Braveheart – led his troops to victory in the Battle of Stirling Bridge (approx. 1 hr by car/2 hrs by train)