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Scotland's largest city has more to offer than you may think, with superb architecture, events, and the Commonwealth Games 2014 all on show...
There is so much to do and see in this fantastic city, the location of the 2014 Commonwealth games and its suburbs and outlying areas, that not having a car to get you around will limit your options. The city itself has many attractions, including the excellent Victorian and Classical architecture, the Necropolis (a Victorian cemetery), the Glasgow School of Art and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery (Argyle St) to name but a few. And the surrounding areas also have some landmarks that just have to be seen.
Opting for Glasgow car hire is easy and simple. You can easily arrange to pick up your hire car from one of the airports, Glasgow International Airport (GLA) or Glasgow Prestwick (PIK), or alternatively you can arrange to collect it downtown.
Scotland is famous for its whiskey. The city of Glasgow has an association with it that goes back a long way. Taking a whiskey tour around the areas surrounding the city is a great way to take in this history and enjoy the splendid local landscapes.
Auchentoshan distillery is one of only three remaining distilleries in lowland Scotland and is situated in Clydebank to the north of the city, just a short drive away (10 miles). Famous for its special triple distilling process, this distillery is located just off the A82. This is also the route to Loch Lomond, which is also just a short drive away and is where you can take the magnificent climb up Ben Lomond.
Further highlights that shouldn't be missed include the Clydeside area that has recently been refurbished for the BBC, Glasgow's West End, the Burrell Collection (an art collection located in Pollok Country Park, south Glasgow), the beautiful Hamilton Racecourse (20 minutes by car) and the T-in-the-Park Festival (held in July in Balado, Kinross).
Heading out of the city, there is some superb scenery to enjoy, and using your Glasgow hire car will make the journey that much easier...
The Glengoyne Highland Single Malt distillery, just a thirty-mile drive from the city and set among the hills of Campsie, is well worth a visit. Established in 1883, the distillery has a fascinating history that will keep you amused for hours. It is found on the A81 between the towns of Killearn and Strathblane.
A drive from Glasgow to the western coast, a pleasure in itself, will give you the opportunity to make the short trip to the islands of The Hebrides. Comprising two main groups, the Outer and Inner Hebrides, the islands have a fascinating history that dates back to the Mesolithic era. The influence of cultures such as the Norse, the Celtic and the English makes experiencing the diversity of the islands, long regarded a favourite place for artists, a compelling one.
Fortunately, Glasgow is the closest mainland city and the vast majority of the islands are reachable via ferry. The Northern Lights are visible from the islands on a fairly frequent basis.
No visit to this part of Scotland will be complete without taking the trip to Loch Ness for some monster-spotting. While the loch is actually the second largest in the country (after Loch Lomond), it is of course most famed for its mythological inhabitant, Nessie.
At nearby Drumnadrochit you will find the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, which has a wealth of information on the natural and legendary history of the loch. There are also various boats trips available that give visitors the opportunity to search for the monster themselves. The loch is about four hours drive from Glasgow Airport.
Made famous by ex-Beatle and resident Paul McCartney, the Mull of Kintyre remains one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of Britain. Located at the tip of southwest Scotland's Kintyre Peninsula, the Mull of Kintyre lies around 10 miles from Cambeltown and features the famous Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse.
From the Mull, visitors can make out the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland and even Malin Head in the Republic of Ireland on clear days. The Mull can be reached from Glasgow via the A78 to Ardrossan before taking ferries to Brodick and then to Claonaig.
Making the short trip to Stirling will be well worth the effort just for the castle alone. Regarded as one of the most significant and largest castles in Scotland, Stirling Castle is located at the top of Castle Hill and is surrounded by steep cliffs on all sides. Partly dating from the early fourteenth century, the castle has a long and fascinating history that includes the crowning of Mary Queen of Scots. It is also said to be haunted by one of Mary's servants. Stirling is just 36 miles (45 minutes) from Glasgow Airport and can be reached via the M80.