When it comes to visiting Western Scotland, one is spoilt with choices – beautiful isles dotted around the coast, less touristy and you can’t ask for a better postcard perfect destination. It’s a stone’s throw away from Glasgow, and an hour of extra drive from Edinburgh. You know how we insist that everyone should go on a holiday, and when we mean holiday, it’s not that luxurious 2 week beach holiday resort in the Caribbean or a cruise holiday. It can be as simple as getting away from your home on a Friday evening and returning back on Sunday evening. While there are plenty of options to choose when it comes to Western Scotland, this post focuses on the seaside resort town Largs and surrounding areas.
Explore Largs town
Largs is 79 miles from Edinburgh (1 hr and 50 mins by drive), and 32 miles from Glasgow (50 minute drive) on the Firth of Clyde in North Ayrshire, hugging the west coast. The town is ideal for exploring Western Scotland, the isles around and is a total offbeat location. Victorian promenade is ideal for long walks along the beach. The area is also dotted with many cafes and icecream parlours.
The town’s history dates back to 1263 as a site of Battle of Largs fought between Vikings and Scots. This Viking heritage is still celebrated at the annual Viking Festival. This Viking Sculpture was created in 2013 to commemorate 750th anniversary of the battle.
Visit Kelburn Castle and Country Park
Kelburn Castle and Country Park
located in Fairie town is close to Largs and is home to this beautiful graffiti covered castle. This castle is a private residence and seat of Earl of Glasgow and head of clan Boyle since 12th century. The Boyle family invited 4 Brazilian artists to paint the exteriors of the castle with their graffiti art and in no time since its completion, this castle attracted many tourists around. The country park has many walking routes, glens and flora watch as well.
Greenock and Lyle Hill Viewpoint
Greenock is a coastal town (45 minutes drive from Largs) and a busy port on the south bank of Clyde River for many centuries. Shipbuilding industry has been thriving since 17th century. The town has also been used as Battery Park and torpedo factory during the world wars. Walk around the west end of Greenock which has retained their Victorian charm or visit Old West Kirk church which dates back to 1591 and features stained glass work by artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Or simply head over to Lyle Hill and enjoy the panoramic views across Clyde.
Hop over to Isle of Cumbrae
Just a short ferry trip from Largs, Isle of Cumbrae (Great Cumbrae) is one of Scotland’s most accissble island. With only 4kms long and 2 kms wide, this isle is ideal holiday island for weekend and outdoor activities. Be it cycling or walks, or enjoying the island’s diverse wildlife, you will never be disappointed. The only settlement in the isle is in Millport which is also home to Britains’ smallest cathedral.
Hiking in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park
Photo Credits: Allan Ogg, Flickr Creative Commons
Clyde Muirshiel is Scotland’s largest regional park and spread across western coast which makes it accessible from various towns along the coast – Greenock, Inverkip, Wemyss Bay, Skelmorlie, Routenburn, Largs and Fairlie. The park offers year round water and land based activities such as kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, hillwalking.
Largs or any of these coastal towns (as mentioned above) are ideal choice to explore this region of Scotland over the weekend. It is not possible to see all these places over the weekend, but you have plenty of places to choose from. There are budget/luxury accommodations in these areas and many Bed and Breakfast too.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and go away on a great weekend getaway.
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