Well, whilst our stereotypical Scottish city might be better known for its dreich drizzles than its tropical temperatures, there’s no denying April proved us all wrong! With record-breaking temps, a sizzling 22° high and the most sunburnt Scots spring has ever seen, it got us thinking – if and when we do get the glorious sunshine, how should we make the most of it?
With one of the world’s most spectacular settings right on our doorstep, given good weather, it’d be rude not to take advantage of it! The iconic Loch Lomond is inundated with outdoor opportunities, with everything from hitting the waves to climbing beautiful Bens, exploring secret islands and discovering fine produce at many a farmers market all for the taking.
Why not enjoy the sun aboard a loch cruise, sailing down the bonnie banks and taking in the sights with a number of tour vessels to choose from? Discover local wildlife, historical gems and legendary myths as you make your way down the loch, with most cruises offering detailed descriptions of Loch Lomond’s colourful past and present from as little as £14 per ticket.
If you fancy unleashing your inner adventurer, make way for the island of Inchcailloch and explore quiet beaches, deserted burial grounds and stunning view points. With regular boat trips from Balmaha Boat Yard, you can pop across to this peaceful island for just £5, and with loads of quaint and quiet picnic areas to choose from, it’s the ideal spot to spend a sunny day tucked away!
If the water’s not for you, why not soak up breath-taking views from the top of one of Scotland’s most rewarding Munros? The beautiful Ben Lomond sits 974 metres high, offering a 12km route to the top and some of the country’s more spectacular scenery once you get there. Situated on the eastern shore of the loch, it’s easily reached by car and with excellent walking opportunities on offer, it’s no wonder 40,000 make the most of this sunny summit every year!
All that exploring is bound to work up an appetite, so make sure you visit Loch Lomond Shores’ famed farmers market for a bite to eat and a drink in the sun. Held on the first and third Sundays of every month, you’ll find loads of locally produced goodies including homemade ice cream, barbequed burgers, sweet treats and refreshing tipples, perfect for wrapping your lips around on a scorcher!
As soon as the sun comes out, Glasgow’s busiest streets come to life with alfresco dining, cocktail spots, street food and market stalls, and the city centre’s Buchanan Street is certainly no different! Lined with high street boutiques, this wide pedestrianised straight is transformed as restaurants spill out onto the main walkway, pop-up cocktail bars appear offering sunny spirits and stalls selling sweet treats come out to spread sugary smiles. Providing ample refreshment during a day of shopping, why not seek out your new summer wardrobe and follow it up with a spot of lunch and a cocktail or two in the sun?
A popular choice when the weather warms up, the quaint island of Cumbrae is a beautiful spot to spend a sunny day. Just a short ferry trip from Largs, you can head across by foot or car before disembarking and making your way to the island’s only settlement of Millport. Here you’ll find a multitude of shops, cafes and bike rental stores so why not gear up, get yourself a bike and set out for a cycle around Cumbrae, taking in the beautiful seaside views and sandy beaches as you go. With next to no traffic to contend with, it makes for a relaxing jaunt in the sun, and with hundreds of perfect stopping points, you’ll get some cracking photos of your journey. Once you’re back in Millport, enjoy some local fish & chips on the beach before dangling your legs over the water’s edge with an ice cream in hand – the perfect nod to summer!
One of Glasgow’s most iconic summer activities, taking a trip “doon the watter” to soak up the River Clyde’s sunny sights is a must for the warmer weather! And now with evening cruises on offer from the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer, the Waverley, you can spend a summer’s evening afloat this beautiful boat, enjoying spectacular surrounds as they pass you by. Scheduled for three Friday nights during the season, the Waverley will set off from Glasgow Science Centre, heading along the Clyde before turning at Greenock and making its way back upstream. Aboard you’ll find a live band as well as bars and restaurants serving up delicious refreshments, so why not wine and dine alfresco on the deck as you enjoy the passing views and spot many a famous landmark?
A glorious way to spend a sunny summer’s evening, you’ll dock back in the city centre by 11pm, giving you plenty of time to carry on the party and head to neighbouring Alea Glasgow until the wee hours. Open from 10am and licensed until 6am, you can keep the summer vibes going as you play on the world-class gaming floor, hit up one of the two beautiful bars or make the most of the restaurant’s riverside balcony with a cocktail in hand!
An oasis on the edge of the bustling city centre, Glasgow Green makes for the ideal spot to soak up some rays and unwind in the sun. The city’s oldest park, these greens are spread across 136 acres and as well as expansive grassy areas, also boast a plethora of historical monuments, beautiful museums, children’s activities and summer events.
When the weather’s at its best, head there with a blanket in tow and spend hours lying in this gorgeous grassy haven. Come the time you need some refreshment, take a stroll along the park’s north eastern border in search of the much-loved brewery and pub, WEST on the Green for a bite to eat and a chilled pint. If you’re feeling cultured, meander down to the neighbouring People’s Palace and learn about historical days gone by with thanks to the museum’s fantastic exhibitions and collections, before finding yourself lazing by the beautiful Victorian fountain that sits out front.
If you’re lucky enough to snap up a ticket, make the most of the Green’s busy summer schedule with everything from TRNSMT festival, BBC Proms in the Park Scotland and the World Pipe Band Championships all taking place. Or, if you’re treating your wee toe-rags to some fun in the sun, enjoy the park’s huge play village, complete with an impressive network of chutes and climbing frames as well as separate areas for little ones to join in on the sunny summer’s action!
So no matter where you find yourself in the city this summer, ditch the wellies, leave your poncho at home and have a little faith in the Scottish sunshine! With plenty of places to bask in the glorious weather, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to enjoying the perfect summer’s day… (just don’t forget your factor 50!)
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