Family Break in Glasgow with Virgin Trains

We travelled up by train, with Virgin Trains, and spent a couple of days in Glasgow. To find out more about our train journey, check out my previous post, but for now I’ll share some ideas of things to do in the area, and where we enjoyed exploring while up in Scotland.

We arrived in Glasgow Central Station, and were staying in the Premier Inn Glasgow Central, which is in West Nile Street – a really busy and buzzing area (as the Glasgow Central name suggests!) We alway enjoy staying at Premier Inn, and the Glasgow branch did not disappoint. It is a great family friendly hotel to use for family city breaks like this.

While in Glasgow, we wanted to explore some of the local history so we decided to take a trip to Bothwell Castle which is on the edge of Glasgow and is a ‘Historic Scotland’ site – the Scottish branch of the English Heritage – which meant we could get half price entrance with our English Heritage membership.


This is a lovely castle ruins for kids to explore. We found the local people in Glasgow very friendly, and many people told us that they had enjoyed this site as kids too, or enjoyed taking their family there!

An hour is plenty to explore the castle grounds, so next we headed over to the Tall Ship and the Riverside Museum. These are free to enter, which makes them a really good option for visiting Glasgow on a budget. There’s a lot to do in each of these attractions (and they’re right next to each other) so you could fill a full day here if you had the time.


When we arrived we saw that there were some extra attractions outside for summer too, like a temporary beach set up, and go kart rides.


Inside the Riverside Museum, there are historic streets set up and it’s a great place for kids who have an interest in transport – with walls full of old cars, old motorbikes, old trains and more. We enjoyed seeing all of the old horse drawn vehicles.


There are lots of interactive games and other fun bits for kids to take part in too, like this fire fighting section

glasgow9-riversidemuseumWhen you exit via the back of the museum, you’ll come to the Tall Ship which is a real ship docked outside, with three or four decks to explore.


The top deck has plenty to explore, with kids able to get hands on and scrub the deck or ring the ships bell – and then there is a dedicated play area down at the bottom deck


As well as the soft play in the bottom deck, there are interactive games, puzzles and activities for older children which get them thinking. It’s a really nice attraction as it combines educational value and fun in a way that suits a wide age range.


Although it’s the Summer holidays and it was fairly busy, it wasn’t too crowded at all and we were still able to take our time and enjoy all of the activities on the ship. I would definitely recommend stopping by here if visiting Glasgow.

We also visited the cafe on the middle deck, which did a pirate themed lunch box deal for the kids. Since entry is free to the attractions, visitors are encouraged to support the ship by going to the cafe or gift shop – which we’re very happy to do. It’s all reasonably priced anyway!


The previous evening, we went out for dinner at the Wheelhouse Bar and Grill just outside of Glasgow, which I’d definitely recommend too. It’s really spacious and family friendly with a varied menu and helpful welcoming staff.

We saw plenty of great restaurants in Glasgow centre too, so we would have had no problem finding places to eat if we had stayed longer. I’m sure we would easily have found more to keep the kid entertained too. I would have liked to take them to the Glasgow Science Centre if we had an extra day too.

Hopefully we’ll visit again soon!

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