Scotland’s ‘Dear Green Place’, as Glasgow is affectionately known, is renowned for somewhat steely skies along with its street art and the River Clyde. However, you can always relax at the city’s oasis-esque pools – with free-flowing fountains, plus hot tubs, saunas and spas – to dial up the temperature in Scotland’s second city. Here’s our pick of the best hotel pools and places to make a splash in Scottish style – without the need for an umbrella.
Talk about Batcave credentials: hidden away from the Glasgow streets, this hotel’s spa transports stressed-out Bruce Waynes away from the travails of urban life to a vacuum of inner calm. There’s all manner of rooms to disrobe for: a laconium (for Roman-esque relaxation), a saunarium (for the traditional Finnish take), a tepidarium (for over-baking) and an ice fountain for blasting the circulation back into action afterwards. Take a plunge in two mood-lit pools, complete with free-flowing fountains, then power up with gastropub fare in the chilled-out café lounge.
Mornings at this countryside hotel are best spent in the multi-tiered pool and hot tub, or dozing after a Swedish massage and face-primping beauty treatment. In the evening, quaff bubbles and treat yourself with a British classic or two at Flemings Restaurant. In between, there are ample opportunities to explore either Glasgow or Stirling – both are 20 minutes away by car. Not your scene? Hit the greens on the resort’s 18-hole fairways.
Indoor pool, leisure club and gym: three reasons for every fitness fan to stay here and settle in. This is one of the world’s most lauded hotel chains, so expect first-class service across the board. You haven’t come all this way to stay indoors, though, so on the doorstep are some unrivalled boxes to tick. Start with the Gallery of Modern Art, the stunning Mitchell Library and the Lighthouse, Scotland’s centre for design and architecture.
Here’s a city centre hotel that doesn’t scrimp on tried-and-tested frills. There are best-in-city views the higher up its 20 storeys you go, and it delivers on honest tradition – yup, haggis and whisky – at the restaurant and bar. The lap pool and jacuzzi are well worth a late-afternoon dip, before warming up over a freshly brewed pot in the t-Lounge by Dilmah, the first of its kind in the UK.
Just down the road from see-and-be-seen Finnieston, this River Clyde-set hotel has a mix of clientele: those here for business and others gearing up for live-music hijinks at the next-door venues, the Hydro and the Armadillo. That means the compact pool and hot tub are as popular with early-morning swimmers as pre-drink partygoers. Our tip? Come mid-afternoon to have the place to yourself.
For a different type of stay, read our guide on the best B&Bs and guesthouses in Glasgow – bookable on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.