Getting there & away
All long-distance buses arrive and depart from Buchanan bus station (333 3708; Killermont St).
Buses from London are very competitive. Megabus (0900 160 0900; www.megabus.com) should be your first port of call if you’re looking for the cheapest fare. It has one-way fares for around £10; check the website for your date of departure.
Silver Choice (01355-230403; www.silverchoicetravel.co.uk) also has great deals (advance-purchase return ticket £24, 8½ hours). It departs at 10pm daily from both London Victoria coach station and Buchanan bus station in Glasgow. The service is very popular, so you’ll need to book well in advance.
National Express (0870 580 8080; www.nationalexpress.com) leaves from the same bus stations (single £31, nine hours, at least four daily). There’s a daily direct overnight bus from Heathrow Airport, usually departing at 11.05pm.
National Express also has numerous links with other English cities. Direct services and single tickets include: up to five daily buses from Birmingham (£44, seven hours); at least four from Manchester (£25, five hours); one from Newcastle (£27, four hours); and one from York (£32, seven hours).
Scottish Citylink (0870 550 5050; www.citylink.co.uk) has buses to most major towns in Scotland. There are very frequent services to Edinburgh (£5, 1¼ hours), every 20 minutes during the day. Frequent buses also run to Stirling (£5, 45 minutes), Inverness (£19, four hours) and Aberdeen (£20, 3¼ to four hours). Regular long-distance services to/from Glasgow include Oban (£15, three hours, four direct daily), Fort William (£16, three hours, seven daily) and Portree on Skye (£29, 6¼ to seven hours, three daily).
Walkers should check out First Glasgow (423 6600), which runs buses every hour or two to Milngavie (30 minutes), the start of the West Highland Way.
There are numerous car-rental companies; the big names have offices at Glasgow International Airport. Companies include the following:
Arnold Clark (423 9559; www.arnoldclarkrental.co.uk; 43 Allison St) Rates per day/week from £17/85.
Avis (0870 608 6339, 221 2827; www.avis.co.uk; 70 Lancefield St)
As a general rule, Glasgow Central station serves southern Scotland, England and Wales, and Queen St station serves the north and east. There are buses every 10 minutes between them. There are direct trains from London’s King’s Cross and Euston stations; they’re much quicker (from £18, five hours, nine direct daily) and more comfortable than the bus.
First ScotRail (0845 755 0033; www.firstgroup.com/scotrail/index.php) runs the West Highland line heading north to Oban and Fort William, and other direct links to Dundee (£21), Aberdeen (£37) and Inverness (£37). There are trains every 15 to 30 minutes to/from Edinburgh (£10.50, 50 minutes).
Ten miles west of the city, Glasgow International Airport (887 1111; www.baa.co.uk/glasgow) handles domestic traffic and international flights. Glasgow Prestwick airport, 30 miles southwest of Glasgow, handles some of the cheap, no-frills airlines, and has many European flights. There are direct flights from many European cities, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague and Dublin. Ryanair (0871 246 0000; www.ryanair.com) flies to Glasgow Prestwick airport from London Stansted airport (1¼ hours, frequent) for around £25 plus taxes, but check its website for ridiculously cheap specials.
Ever thought about getting to, or departing from, Glasgow in a seaplane? Probably not – but it’s not a bad way to make an entry. Loch Lomond Seaplanes (0870 242 1457; www.lochlomondseaplanes.com; Clyde River, Glasgow Science Centre) flies regularly from the Clyde to Oban on Scotland’s west coast (once or twice daily), but keep on eye on its website as services will be expanding to other destinations.