Greenock (tours to Glasgow), Scotland, UK cruises

Greenock is your gateway to Glasgow, arguably Scotland’s most animating cultural city. It serves as a brilliant stepping-stone to some of Scotland's most rugged and breathtaking scenery to the north.

As you disembark at Greenock to explore Glasgow, you will likely be greeted by the stirring sights and sounds of a traditional Scottish pipe band in full tartan regalia.

Greenock itself is a pretty town just a short walk from the port. It has a rich heritage of herring fishing and ship building. The prosperity resulting from these lucrative industries is quite evident in the impressive Victorian architecture of the major buildings in town, such as the Sheriff Court, the Municipal Building and the Customs House – now a museum dedicated to the town’s maritime history.

Recently there has been huge investment in the waterfront area, the original location of the shipyards. The heavy industry has now been replaced with some very impressive residential property and a theater overlooking the stunning marina. The town has a range of shops to suit most tastes from exclusive boutiques to large department stores. Both can be found undercover in the Oak Mall and outside on the main thoroughfare of West Blackhall Street.

The cosmopolitan city of Glasgow, the largest in Scotland, is only 25 miles from Greenock and is not to be missed. As if the city’s blend of Victorian and ultra-modern architecture was not enough of a spectacle, there are a host of museums and galleries. The Riverside Museum stands out simply because it looks so very different from its counterparts, and hosts a vast range of exhibits illustrating Glasgow’s rich past. The Gallery of Modern Art is Scotland’s most visited art gallery – and once again, a glimpse at the building from the outside is an attraction in itself.

To help you wind down after the bustle of the vibrant city, Scotland’s largest country park at Castle Semple is a scenic retreat on the shores of Castle Semple Loch. You could simply relax along the loch shore or take one of the guided tours through the designed landscape of Parkhill Woods and the ancestral home of the Semple clan.

Scotland is famed for its majestic and mystical scenery and the tranquil beauty simply makes your soul happy. Loch Ness may be famous for its monster, but Loch Lomond must take the prize for the most beautiful. Set in the heart of Scotland’s first national park, the loch is only half an hour’s drive from Glasgow. Its awesome loveliness changes through every season but never diminishes, even in the depth of winter when a ghostly stillness blankets the waters.

Close to Loch Lomond, the Glengoyne distillery offers not only a chance to sample the “Water of Life” but also an interesting and in-depth tour behind the scenes of a working distillery. The “Slainte Mhath” (“your good health”) shop provides a great opportunity to purchase some memories of your visit.

It would be wrong not to mention golf when extolling the virtues of Scotland. After all, it is the game’s ancestral home. There are over 60 courses around the Glasgow area and if you’ve time for a few holes the clubs will always be willing to hire out equipment for a small cost.