If you’re like me, a lot of your friends from your home university are also studying abroad. You could be with them, or they could be all over the world. Sometimes, it can be daunting to see your friends traveling to different countries every weekend. Personally, I felt a lot of pressure to spend tons of money on trips, but I found ways to explore the country I am in and still feel as though I’m seeing the world. Especially in Scotland, there is so much to discover and many places to go for day trips. Here are a few ideas to kick-start your adventure on a budget, especially around Glasgow:
A cafe, mansion, nature trail...HIGHLAND COWS! This park is perfect for getting a sense of Glasgow’s history, as well as spot some cute Highland Cows. Pollok House is at the center of the country park, with access to its gardens and a nature trail behind it. It is definitely easy to get lost, but I just followed the (muddy) path. The mud ended up leading me to the cows and the fairy gardens. Pollok Park is a must-do on a sunny, crisp day and the only cost is for transportation to get there. It is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow’s West End or City Centre.
Looking for a place you can walk to and ignore all readings and essays you need to do? Look no further. Kelvingrove Park is no more than a seven minute walk from the main University of Glasgow campus. Find a bench that gives you a beautiful view of the university and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Not to mention, there are dogs galore.
Over the weekend, my flatmates and I bought train tickets from Glasgow Queen Street station to Balloch, where we walked around Loch Lomond. With a 16-25 railcard, round trip was only 6 pounds! There are a few options on what to do around the loch, but we mostly stayed in Balloch Country Park. There are amazing views of the surrounding hills, as well as Balloch Castle. Although it is not opened to the public, the outside of the castle is a sight to see. Again, there are happy dogs running around this park as well. The train ride was about 50 minutes. Even if you aren’t interested in Loch Lomond, there are plenty of other cheap train tickets. I highly suggest looking into the places you can go by train and taking a quick day trip. It won’t break the bank, and it’s a great way to see Scotland.
It is really cool to have Europe at your fingertips, but don’t forget to explore Scotland while you can. Get to know the country you decided to study in, and embrace the history and breathtaking views.