Canadian Instagrammer and sports enthusiast, Mark Matthews (@markymath), took to the off-roads of Glasgow, exploring Scotland by way of the great outdoors, and starting this month, we’ll be on our way too! Take off with us as we launch non-stop service from Toronto, June 13.
Matthews describes Glasgow’s vibe as laid back and friendly––a city that offers a genuine feeling of home for travelling Canadians. “It’s always nice to feel that comfort where everything seems normal.” Approachable, enthusiastic people are what struck Matthews most about Scotland’s largest city, even on the road: “I found driving on the left side of the road an easy transition thanks to courteous drivers and well thought-out roads.”
Glasgow is a playground for adventure seekers, and the gateway to some of Scotland’s greenest trails. Close to the city center, hit Loch Lomond for outstanding scenery, and a mix of mountain bike trails which lead down to the loch. “I rode here in the evening during golden hour, and the weather was just spectacular! To top it off, I finished down by the water to catch the sunset.” Either by foot or bike, the maze of bridges along the River Clyde is an oasis for Glaswegians. Pro tip: Start just south of the Sports Ground, and make your way along the outer walkway, through to Glasgow Green, and continue along the river. “It’s a great way to finish the day, and you end up right downtown.” Looking to brush up on your skills, or meet like-minded folk? Matthews highlights Cathkin Braes as a biker and hiker’s paradise, with impressive terrain, friendly locals included! After a cardio-intensive day in the Dear Green Place, replenish at the Howlin’ Wolf, a spot Matthews boasts is pure dead brilliant for a pint, pub fare, and for hanging with locals.
Scotland’s landscape may seem daunting for a first-timer, but keep the heid! Glasgow’s city centre offers free Wi-Fi, so consider pre-loading your treks outside the city on your smartphone maps application––the GPS in your phone will be able to guide you even if you’re disconnected, or are without a SIM card. “This was a great technique that made finding everything stress-free.”
Thinking of spending a night out under the stars? Thanks to Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code, anyone can camp on most unenclosed land. “For those into outdoor sports, hiking, and camping, this presents amazing opportunities,” says Matthews. “I took full advantage of the accessible land by spending one night above the iconic Old Mann of Storr, followed by an epic morning bike ride to the bottom of the hill. Waking up beside such landmark location was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Travellers take note! We had eyes on the ground in 4 more international locations, all launching this summer. Check out Prague (May 29), Casablanca (June 3), Budapest (June 10) and Warsaw (June 14) for more.