A handsome Victorian holiday resort on the River Clyde, west of Glasgow.
The graceful holiday town of Helensburgh was named after the wife of Sir James Colquhoun, who founded the town at the end of the 18th century. Handsome buildings, wide elegant tree-lined streets, long promenade and attractive parks and gardens create a pleasantly distinguished atmosphere, even more so in summer as pleasure cruisers jostle at the pier.
The town is easy to get to and less than an hour from Glasgow by road and train, and also lies on the West Highland Railway Line.
Helensburgh is a gateway to many outdoor activities including the Argyll Kayak Trail, Wild about Argyll Cycling Trail as well as the walking trails including the John Muir Way and the Three Lochs Way which takes in Loch Lomond, The Gareloch and Loch Long. If travelling by car make sure you explore the Clyde Sea Lochs Trail, taking you into the heart of coastal communities to the south west of Loch Lomond.
Wander the town’s many independent shops from local art and handmade jewellery, before savouring the delights of award-winning restaurants and cafes. Impressive formal gardens can be enjoyed at Hermitage Park near the centre of the town which is ideal for a picnic or explore Geilston Gardens nearby - the kids will love the ‘Hobbit Hole’ play area and floral mini-maze.
In upper Helensburgh, developed by wealthy Victorian Glasgow merchants, is Hill House, now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. This exquisite building, complete with original furnishings, is renowned as the finest domestic masterpiece of the internationally famous Scots architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Other famous local connections include Henry Bell, originator of the steamship and John Logie Baird, the inventor of television.