Helensburgh commands a wonderful coastal position overlooking the Firth of Clyde and has the wonderful nickname of the 'Garden of the Clyde'. It’s on the mouth of the Gare Loch where the Royal Navy commands the maritime comings and goings of Faslane at the top of the inlet, and it’s over the hill but not far away, from Loch Lomond. A new home here has the added bonus of a very straightforward commute into Glasgow, just 25 miles away. Helensburgh’s landmarks and landscapes make it a perfect base if you work in the city or the navy, if you’re a rambler or a sailor, or if you just want to watch the world go by on the water.
Travel made easy
It’s simple from Helensburgh. The A818 heads east to join the A82 into Glasgow – 33 miles away - via Dumbarton. The A814 clings to the shoreline of Gare Loch all the way to Faslane to the north, and to the south, it follows the shoreline of the Clyde all the way to Dumbarton. The train follows the same scenic route along the coast, taking around 45 minutes to get to Glasgow Queen Street. Add another 10 minutes for Glasgow Central. Helensburgh’s got three train stations, the main one being Helensburgh Central, and you can catch trains to Fort William, Mallaig and Oban, or a take a direct service on the Caledonian Sleeper to London. The town has a useful bus service to Glasgow too.
Schools, shops, and services
Helensburgh is on the case when it comes to happy family life. The local primary schools are feeder schools for the town’s secondary school, Hermitage Academy. There’s a highly regarded Roman Catholic secondary school in Dumbarton, 8 miles further down the coast towards Glasgow. Most of the shops are along, or just in from, the Esplanade, and the town’s convenience stores and supermarkets include a Tesco Express, Morrisons, Co-op and McColl’s. Dumbarton is a great back-up, and of course Glasgow is definitely the place to go for a dedicated shopping trip. There are two medical practices in the town, in the East King Street Medical Centre. The great outdoors can’t be ignored in this setting and in addition to the endless possibilities for getting out into the countryside or onto the water, there’s an indoor swimming pool, and several sports clubs to join or watch.
Time to explore
With one foot in the Scottish Highlands, the nearest point of Argyll & Bute’s famous landmark, Loch Lomond, is just 4 miles away. This was Scotland’s first National Park. There are several footpaths and walks from the town, so you can start with the 2 mile stretch around the Ardmore Point and build up to the 33-mile Three Lochs Way. This coastal location means sailing and kayaking opportunities, and you can set yourself the challenge of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail – a stunning 95-mile route to Oban.