Located to the east of Helensburgh, the world famous “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond hold the single biggest expanse of inland water in the British Isles, and are renowned for their dramatic scenic contrasts across the area of Argyll and Bute. Helensburgh, located to the west of Loch Lomond, offers elegant promenades along its broad streets and piers. Ben Arthur – known locally as ‘The Cobbler’ due to its distinctive shape, is one of Scotland's most familiar landmarks and is hugely popular with walkers and climbers alike.
Of the elegant architecture that encapsulates Helensburgh, Hillhouse is certainly one of the most well-known. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1902, the house offers a timeless elegance. The gardens have been restored to their former glory, and reflect the innovative architectural features common in Mackintosh creations. The exhibition in the upper east wing pays further homage to Mackintosh’s avant garde designs and to those of his wife Margaret Macdonald, who contributed numerous fabrics seen in around the house. Entrance is free for National Trust Scotland Visitors.
Leisure and Sports
Helensburgh offers a wealth of leisure and sport for guests residing in the area, including a local leisure centre complete with large and small pools, sauna, sunbeds, fitness rooms and more. For those keen to make the most of the outdoors, Helenburgh Golf Club is an 18 hole 6104 yards par 69 course. The daredevils among us can combine the stunning terrains with extreme sports at ‘Can You Experience? Loch Lomond’. Situated in Balloch within Scotland’s first national park, canoeing, biking and power kiting are among some of the sports available, as well as group events and guided walking tours.
For those seeking a truly Scottish experience during their stay; the Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games take place in early June. The event, which has run for over 100 years, offers a traditional Highland Games including Scottish 22lb shot putt, highland dancing, heavy events and hill runs. This level of athleticism is hard work, so there are a wide variety of food and drink stalls to refuel. A kid’s marquee, coconut shy and haggis throw is more than enough to entertain even the fussiest of children.
Balloch, in the the south west of Loch Lomond and a short distance from Helensburgh, offers a unique scenic shopping experience in the form of Jenners, a department store located by the Loch Lomond shores. Shoppers can browse the finest names in menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, beauty and homeware, before enjoying light refreshments at Café Zest, which boasts spectacular views up Loch Lomond.