Gallus Running
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Helensburgh - Glen Fruin

Length
27.4 Kms
Elevation gain
416.9 m
Max elevation
196.4 m
Difficulty
**
Rating
***
Type
Loop
Route id
534
Main road
0 Kms
Country road
0 Kms
Dirt road
0 Kms
Dirt path
0 Kms
Trail
0 Kms
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Directions to start point
This is a fully tarred route that offers a good mix including a
417 m
climb along the way. We start this route at the Kidson Park car park although you could easily use the pier car in Helensburgh or lots of street parking. The reasons for this choice is that it allows you to take in some of the famous blossom streets (a spring time must) , helps split the uphill out of Helensburgh and is also a lovely spot for finishing the run. Oh and there is a wee Cafe.
So head from the car park back towards Helensburgh along the lovely waterside pavement the runs beside the A814. Early in the morning on a sunny day this can be a perfect start, though a wet winters afternoon is something else. You follow the pavement until you reach the small water treatment building which is shortly after where the small wall on the right finishes. From here cross the main road and head up Suffolk Street. Generally, we do like the locals and stay on the road as the pavements are not so great, take care though. Helensburgh is in a grid system, so keep on Suffolk Street for three blocks then turn right onto West Argyle Street and into the blossom trees. Follow this road (part of the Helensburgh 10k) for 6 blocks then turn left up Colquhoun Street and start climbing. The road meets the west highland railway so a quick turn right, one block then a turn left and up Sinclair Street and out of Helensburgh.
The road out of Helensburgh is the A818 and keep to the right-hand side of the road. This does feel like a long uphill slog but once at the old skating pond the climb does stop. You are on the cycle/walking path that runs alongside the main road. Some lovely views of Ben Bouie, and down Glen Fruin along with Loch Lomond. Although you can head into the first entry into Glen Fruin for this route we stay on the A818 path until the cross keys and head into Glen Fruin from the small roundabout.
Running through Glen Fruin is brilliant. This is a small single-track road but with very few cars and is the major part of this run. A short uphill become a short downhill before a long flat. The road heads back uphill at the end of the glen and provides brilliant views of the Arrochar Alps and down along the Gareloch.. and even a wee submarine base.
You are back on the main A814 once under the railway bridge and from here it is pavement running back to Helensburgh. For most of the route once past the submarine base the pavement is actually on the old road, so you are away from the traffic for most of it. This is probably the dullest part but can be beautiful on some mornings. The route takes you into Rhu, Brae shop for a wee roll and sausage, then along beside the loch/river back to the car park.
When finished, depending on time of day, there are two recommendations. Fish and chips from the Wee Kelpie and ice cream at Dinos. Don't miss these if you can, with both being on Clyde street a short distance from the pier.
Route directions
Kms
1
Leave the car park and head towards Helensburgh, keeping to the path on the river side.

0
2
Keep on the path beside the river

0.3
3
Turn left at the small water treatment plant, going up Suffolk Street for three blocks.

1
4
Turn right along West Arglye Street - enjoy the blossom in spring.

1.4
5
Turn left at Colquhoun Street and start to climb

2
6
Turn right at the end of the road for one block

2.7
7
Turn left and head up Sinclair Street past Helensburgh Upper station

2.9
8
Cross to the right hand side of the road. If you have time you could also take a quick left to view Hill House.

3.4
9
Keep on cycle path past the recycle centre

4.3
10
At the small Cross-Keys roundabout take the left onto the single track road for Glen Fruin

7.5
11
At the Black Bridge junction keep going forward further into the glen.

11.3
12
The road now starts to climb

16.2
13
And now the downhill

17.2
14
And under the railway bridge

19.5
15
Now at the man road, A814, turn left, cross the road and run beside the submarine base

19.6
16
The pavement ends and you cross the road to run on the old road.

22
17
And into Rhu

25.2
18
One past the Rhu Inn cross the road to the shoreline path

25.7
19
Past the sailing club - nearly finished

27.2
20
And back to the car park. Time now to stretch and consider a visit to Dinos for ice cream.

27.4
Kidson Park
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View up the Gareloch
Kidson Park
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Kidson park car park
Towards Helensburgh on Clyde Street
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Path along Clyde Street towards Helesnburgh
Out of Helensburgh on cycle track
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Sun coming up over the top of Ben Bouie
Out of Helensburgh on cycle track
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First good view of down Galn Fruin
First section of Glen Fruin
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Towards Ben Bouie
First section of Glen Fruin
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View back towards Ben Bouie
First section of Glen Fruin
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Heading into the glen
On downhill section
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The Clyde in the distance
On downhill section
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Start of the descent into the glen
The Black Bridge
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The Black Bridge and an old popular picnis spot
Craig's pool area
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Famous in Helensburgh for the picnic spot and a wee swim
Craig's pool area
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View from beside Craig's pool down the glen
Middle section of the glen
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View back down the glen
Middle section of the glen
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The single track road continues
Some wildlife
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Friendly cows are always worth a wee hello
Start of the hill out of the glen
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End of the flat bit of the glen
Start of the hill out of the glen
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At the army training camp, just before the climb out of the glen
Hill towards the Gareloch
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Back down the glen from the start of the hill
Hill towards the Gareloch
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Towards the Gareloch and submarine base
Hill towards the Gareloch
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Towards the Arrochar alps
Hill towards the Gareloch
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The battle of Glen Fruin stone
Hill towards the Gareloch
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Information board about the battle
Hill towards the Gareloch
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Last look back down Glen Fruin
Hill towards the Gareloch
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Heading down the hill on the way back
Coming down the hill
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View towards the Cobbler
Coming down the hill
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Arrochar alps
Coming down the hill
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Arrochar alps in the distance
Old road at Shandon
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The old road has little traffic other than that from the local houses
Towards Rhu point
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Rhu point in the sunshine
Past Rhu and Ardencaple
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Looking towards the Clyde from Rhu
Past Rhu and Ardencaple
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Looking back up the loch before entering Rhu
Past Rhu and Ardencaple
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The village of Rhu
Sailing club area
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Helensburgh sailing club
Sailing club area
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Sunset from Kidson park
Arriving back at Kidson park
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View down the Gareloch with the Ardencaple hotel on the right.
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