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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Argyll and Bute > Helensburgh


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For other places with the same name, see Helensburgh (disambiguation).
View from Helensburgh Pier

Helensburgh is a town in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

The town is notable for being the birthplace of "John Logie Baird", the inventor of television.

Get in[edit]

It is around 30 miles west of Glasgow.

By car[edit]

Helensburgh can be accessed via the A82/A814.

By train[edit]

Regular trains (usually 2 per hour) run to Helensburgh Central from Edinburgh via Glasgow (Queen Street Station Low Level). A few services a day also run to Helensburgh Upper on the West Highland Railway from Oban, Fort William and Glasgow Queen Street. Helensburgh Upper is also served by a 6 days a week sleeper from London Euston.

By Ferry[edit]

The passenger ferries from Kilcreggan and/or Gourock ceased operation in April 2012. It is still possible to get a ferry from Gourock to Kilcreggan and then get a bus to Helensburgh.

The paddle steamer Waverley occasionally calls at Helensburgh during the summer.

Get around[edit]

Buses run services into most of the town's areas on a regular basis until around 11pm at night. Regular buses also run to Glasgow and various other outlying villages and towns.


  • 1 Hill House, Upper Colquhoun Street, G84 9AJ (About 1 mile up the hill from the seafront.). 25 Mar - 31 Oct, daily, 11:30 -1 7:00. A house designed by renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, managed by the National Trust for Scotland. The house was built in 1902-04, and includes furniture designed by Mackintosh and his wife. The attic rooms are available to rent as a holiday flat, and there is a tearoom and shop. The gardens have been restored to the original design and are free to visit all year. Adult £10.50,. Hill House, Helensburgh on Wikipedia Hill House (Q654780) on Wikidata
  • 2 Glenarn, Glenarn Road, Rhu, G84 8LL (1 mile west of Helensburgh off the A814 in the conservation village of Rhu.), +44 1436 820493. Open daily 21 March - 21 September from sunrise to sunset.. A special woodland garden with a Himalayan atmosphere where you can walk under superb giant species rhododendrons or look out across the Gareloch. £5.00.
  • 3 Henry Bell Monument (West Clyde Street, at the bottom of James Street). Erected in memory of Henry Bell, first Provost of the town in 1807 and builder of the Comet paddle-steamer in 1812 to link Glasgow, Greenock and Helensburgh. Henry Bell (engineer) on Wikipedia Henry Bell (Q1249824) on Wikidata
  • 4 Helensburgh Library, West King Street, G84 8EB. Mon, Thu 13:00 - 20:00; Tue, Wed , Sat 9:30 - 13:00, 14:00 - 17:00; Fri 13:00 - 17:00. Library with a small history exhibition upstairs. Computers for internet access. free.
  • 5 Outdoor Museum, Colquhoun Square. A set of plinths around the main square in the town, with objects, models and inscriptions to show town history. The biggest are a set of three maps of the town centre in different years.
  • 6 Helensburgh Parish Church (Church of Scotland), Colquhoun Square. services Sun 11:00, viewing Mon - Sat 9:00 - 17:00. Building designed by James Hay in 1853, with some fne stained glass windows, including ones commerating Bonar Law (UK Prime Minister 1922-23) and Logie Baird (inventor of television). West Kirk on Wikipedia West Kirk, Helensburgh (Q7985640) on Wikidata
  • 7 St Michael & All Angels Church (Scottish Episcopal Church). services Sun 10:30 & 18:30, viewing Mon - Sat generally 10:00 - 16:00. Church completed in 1868 to a French Gothic style design by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the Edinburgh architect. The church is built from Dumfriesshire red sandstone and internal limestone from Caen in Normandy.
  • 8 Helensburgh Heroes Centre, 28 Sinclair Street. Exhibition about notable people from Helensburgh, mainly those from the 20th century including John Logie Baird (TV inventor) and Bonar Law (UK Prime Minister in 1922-23). Cafe themed around the actress Deborah Kerr.


  • Walk along the seaside promenade. There is a pleasant level walk of about 1 mile along a the promenade from Helensburgh pier to Kidston Park, with good views of the Clyde across to Greenock (and of the Gareloch from the park). At low tide you could return along the shingle beach.
  • 1 Waverley Paddle Steamer. Sails from Helensburgh to Inellan, Dunoon, Rothesay and round the Kyles of Bute during the summer season. There are usually two departures per week from Helensburgh between June and August, with occasional sailings at other times.
  • 2 Helensburgh Golf Club, 25 East Abercromby Street, G84 9HZ, +44 1436 674173. A 6104 yard 18 hole moorland course founded in 1893. It is uphill from the town and has good views. Round of Golf £35.
  • 3 Old Skating Pond (top of Sinclair Street, just as you leave the town, has a small free carpark.). A shallow pond built in the early twentieth century for skating and model boats, it has now been allowed to become overgrown and is a wetland which is home to a few ducks. There is a walkway around the pond and some picnic tables. Pathways through to the adjacent reservoirs, which you can also walk around, but the paths are muddy.
  • 4 Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games, Rugby Club, Rhu Road Higher. First Sat in June 10:00-16:00, next is Sat 1 June 2019. Watch traditional Highland Games with races (many for children), heavy hammer and sheaf throwing, caber tossing and sword dancing. Food and trade stalls are scattering around the edge of the field. £5.
  • 5 Blairvadach Outdoor Centre, Rhu, G84 8NN, +44 1436 820 491. This centre mianly provides sailing canoeing and other outdoor activities for Glasgow schools, but also runs some short day and residential courses for adults and children.


As well as its supermarkets and multiple stores, Helensburgh has a great variety of privately owned retail shops and other businesses. There are hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafés and coffee shops, some with outside tables in the square.

  • 1 Rowland's Pharmacy, 48 West Princes Street, G84 8UG. Mon - Sat 9:00 - 18:00. Regular chemist shop, but take a look at the fittings, many of which are around 100 years old - don't be put off by the modernish shop front.
  • 2 Urie's china shop, 45 West Clyde Street. China, glass and crystalware in a shop established in 1854. Has a mixture of practical tableware and gifts.
  • Monthly Market, Colquhoun Square. second Saturday most months 10:00 - 16:00. A small market with craft and upmarket food stalls. Extra bigger markets are held occasionally, usually in late November.


There are lots of places in the centre of town for a daytime snack or cup of tea, but less for evenings. There are Indian and Chinese Restaurants, and Fish and Chip shops.

  • Cattle and Creel 74 West Clyde Street and La Barca 33 West Clyde Street are two different restaurants a few doors apart run by the same family.
  • Commodore Hotel, 112 - 117 West Clyde St, +44 1436 676924. Hotel serving "pub grub".
  • 1 Ardencaple Hotel, Shore Road Rhu (About 200yrds from the western edge of Helensburgh, an imposing white building by the sea), +44 1436 820200. Hotel (with 12 bedrooms) serving "pub grub". Has a large lounge bar, which usually has one real ale. Mains £5-£10, Rooms from £48.
  • 2 Kidston Park Cafe. Small cafe with great views in a park at the Western end of the seafront promenade.
  • 3 The Henry Bell, 19/29 James Street, G84 8AS. Wetherspoon pub. Usually has about four real ales, and a standard chain menu. Mains £5 - £10, beer from £2.
  • 4 Sugar Boat, 30 Colquhoun Square, G84 8AQ. 10AM - 10PM. Restaurant opened in 2017 by a proprietor who had a Michelin star at his last place. The name comes from the local term for the MV Captayannis which sank in 1974, and can still be seen in the middle of the river (see the model in the nearby outdoor museum). mains £15-20.


Helensburgh has many pubs and restaurants to choose from. The Clyde Bar a warm and friendly local pub with many entertainment evenings, it has a unique style and charm that makes it a popular draw for locals and visitors, young and old. A must not miss for a flavour of Helensburgh.


Helensburgh has a wide mix of accommodation from homely B&Bs/guest houses to hotels.

Bed and Breakfasts[edit]

  • 1 Sinclair House, 91/93 Sinclair Street, G84 8TR, +44 1436 676301. B&B from £52 per room.
  • 2 Balmillig, 64b Colquhoun Street, G84 9JP, +44 1436 674922. 3 room B&B in a Victorian house with a garden on a quiet cherry blossom lined street, about 10 minutes walk uphill from the town centre. Double room £75.


  • 3 Commodore Hotel, 112-117 West Clyde Street, G84 8ES, +44 1436 676924. The biggest hotel in town with rooms from £55. Refurbished in about 2004. On the sea front about 1/2 mile from the town centre.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Helensburgh is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.