Lots of local businesses are pet friendly so we have listed a few doggie days out for you to plan around.
- Bark in the Park - A safe, enclosed Dog Park where you can let your dog run off the lead and have fun. 30 minute exclusive use slots, 6ft high chain link fences, padlock entry gate, picnic bench, rain shelter and off street parking with magnificent views. To book your slot click here.
- Geilston Garden - Delightful 200 yr old garden just outside Helensburgh. Dogs are allowed in all areas except the children’s play area, walled garden and kitchen garden.
- The Perch - A family run, dog friendly cafe/restaurant in the beautiful village of Garelochhead
- Sugar Boat, Dog - friendly restaurant which allows dogs to dine in the front section of the restaurant as well as outside.
In the immediate vicinity, there are simple coastal walks along the shore with fabulous views over the Clyde estuary, a woodland walk up to a stunning viewpoint or an idyllic wander through the Edwardian Linn Gardens.
At the head of Loch Long stands the distinctive shape of The Cobbler – Ben Arthur – one of Scotland’s most familiar landmarks and a must for walkers and climbers. Further afield, east of Loch Lomond, you will come across the famous West Highland Way long distance footpath. You can choose to undertake just one part of the route where you will be well rewarded for exploring the area and walks around the Way itself.
The area forms the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve, comprising beautiful woodland shorelines, hills, mountains and wetlands. Among the most spectacular walk in this part is the strenuous walk up Conic Hill which enjoys splendid views towards the Arrochar Alps.
The most famous walk and the most climbed mountain in Scotland is Ben Lomond. It is easily accessible and has a well-maintained path which starts at Rowardennan on Loch Lomond’s east side leading to summit views taking in the surrounding mountains, the Glasgow area and the Clyde estuary.
Here are some of our favourites.
Peaton Hill behind us leads to a magnificent viewing point of the Clyde coast and Loch Long. It's a bit of a climb but not anything too strenuous. It's a real favourite amongst all the local dog owners so do expect to meet lots of doggie friends on your walk. The walk is over a forestry commission track. The trees were cut down a couple of years back which now means there is an uninterrupted view of Loch Long and the Clyde estuary. To access the hill, park in the Peaton Hill Community Nature Reserve Car Park and walk over the road to the entrance to the Forestry Commission track. There is only one path leading up to the viewing point so you cannot get lost and there are some picnic tables at the top for you to sit and enjoy the view. It is a quiet area away from cars so you can be confident there will be no traffic or sheep.
In 2012 the Helensburgh and West Dunbartonshire Ramblers upgraded and extended the boardwalk path in the Peaton Hill Community Nature Reserve on the Rosneath Peninsula, making it easier for walkers to enjoy the wildlife haven. It's not a long walk but sheltered on a wet day. Leave your car in the same car park as before and follow the path into the reserve. There are signposts but all you need to do is follow the boardwalk around and it will bring you back in a circle. It's about a kilometre in total.
If you just fancy a stroll along the shore then you can access the loch side from the hotel. On low tide (yes, we are a sea loch!), you can virtually make your way all the way into the village via the shore line. There is a picnic area about half-way along which will make it easier to access the shore if you want to come back up on to the roadside.
If you are looking for a a long-distance walking route the Three Lochs Way has been recently upgraded and is in four parts.
1. Balloch to Helensburgh - 13.5km 3½ - 4½ hours
2. Helensburgh to Garelochhead - 14.75km 3½ - 4½ hours
3. Garelochhead to Arrochar / Tarbet - 19km 4½ - 5½ hours
4. Arrochar / Tarbert to Inveruglas - 9.5km 2½ - 3 hours
It has a railway station at the start and end of each section, except at the very end at Inveruglas where there is only a bus stop.
The Cobbler - also known as Ben Arthur - has the most distinctive outline of any mountain in the Southern Highlands and makes a fantastic shorter hillwalk. This is one of our favourite long walks in the area.
It takes about twenty minutes to drive to the start of the walk in Arrochar and the walk itself takes between four and six hours depending on how far you would like to climb up the rock formation at the top!