County (pre 1975): Dunbartonshire; Region/District (1975-1996): Strathclyde/Dumbarton; Unitary Authority: Argyll & Bute
Helensburgh is situated on the River Clyde, approximately 20 miles north-west of Glasgow. Sir James Colquhoun designed the town in 1780 and named it after his wife, Helen. It is an elegant town with may of the original streets laid out in a grid pattern. Many streets are tree-lined, the most notable ones with cherry bloosom, which is stunning in the springtime. Ferries leave the pier for Kilcreggan, Gourock and Greenock while there is a long seafront promenade suitable for bracing walks. Upper Helensburgh was developed by wealthy Victorian Glasgow merchants.
Helensburgh has an outstanding collection of houses designed by architects including Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Leiper and Honeyman. Mackintosh's Hill House is the most well-known and is situated in the upper west section of the town. It sits high above the Clyde and commands fine views over the river estuary. The house is now maintained by the National Trust for Scotland and is home to original Mackintosh furniture and interior design and also has beautiful floral gardens in the Mackintosh style.
Other famous local connections include Henry Bell who pioneered the steamship "Comet", whose maiden voyage was from Helensburgh to Greenock. The original flywheel memorial can be seen on the seafront esplanade to the east of the town.
John Logie Baird, the inventor of television was born here and a memorial to him can be found on the seafront esplanade at the bottom of William Street.
Today, Helensburgh acts as a commuter town for nearby Glasgow, and also serves as a main shopping centre for the area and for tourists attracted to the seaside resort. Helensburgh is also influenced by the presence of the Clyde Naval Base at Faslane on the Gare Loch, a major local employer. The town is a popular destination for day trippers.
The seafront has an indoor swimming pool, an esplanade walk and sailing facilities including Helensburgh Sailing Club, and the nearby marina at Rhu just beyond the town boundary. The streets are built on a gentle slope rising to the north east, and at the brow of the hill, a golf club has views looking south out over the town to the Clyde, and to the north across nearby Loch Lomond to the Trossachs hills.
Accommodation in Helensburgh
Hotels Helensburgh : Self Catering Helensburgh : Bed & Breakfast Helensburgh