A tour around the Clyde River Estuary

April 2005

All pictures taken by my mother Svanhild

My parents visited me in Helensburgh during their 2000 Summer Holiday. They stayed for a week and we did some travelling around the local area. One of these tours was the Clyde River Estuary circuit, starting with a 45 minutes ferry and then train from Gourock via Glasgow, Balloch and back again to Helensburgh.This is an excellent tour with good views all around. It is also a pretty inexpensive tour. I regard it as one of the best tours in the Glasgow area. It can be expanded to a full day or you can do as we did; spend half a day on it.

The ferry, a small ex tugboat, only serve Helensburgh twice a day so we took the 0900 sailing. The tugboat only sail frequent between Kilkreggan and Gourock. We went for the well known pier at Helensburgh and departed for Kilcreggan. I took some pictures overlooking Helensburgh.

Helensburgh from the pier

Towards the loch leading to Garelochhead with Helensburgh in the foreground.

At the tugboat ready to sail to Kilcreggan and Gourock.

The tugboat sailed for Kilcreggan and the weather was not too bad. We enjoyed this half an hour long sailing over the Gareloch Loch and around the headland at Rosneath Peninsula to Kilcreggan pier. This is a scenic tour.

Approaching Kilcreggan pier at the Rosneath Peninsula.

After taking on some more passengers, we then set sail again for Gourock just across the Clyde River. This journey took around ten minutes.

Approaching Gourock.

Gourock was the final port of the sailing and the beginning of a 40 minutes long train journey up the river to Glasgow again. On the way to Glasgow, we passed Greenock and Paisley. I did not know it back then, but some years later I would learn to know these places quite well.
We disembarked at Glasgow Central Station and walked ten minutes over to Glasgow Queens Station for the train to Helensburgh. This 45 minutes long train journey passed through Dumbarton on it's way down the river to Helensburgh. I have not done this tour for many years and I am missing it, I have to admit. I commuted this way for many year every day. It was a nice commute. We disembarked in Helensburgh after a nice circuit of the Clyde River Estuary.

This is an excellent tour with a lot beautiful nature and sights. It can be expanded with a visit to Dumbarton Rock and/or Balloch too. I recommend this tour.