Here you’ll find a summary of activities, both outdoors and in, around the local area. Please see our Local Links page for more information and contact details for some of our favourites. More information about all of these activities are available in the cottages and we are always on hand to offer advice, give directions or arrange trips and bookings for you.
The Kilpatrick Hills will provide you with excellent hill walking opportunities, from leisurely woodland walks to brisk hill climbs – the higher you climb, the more stunning the views become! You will enjoy unrivaled views of Glasgow and the Clyde Estuary – the view from your cottage of Glasgow at night is amazing! You can follow the track all the way to Loch Humphrey, passing our fossil rich rock faces, designated an official “special site of scientific interest”. If you wish to carry on, you can tackle the three Duncolms, from where you can see stunning views of Loch Lomond and on a clear day, the whole width of Scotland, from the Clyde Coast in the West to Grangemouth on the East Coast.
Our neighbours, the Forestry Commission, are also busy improving the area and will soon be offering guided ranger walks and events. More paths and trails are found directly behind the cottages which take you up into the woods where Lord Blantyre in the 1800s had tracks made for his pony and cart, so he could enjoy the hills which he admired from his then stately home on the other side of the Clyde, at Erskine, which is now The Mar Hall. You are also perfectly situated for climbing various Munros (peaks of over 3000ft) such as Ben Lomond. Access points for The West Highland Way are also located nearby at Milngavie and Drymen and don’t forget the stunning trails through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
For a more hands-on experience, the “Craggs” on the Kilpatrick Hills (a mere 15 minute walk from your cottage) and the nearby Dumbarton Rock draw experienced rock climbers from all over Europe. There are also many novice faces and slopes to build your confidence if you’re just getting started.
Separate storage and wash facilities are available at the cottages for outdoor clothing, boots, equipment, bikes and muddy kids!
Cycling & Mountain Biking
The Kilpatrick Hills offer you some of the most varied biking in the UK; from gentle tracks for all the family, to adrenaline pumping slopes and trails for experienced mountain bikers. These trails have recently won awards and earned rave reviews in various mountain bike publications and our neighbours, the Forestry Commission, are currently looking to improve the access to the hills even more for mountain bikers and hill walkers alike. Many of our guests choose to cycle from the cottages, over the Kilpatrick Hills to Gartocharn or Drymen at Loch Lomond and enjoy a cuppa or a pint before the return journey!
There is also a designated cycle path which partly runs alongside the Forth & Clyde Canal, accessed from Old Kilpatrick, which leads to either Loch Lomond or Glasgow City Centre. This path is suitable for all ages and levels of ability.
We can arrange bike hire for all your party and there is secure storage and washing facilities on site for those who bring their own bikes and don’t forget your sense of adventure!
As well as the self-initiated outdoors activities, there’s also Go Ape, an outdoor-based activities centre near Aberfoyle and is ideal for all the family. You can choose from activities such as riding the UK’s longest zip wire (aka, zip slide) or go for a full tree-top adventure. There is also an excellent tree top trail at Lomond Shores, Balloch.
Having the shopping mecca of Glasgow on your doorstep means it’s an obvious destination. With it’s designer boutiques and all the big high street names, Glasgow offers some of the finest shopping experiences in Britain. Two of Scotland’s largest shopping centres, Braehead and Silverburn, are also a short drive across the Erskine Bridge. Closer to home is the Lomond Shores development, located on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond which is home to exclusive retail outlets, such as Jenners.
We don’t all eat haggis and deep fried Mars Bars (although they are rather yummy!) so top class restaurants are plentiful around Glasgow and Loch Lomond from the finest Scottish steaks to the freshest oysters and sea food in the land. And did you know Europe’s most popular curry dish, Tikka Masala was invented in Glasgow?
We can arrange and recommend a range of top restaurants depending on your tastes and requirements or check out TripAdvisor or FourSquare for some ideas. There is also an excellent Italian restaurant in the village, called Trattoria Il Rifugio (located behind the Telstar Bar). We also recommend trying the numerous coffee shops, gift shops, delis, cafes, farm shops etc that are found in the area. Always good for a light lunch or sourcing local produce and souvenirs to take back to your cottage.
You can let the kids run loose in the acres of grounds at Gavinburn Cottages, but be warned they might not want to come in for dinner! Alternatively, we have a toy box and DVD player, with a choice of childrens movies in each cottage to keep your little ones occupied whilst you relax. You can also head to one of three excellent swimming and leisure centres which are nearby at; The Allander (Bearsden) The Playdrome (Clydebank) and The Meadow Centre (Dumbarton). You could also make tracks for the kids soft play area at the neighbouring village of Milton. Several multiplex cinemas are also nearby and we can recommend a responsible babysitting service if required.
Scotland is of course the country that invented golf and with Gavinburn Cottages central location, it means that most of Scotland’s top courses are within an hours drive. There are also some top quality local courses including The Mar Hall, Earl of Mar Course (on the opposite bank of the Clyde) and the Loch Lomond Carrick Course at the luxurious Cameron House. Both within 10 minutes of your cottage.
Gavinburn Cottages make an excellent and convenient base for a bride or groom to relax ahead of their big day. We can also easily accommodate any members of a large bridal party and we are central to some of Scotland’s finest wedding venues. We also offer the ultimate setting for photographs! After the big day why don’t you retire to Gavinburn Cottages for a honeymoon to remember or for a few romantic nights before you fly out of Glasgow Airport for the second leg of your honeymoon. Transfers can be provided.
Whisky Distillery Tours
Our two local distilleries are Auchentoshan (5 minutes) and Glengoyne (20 minutes), with both having whisky visitor centres and offering guided tours and best of all, whisky tastings! If you wish to travel further afield in search of the perfect dram, most of Scotlands finest distilleries lie within a couple of hours drive.
Loch Humphrey, Greenland and Finn Loch lie in the Kilpatrick Hills and are teaming with many varieties of fresh water fish including Brown and Rainbow Trouts. Permits are required for some of these lochs and these can be arranged by contacting us in advance of your arrival. More fishing can also be found on the River Clyde and its estuaries or at numerous fisheries in the area. We recommend using our local fishing expert, The Lomond Angler, John Bell to arrange any fishing. Tel: +44 (0)7887 746732
Bird & Wildlife Spotting
Apart from the farm animals, an abundance of flora and fauna can be found around the cottages including woodpeckers, pheasants, deer, foxes, otters, stoats, buzzards, hawks, frogs, hedgehogs, red and grey squirrels and rare plants. If you head into the hills you will also likely spot pheasants, woodcock, grouse, lap wings, oyster cathchers, curlew and other wading birds, along with ducks and swans at Loch Humphrey. Whilst you’re at the loch keep your eyes peeled for our very own beastie of the loch.
We are also in the process of forming our own wildlife pond, where we hope to attract more ducks, swans and wildlife to the area. You must also be on the lookout for the rare Gavinburn Wild Haggis and any guest who catches one alive, gets free accommodation!
We have a couple of reputable equine centres nearby, including the magnificent Ingliston Country Club where we can arrange horse riding from novice to professional level. We can also provide stabling and fields if you wish to bring your own horse! We also recommend Duncryne Equine Centre for lessons and treks. Their contact details can be found on our “Local Links” page.
Sailing/ Water Sports
Being on the Clyde coast means that we are never far from the water and there are numerous sailing clubs and water sport centres nearby from Loch Lomond to Helensburgh. Boats of various sizes and types are available to hire at numerous locations around The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Activities can be booked and arranged in advance, especially at Lomond Shores, Balloch.
We can arrange pampering sessions by a fully qualified health and beauty therapist or hair dresser at your cottage. Alternatively you could book yourself into the spa at the luxurious Mar Hall across the river from your cottage or we also recommend the spa at the Cameron House on Loch Lomond. Please contact us to arrange these bookings as we can receive discounts from these spas.
If you’re looking to let your hair down, then you have come to the right place!
Glasgow is often voted as the greatest night out in Britain and has bars, pubs and clubs to suit the ages and tastes of all party people. From the lavish Corinthian Bar to the institution that is Cleopatras. We can advise on where you want to be and be seen! A regular train service to Glasgow runs from Kilpatrick station at the bottom of the hills and we can also arrange a taxi service to and from Glasgow on pre-arranged nights. The village itself is also home to three friendly and lively pubs and the wider town of Clydebank is home to several noted bars and clubs. You will also find plenty of historic theatres, comedy clubs, casinos and cinemas in and around the Glasgow area.
We welcome friendly hen parties! You can come and chill out in your luxury cottage and be pampered by taking advantage of our health and beauty offers before heading to the bright lights of Glasgow. Then recharge your batteries in our luxury super king beds before banishing the hangovers with a brisk (or not too brisk) walk in the hills!
Glasgow is Britains live music capital! From concerts at Hampden Park, the SECC and the Armadillo, to small intimate gigs at atmospheric clubs like the Old Fruit Market and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut where Oasis were discovered! Don’t forget Scotlands mega festival, T in the Park and the fantastic Celtic Connections festival. You can find it all and then some.
From museums, galleries and visitor centres and attractions of all kinds, you are spoiled for choice in the area. You are also perfectly placed for visiting various parts of Scotland with history rich Stirling and Edinburgh being under an hours drive away. There is also the Antonine Wall which is a world heritage site and part of this Roman wall, which stretched almost the width of Scotland, actually ran through Gavinburn Farm. Various parts are still visible at certain points such as Bearsden. Full details of all the major attractions can be found in your welcome pack.
Special mention must go to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, which draw people from all over the world to view its beautiful scenery. Gavinburn Cottages are the perfect base for enjoying the “Bonnie Banks” in all their glory!
The Titan Crane Visitor Centre in Clydebank is well worth visiting – it stands over 150ft tall and you can get right to the top! It’s steeped in history as it was a crucial element in the success of the famous John Brown’s Shipyard, and survived the Clydebank Blitz during the Second World War.
If you are from an agricultural background or just interested in finding out where your food comes from, we can organise tours of local farms, from beef and sheep units to dairy farms. Or you can just admire the local livestock at Gavinburn Farm.
Being so close to Glasgow, we can’t fail to mention one of the citys great loves, Football! Home of course to two of Britain’s biggest teams, Rangers & Celtic. Both these teams also offer stadium tours which are worthwhile. You can also get a tour of our national stadium, Hampden and visit the Scottish Football Museum on site.
Other sporting events obviously take place all year round at various venues including Braehead Arena and Hampden National Stadium and you can be there in under half an hour. We also look forward to the 2014 Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow. Swimming, fitness and leisure centres are also nearby at The Allander (Bearsden) The Playdrome (Clydebank) and The Meadow Centre (Dumbarton). There is also a gym and swimming pool at the Beardmore Hotel in Clydebank.
Easy! Just spark up the BBQ or light up the log burning stove, kick back on the sofa or on the terrace, grab a dram or a book, soak up the views and unwind…
Other local more select activities of note are a trip “doon the water” on the “Waverly”, the worlds last ocean going paddle steamer, or a flight in the sea plane, moored at Glasgow, over Loch Lomond. There is also the paintball site at Balloch, Nick Nairn’s Cookery School at Lake of Menteith, Dumbarton Castle, Glasgow’s Botanical Gardens, The Burrell Collection, The Falconry Centre at Balloch, the House of Darroch shop at Gartocharn and the dry ski slope at Bearsden. The Whangie at the far end of the Kilpatrick Hills, the Cobbler climb at Arrochar and the Devils Pulpit at Croftamie are also well worth exploring.
Gavinburn Cottages can also be used as an ideal base to explore Scotlands beautiful and rugged west coast and to try a bit of “island hopping”. There is even a regular ferry service at Gourock (20 minutes away) which calls at many of our west coast islands.