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Ardmore House
Ardmore House

The walk at Ardmore Point near Helensburgh is a short, easy and popular walk of less than three miles around a small peninsula in the Firth of Clyde.

It is an ideal walk for the shorter daylight time of the year.

It is reached by following the A814 through Dumbarton and Cardross, turning left after the Crematorium onto Ardmore Road and continuing on this minor road over the level crossing to the parking area near the shore.

At the level crossing be aware of the warning lights for trains approaching.

The walk starts at the shore road beside the plinth for the ‘Clyde Sea Lochs Trail’ and turns left at the Lodge House onto a gravel footpath.

It is of interest to read the information notice on the fence post that the area is managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve for birds, such as redshanks, curlews and oystercatchers.

It is entitled ‘Inner Clyde Estuary as a Special Protection Area’.

On the right of the path, the walk passes by the estate grounds of Ardmore House (pictured) and the Hill of Ardmore, while on the left and across the Firth are the fascinating views of Langbank and the industrial towns of Port Glasgow and Greenock with their passenger and cargo shipping terminals, industrial units, skyscraper buildings and housing developments on the hillside. The path curves round in a circle above the shore and changes from a gravel to a grass surface which becomes muddy in places.

It passes through areas of gorse bushes with their yellow flowers and passes by on the left many narrow paths leading down to the shore - presumably created by dog walkers.

The views across the Clyde Estuary also change and at the triangulation point of the peninsula, the panorama stretches round to Dunoon and Kilcreggan with the Cowal and Arrochar Hills in the background.

Further round still Helensburgh comes into the picture with the upturned sugar boat and the Hermitage School building in the foreground.

In the bay at low tide, look out for the two old fish traps, known as yairs, which are constructed of stone or wood, run perpendicular to the shoreline and act as a trap for fish which swim in on the flood tide and are left in the pool as the tide ebbs.

They are more easily spotted when nets have been placed round them.

The path round the bay finally enters open ground and turns right into a fenced path between fields which exits at and returns to the side of the Lodge and the shore road car park.

Close by is the Ardardan Garden Centre where food and refreshments are available.

It can be reached by foot along the shore or by car - on returning to the A814, turning right and right again onto the farm and Garden Centre driveway.