Three Lochs Way

  • Arrochar Alps from Glen Douglas
  • River Leven at Balloch
  • Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond
  • Helensburgh and the Gareloch
  • Glen Loin
Distance (km) Ascent (metres) Number of days
55 1560 3 - 4
Start: Balloch Finish: Inveruglas
Linked to other Scotland’s Great Trail(s):
Cowal Way John Muir Way West Highland Way
Printed book

Below we list printed maps and/or guidebooks in ascending order of cover price: click image or title for more info. To add or alter any items in this list, please Contact us.

The Three Lochs Way

John Urquhart | Helensburgh & District Access Trust - 2013

£5.00

Route type and direction

Linear. Generally walked from Balloch to Inveruglas (south to north) so that you walk towards great views over the Firth of Clyde and over Loch Long, and you progress from Lowlands to Highlands.

Overview

Gentle landscapes gradually give way to the scenic drama of mountain, crag and loch as the route crosses the Highland Boundary Fault and heads towards the Southern Highlands. With Loch Lomond, the Gareloch and Loch Long as its backdrop, the Three Lochs Way takes you on a fascinating journey through a necklace of communities strung along the Clyde Sealochs that fringe Scotland’s first National Park. Seldom rising above 250 m (820 ft), the route can easily be walked in 3 to 4 days. Well served by rail and bus, it also offers plenty of options for day walks, and there is a Geocache Trail associated with the route.

Highlights

  • stunning views over Loch Lomond as you cross the Highland Boundary Fault at Goukhill Muir
  • Stoneymollan Road, an ancient ‘coffin road’ used to carry the dead to consecrated ground
  • Helensburgh’s beautiful tree-lined streets, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece of domestic architecture, the Hill House
  • peaceful scenery in Glen Fruin (the scene of a famous clan battle in 1603)
  • the majestic Arrochar Alps, including the craggy ‘Cobbler’, the area’s finest mountain
  • Glen Loin woodlands, Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to red squirrels
  • impressive Sloy hydro electricity installations, built at the end of World War 2 with help from German POWs.

Be aware

  • there is a stretch of tarmac walking on minor road in Glen Fruin
  • power lines may intrude on the view in a few places

The challenge

The total ascent is approximately 1560 m (5120 ft), but the gradients are never severe. The challenge is not that great unless you decide to make it so by trying to complete it very quickly.

Accommodation

For accommodation listings, visit this page. There is a range of options in Balloch, Helensburgh, Garelochhead, Arrochar and Tarbet, but currently none at Inveruglas except for camping or chalets.

Support services

No dedicated baggage transfer service, but some accommodation hosts will provide pickups and/or baggage transfer by arrangement: book ahead and expect to pay a little extra.

Public transport

For detailed information, visit this page. In outline, Scotrail has good railway services from Glasgow (Queen Street) to Helensburgh (Central and Upper), Garelochhead and Arrochar/Tarbet on its West Highland Line to Crianlarich and beyond, and also a service to Balloch (terminus). Scottish Citylink has a bus service from Glasgow (Buchanan Street) that follows the A82 up the west shore of Loch Lomond, serving settlements along the route including Inveruglas (called Loch Sloy Power Station in many timetables).

From Inveruglas, in season (typically April to October), it is possible to travel onward across Loch Lomond by Waterbus.

For details, visit Traveline Scotland, or, for the entire UK, Traveline. For travel from anywhere to anywhere, try Rome2Rio.

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