If you're looking for a fun day trip filled with pretty sail boats, cool sea air, fresh seafood and lazy Sunday walks along the pier, Helensburgh will tick all of these boxes.
The weekend brought us the most glorious weather here in Glasgow – the kind that makes you crave a stroll along the beach with the sand beneath your feet and an ice cream in your hand. Okay, so it wasn't quite that hot, but when you live in Scotland, anything other than freezing feels like summer!
Although Scotland is an unlikely contender for some of the UK's most beautiful beaches, living in Glasgow without a car means day trips by train can't always stretch as far as some of those picture perfect beach locations.
However, if it's water you want littered with pretty sail boats, cool sea air, fresh seafood and lazy Sunday walks along a pier, then Helensburgh will tick all of these boxes.
Situated 25 miles north of Glasgow in the district of Argyll and Bute, Helensburgh is about an hour by train from Glasgow city centre.
The train journey itself has beautiful scenery along the way, so the adventure begins before you've even arrived! And at only £6.60 return, the trip is an affordable excursion.
When you arrive at Helensburgh, you are greeted by a clean and relatively modern town, lined with sweet cafes and unique independent shops. What really takes precedence here though, is the breathtaking mountains and hills views that immediately grab any visitor's attention.
A short walk along from the railway station is the town square, which again is very picturesque and home to the parish church. Across from this, you can take a stroll to the water front and this is where the town really comes into its own.
When you reach the water front, the (almost) sea air hits you instantly, bringing with it the smell of fish and chips and the sound of children playing. At the same time, if you get a nice day as we did, as the sun warms your face and the cool air wraps itself around you, you can't help but feel like a kid on holiday.
The "beach" (I use the term loosely as this beach is sat on the Firth of Clyde, so it's more of a river bank) is one of stone and shingle, but home to a typical beach style pier for admiring the opposite bay of the Rosneath peninsula. As well as shops, cafes and restaurants along this stretch, there is an indoor pool and skate park. This is a great place to bring the dog for long walk and the children will enjoy collecting shells and stones, as well as dipping their feet in the water – even if it is freezing!
For those of you who fancy going a bit further afield, you can continue to walk along the river where you will find plenty of family friendly pubs dotted just off the shore. We visited "The Commodore" and found it cosy, warm and a great place to watch the sunset from the window with a pint of Guinness.
Along this route there is also a great play park for children set on a grassy bank with a nice beach style cafe next door to keep everyone happy. The coffee here is a real winner.
I would certainly recommend Helensburgh for a day trip for any Glasgow mummy's and I will certainly be back myself!
The Balloon Festival features all sorts of entertainment in the park, during the Family Fun Day: music, dancers, birds of prey to see up close, a fun fair, stalls, classic vehicles and much, much more.