might be known for the dramatic hiking trails on its remote
northern coastline, but you needn’t look far from the country’s
biggest cities to find somewhere for a good day’s hike. With this
in mind, we’ve gathered a handful of our favourite jaunts within
one hour of Glasgow. Just don’t forget to check the weather
Scottish strolls: our favourite day hikes around Glasgow
Officially crowned the most-climbed munro in Scotland, Ben
Lomond’s main artery up to the peak is often overcrowded, so we say
take the back route up Ptarmigan Ridge instead. Not only will you
avoid the crowds, you’ll also avoid backtracking on yourself by
making the route circular. En route you’ll pass a waterfall,
several cottages and a handful of deceiving false peaks, before
reaching the top, with its spectacular views of Loch Lomond
National Park. Just don’t forget your crampons.
Drumfrochar to Wemyss Bay
Winding between two train stations, this is the perfect spot for
those looking to stretch their legs without having to drive. Set
off from the lofty Greenock Cut aqueduct, then amble across a stone
bridge and onwards through great swathes of wild moorland. You’ll
pass several peaks along the way, before reaching the mirror-still,
midnight-blue waters of Kelly Reservoir. From here, it’s just a
30-minute stroll to Wemyss Bay, from where you can catch the train
straight back to Glasgow. Alternatively, choose to linger a while
and drink in the little cove’s hypnotic sea views across to the
Isle of Bute.
Helensburgh to Balloch on the John Muir Way
Taking in Helensburgh’s quiet roads and grassy paths, this
laid-back ramble covers the first 15km of the John Muir Way – a
long-distance coast-to-coast trail crisscrossing Scotland. After
passing through tranquil woods, you’ll reach the top of a gentle
munro, before being enchanted by 360-degree views of Loch Lomond
and the surrounding Trossachs. The trail ends in Balloch, where
you’ll find Balloch Castle and the Maid of the Loch – the last
paddle steamer to have been built in Britain.
This short but steep hike on the West Highland Way forms part of
the Highland Boundary Fault, which separates the Highlands to the
north from the southerly lowlands. Easily reachable by bus from
Glasgow city centre, the sharp conical mount looks out to
mesmerising views over the whole of Loch Lomond and its peppering
of islets, making it an easy win for new hillwalkers looking to
gently challenge themselves in return for a great reward.
Short but steep, the trek up to Earl’s Seat takes you up
Dumgoyne, one of the lesser-trodden munros in the Campsie Hills.
Pop into the 1833-established Glengoyne Distillery – a
postcard-pretty whisky producer – for a quick dram, then climb up
to Earl’s Seat and back down along the edge of the escarpment. At
just a 20-minute bus ride north of Glasgow, you can be up and down
the hill in time for high tea.