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   Helensburgh, Scotland

    The most spectacular approach to Helensburgh is from Loch Lomondside. Arriving in the town only four miles along the B832 road, visitors see it from its highest point, looking down over a wide-spreading bay flanked by the wooded peninsulas of Ardmore and Rosneath. The mountain peaks of the Isle of Arran rise on the southern skyline. There may be fleets of dinghies racing offshore, grander yachts heading out for the West Highland sailing grounds, Royal Navy vessels making their way to or from the nearby Clyde Submarine Base, one of the river ferries, and perhaps a luxury cruise liner moored across the water at the port of Greenock.

    As well as its supermarkets and multiple stores, Helensburgh has a great variety of privately owned retail shops and other businesses. There are hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafés and coffee shops, some with outside tables in the square.

    There's golf, tennis, bowling and putting. Walks include meandering pathways in the Duchess Woods. The higher-level Upland Way footpath skirts the grounds of the town's most notable architectural feature, the Hill House designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Hermitage Park has lawns, gardens and a woodland stream, while the river-front promenade to Kidston Park passes memorials to two of Helensburgh's most famous personalities: Henry Bell, operator of the world's first commercial sea-going steamboat, the Comet, and television pioneer John Logie Baird.

P.S. Waverley sails from Helensburgh to Inellan, Dunoon,Rothesay and round the Kyles of Bute during the summer season.

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