View over Firth of Clyde

JMW Highlandman’s Hike

A 6.5 mile walking loop around Helensburgh and Rhu, with great views across the Firth of Clyde, and lots of history along the way!

This short walk is a great way to explore the immediate surroundings of Helensburgh initially along the John Muir Way before joining local footpaths to Rhu. The route passes Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s acclaimed Hill House, before heading through woodland to an ancient cup and ring marked rock and then along the Highlandman’s Road drovers route to Rhu.

View from Highlandman's Road

Highlandman’s Hike

  • Distance: 6.5 miles / 10.4 km
  • Average time to complete: 2.5 hours
  • Total Elevation: 172 metres
  • Degree of Difficulty: Medium

This route uses a mixture of pavements, unsealed footpaths and forestry track. The footpath along the northern part of the loop can be rutted with roots so take care. Although it’s a relatively short loop, JMW have graded it ‘medium’ due to the hill up to the Hill House and a moderately steep descent down Highlandman’s Road to Rhu. The return along the coast is entirely flat.

The John Muir Way team have developed walking and cycling day-trips based around parts of the main JMW route, but also using other local paths to create a micro adventure. These round trips are easily accessible by public transport, and there are 3 routes based around Helensburgh:

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