My first visit to Glen Fruin
I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Dumbarton" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures
I moved to Alexandria in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland in October 1996. I purchased the bike I have now the year after. I started to do some bikerides that same fall. During the first tour to Helensburgh, I had a look at Glen Fruin and really liked what I saw. So this tour was high on my 1998 agenda.
I set off from my flat an early morning for Balloch up past Jamestown. At the bus station, I turned to left and over the old road up towards and onto the cycle path which took me over a small hill to the posh Cameron Hotel. I went over Duck Bay to Arden and the start of the hill climb up to Glen Fruin. After a small, but hard climb, I reached a crossroad. Straight ahead lay Glen Fruin and I crossed over to this road. The road went into a pretty steep climb up and past a farm where it fell down to the valley floor again and Glen Fruin proper.
Glen Fruin is nothing less than an oasis and a beautiful hidden valley. Well, there is a new main road up in the hillside which is a bit noisy. But besides of this, this valley is tranquil and very pleasing. It is a beautiful place and one of Scotland's hidden gems. It is also full of sheep and cows. I continued up past the sheep and cows to the head of the valley where the British Army has some installations going back to the second world war. This is also the place where a large clan battle was fought some hundred years ago. A cairn has been erected in memory of this battle.
A short, but very steep climb followed from the valley up to a small col. The views in all directions were brilliant (still is, btw). I soon had brilliant views over the naval base and Garelochhead below. A hairy, but fun descent on this small narrow road down to the naval base followed. I took the main road over Rhu down to Helensburgh again where I had a break at the pier. I was soon on my way again over the two hills before and after Cardross to Dumbarton. I took the road past Renton to my flat again after this nice bikeride.
This bikeride is actually an excellent bikeride with only a few serious hills, but plenty of excellent views who more than compensates for these hill climbs. Glen Fruin is a brilliant ride in itself. But the rest is also very good. It is a recommended bikeride.