- From - to: Bell’s Bridge in Glasgow to Loch Lomond
- Distance: 20 miles
- Terrain: Tarmac and gravel, largely traffic-free
- Access: Train stations in Glasgow and throughout the route, ending at Balloch.
- National Cycle Network: National Route 7
The route starts at Bell’s Bridge on National Route 7 of the National Cycle Network close to the Glasgow Science Centre. Heading west along the River Clyde, the route passes The Tall Ship before heading away from the river’s edge. After passing close to the docks of Clydebank, the route joins the towpath of the Forth and Clyde Canal, passing under the Erskine Bridge, and past The Saltings Ecology Park into Bowling.
At Bowling Basin there are toilets and a cafe to make sure you're ready to continue your journey, as well as lovely views of the harbour and the River Clyde to take in before you leave. You'll see one of our Millennium Mileposts and an information board about the Forth & Clyde Canal, for those interested in the history of the area.
The proceeding off-road sealed track is an easy ride through quiet forests, aside from crossing a busy road just outside of Bowling. Dismount cycles here and cross on foot, as there is no official crossing and the roundabout nearby generates a lot of traffic. On the outskirts of residential area Milton, users on foot have the chance to join the Crags Circular Path, an 8-mile walk through Dumbarton and out into the countryside.
Arriving in Dumbarton, the path enters a residential area, though stays traffic-free for a short time, before going on road through the town. Roads range from quiet to busy, though the route is well signed through the town and across the River Leven, where it becomes off-road for the remainder of the route. Visitors may wish to visit the impressive castle, situated atop a plug of volcanic basalt, 240 feet high, known as Dumbarton Rock. As a child, Mary Queen of Scots hid in the castle, which has the longest recorded history of any British castle, dating back to 450AD.
Continue to follow the River Leven, which powered a host of leading industrial textile mills from the 18th Century. The route passes by the communities of Renton and Alexandria, following the river through a mix of residential areas and countryside, complete with berries to pick throughout autumn.
As you come into Alexandria, you’ll pass under the brightly painted Bonhill Bridge, also known as the ‘Rainbow Bridge’, which links the communities of Alexandria and Bonhill. Opened in 1987, the bridge is the third of its kind, after the previous two incarnations were deemed unsuitable for the increasing volume of traffic since 1836.
Once you see moored boats you’re near the journey’s end at Balloch, and from here visitors can visit Loch Lomond, one of Scotland’s natural highlights. At Loch Lomond Shores, you’ll find the Sea Life Centre, shops, cafes and a wealth of leisure activities. Visit the historic steamship Maid of the Loch, Loch Lomond's Paddle Steamer, or continue on into the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, where there are endless activities to undertake throughout the 720 square miles of beautiful mountains, glens and lochs!
Things to see and do
Map shows the Lochs & Glens South cycle route and surrounding area.
Running from the heart of Glasgow to the beauty of Loch Lomond, this almost entirely traffic-free route follows parts of the disused Partick to Yoker railway from Glasgow to Clydebank, the towpath of the Forth and Clyde Canal through to Bowling and again an old railway into Dumbarton.