Garelochhead is situated at the head of Gare Loch, 7 miles northwest of Helensburgh. And just 35 miles from Glasgow.

Today, almost 1300 inhabitants live in the village. Compared to other villages in Scotland, Garelochhead is quite young because it was formed in the 1820s.

Even though it is a quiet place and visitors feel like being back in time, Garelochhead is interesting for a number of activities, especially for people who love water and yachting. For those who prefer a walk, Garelochhead’s forests are a good place to do so. Nearby Garelochhead are many possibilities for hillwalking including the hills Beinn Chaorach, Beinn a’Mhanaich and Beinn Eich. The village also has a community centre, the Gibson Hall and a bowling centre as well as an art gallery that opened in 2009.

An operation base of the Royal Navy, HMNB Clyde, is situated in Garelochhead but does not effect the beautiful view on Gare Loch. Also a British army training camp is near the village. Garelochhead has a number of accommodations with scenic views of the landscape. There is also a railway station in the village.

The Outdoor Education Centre in Garelochhead offers training for youth groups and schools. Nearby Garelochhead is the smaller village Shandon where the organisation Shandon Country Pursuits offers outdoor activities such as Clay Target Shooting, Archery and, off road drives.

Garelochhead has the following facilities

Church Nearby Fuel Station ATM Public Toilets School Local Shops Parking Train Nearby

Garelochhead: Exploring the Scenic Scottish Village

Garelochhead, a small town situated on the Gare Loch in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, holds historical and contemporary significance in the region. Established in the 1820s, the town originally served as a stop for steam cruise passengers, with as many as six steamers passing by at the height of its significance. Today, Garelochhead continues to draw travellers to its picturesque surroundings and rich local culture.

Located just 7 miles northwest of Helensburgh and with Loch Lomond mere miles to the east, Garelochhead is also known for its proximity to the HMNB Clyde naval base. The naval base has played a critical role in the town’s development since the Second World War, evolving into a sizeable naval establishment stretching along the loch’s shore. Visitors to Garelochhead can expect to encounter a unique blend of natural beauty, fascinating history, and naval connection.

Geography and Location

Garelochhead is a small town located in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It lies on the Gare Loch, a long fjord-like extension that stretches from the Clyde Estuary into the southern highlands. The town is situated 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Helensburgh and about 27 miles (43 km) northwest of Glasgow. It is the closest town to the HMNB Clyde naval base.

Surrounding Areas

At the head of Gare Loch, Garelochhead is surrounded by a beautiful landscape comprising hills, woodlands, and water bodies. The town lies close to the border of the county of Dunbartonshire, just 2 miles east of the Argyll and Bute border. Some nearby towns and cities include Helensburgh, 7 miles south-east, Glasgow, 27 miles to the south, Edinburgh, 64 miles to the east, and London, 369 miles to the south-east.

Transport Links

Garelochhead is well-connected by various modes of transport. The town has a railway station operating on the West Highland Line, offering train services to Glasgow and various destinations further north. It also has a bus station, which provides connections to Helensburgh, Glasgow, and other nearby towns.

The town is easily accessible by road as well, with the A814 and A817 major roads linking Garelochhead to surrounding areas and cities. The nearby Glasgow International Airport, 29 miles away, offers domestic and international flights, further enhancing the town’s connectivity to other parts of the UK and beyond.



Garelochhead, a small town in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, is located on the Gare Loch and began to develop in the 1820s. The town’s establishment was closely tied to the introduction of steamer cruises in the area, as it initially served to accommodate steam cruise passengers passing by. It saw significant growth in the 1850s when summer steamer services were in high demand, with as many as six steamers calling at Garelochhead each day. The arrival of the railway in 1894 further boosted the town’s development, as it provided a connection from Glasgow to Crianlarich and Fort William.

Military Presence

Garelochhead is also home to a military training camp, which was first established in 1940 during World War II. Initially built to train and accommodate up to 22,000 American servicemen for Operation Overlord, the camp continues to serve as a training facility near the town. Additionally, Garelochhead’s proximity to the HMNB Clyde naval base has further cemented its importance in the region’s military history.

Local Attractions

Garelochhead, a picturesque village located in the Scottish Highlands, offers a variety of local attractions for visitors. The beautiful surroundings provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities, while the area’s rich history and culture offer a collection of unique sites to explore.

Outdoor Activities

One of the main attractions in Garelochhead is Gare Loch. This lovely body of water extends along the length of Helensburgh to Garelochhead, providing visitors with beautiful scenery and a variety of water-based activities such as:

  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing

For those who prefer land-based activities, Garelochhead is just a stone’s throw away from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The park offers a wide range of outdoor pursuits, including:

  • Hiking and walking trails
  • Wildlife spotting
  • Cycling

4×4 Adventures Scotland in nearby Luss is another popular option for outdoor enthusiasts. This attraction allows visitors to take part in exciting off-road experiences within the breathtaking surroundings of the Highlands.

Cultural Sites

Garelochhead may be a small village, but it boasts a rich history and a unique cultural heritage. There are several sites in the area that offer visitors a glimpse into the past. One such site is the Royal Navy’s Faslane Naval Base. Although not open for public tours, the base’s impressive fleet of submarines and naval vessels can sometimes be spotted from the shores of Gare Loch.

In addition to its maritime history, Garelochhead is home to several historic buildings and landmarks, such as:

  • Knockderry House Hotel: A beautiful Victorian country house with Gothic architectural features
  • Woodside Lodge on Loch Goil: A charming early 20th-century cottage situated on the banks of Loch Goil

These local attractions in Garelochhead and its nearby areas ensure that visitors will have an unforgettable experience exploring the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

Services and Amenities


Garelochhead offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveller’s needs. From holiday rentals to comfortable hotels, guests can find the perfect place to stay during their visit. Airbnb listings in Garelochhead provide an array of holiday rentals, including stylish homes with comfortable amenities. Additionally, TripAdvisor showcases vacation rentals like cabins and villas for those seeking a more unique experience during their stay.

Food and Drink

Garelochhead provides visitors with various options for food and drink. The village has local cafés and restaurants where guests can indulge in delicious meals and experience the region’s cuisine. With its close proximity to Helensburgh, just 8 miles away, visitors can also explore a wider selection of dining options, including pubs and fine dining establishments in the neighbouring town.

Explore Garelochhead

Use the search feature below to explore accommodations, activities, attractions, and places to eat and drink, in and around Garelochhead.

Toggle Filters
Filter by label:

Filter by type:

Loading results...