Bearsden is a small town in Scotland, situated about 6 miles north west of Glasgow. It is largely suburban, and with the exception of the Roman Wall sites and one or two isolated buildings, was entirely built after 1850, with impressive sandstone houses in the town centre. Its proximity to the start of the West Highland Way makes it a realistic alternative to staying in Milngavie before starting the long distance walk.
Bearsden is around 6 miles North-west of the centre of Glasgow. Parking in the town is generally easy and free. Westerton can be reached from the Forth and Clyde canal. Trains destined for Milngavie stop at all three Bearsden stations and are at least half-hourly, but trains to Westerton are more frequent, because trains to Dalmuir also stop there. However, as it takes a pleasant 25 minutes to walk to Hillfoot from Westerton, it's better to wait for the right train.
Regular trains (usually 2 per hour) run from Glasgow (Queen Street Station Low Level) to Bearsden and Hillfoot. Some of these trains start in Edinburgh, taking about 1.5 hours. There are also usually 2 trains per hour from Glasgow Central. It is possible to change trains at stations along the route (e.g. Partick) to improve journey options.
You can walk almost everywhere, Bearsden is a small place.
- UNESCO World Heritage site, the Roman Antonine Wall, including remains of a military bath house on Roman Road (free to visit).
- Kilmardinny Loch is a small body of water surrounded by trees. It is possible to walk around the footpath in about 10 minutes, and see large wooden sculptures inspired by the illustrations for local author Julia Donaldson's "The Gruffalo" children's books.
- Get fit, have fun and go on the dry ski slope. Hire regular skis, snowboards and go tubing.
- Walk along the Allander Water (tributary of the River Kelvin) from Dobbies Garden Centre to Milngavie town centre.
- There are a number of small independent shops at Bearsden Cross and a Marks & Spencer food store. There are other small shopping centres in the town, including Baljaffray and Kessington (which is opposite a large ASDA store).
- Dobbies Garden Centre. Has a large selection of garden, pet and gift items and a delicatessen/butcher. It also has a large (and generally busy) coffee shop.
- The Burnbrae, Milngavie Rd. Traditional pub with open fires and wholesome food.
- The Tickled Trout, Boclair Rd (Next to Dobbies Garden Centre). Traditional pub with open fires and wholesome food.
- There are a number of take-aways and restaurants at Bearsden cross, including Italian and Spanish cuisine. For a very special take-away, try "Lobster Supper" (lobster and chips) from the Wee Fry near Hillfoot station.
- The Inn. Modern looking public house beside the train station.
- Accommodation is available at a small number of private bed and breakfasts, and there is a Premier Inn at the Burnbrae (see Eat section).
- East Dunbartonshire council can provide advice for tourists, including accommodation, eating out and places to visit.