Geilston Garden and Tom na h’Airidh

View from Tom na h'Airidh
View from Tom na h’Airidh
Tom na h’Airidh is a small (354m) hill behind Helensburgh on the Firth of Clyde. (The name is Gaelic for “Knoll of the Shieling”, a shieling being a summer residence for cattle and goats.) We recently climbed to the top following the route on the excellent walkhighlands site – but we’d already made a couple of stops before we got started.

Geilston Garden is a National Trust for Scotland property at Cardross, just outside Helensburgh, and we spent the morning strolling round there. It surrounds Geilston House (which is not open to the public) with informal sections resplendent at the time with rhododendrons and azaleas……

….and behind the house, a beautiful Walled Garden dominated by a 100-ft Wellingtonia tree (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the centre of the lawn (and plenty of benches to admire it from).

Well, if you’ve read any of my other walks you will know the importance of lunch so after the exertions (?) of our morning stroll we headed down into Helensburgh to sample the tapas at La Barca (not bad at all). I like to think our climb burned the calories off, but I fear not.

The first part of the walk up Tom na h’Airidh is through oak woodland and forestry plantation – not particularly photogenic and extremely wet underfoot, so there was a fair amount of cursing going on. Once out of the trees, the open moorland was a bit drier (but not entirely so). My two objections to Scottish hillwalking are bogs and tussocks and this walk had both in abundance.

Here we are at the top, with the cairn to prove it – I look very pleased with myself!

Time to enjoy more views as we retraced our steps back to the car….

….which was parked outside Hill House, masterpiece of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The house (also NTS) was closed by then – I’ve been inside many times but never blogged about it. Another time!

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks – visit her site for more cyber-walking.


45 thoughts on “Geilston Garden and Tom na h’Airidh

  1. Pit August 3, 2015 / 13:00

    Thanks for taking me there, Anabel, and have a great day,


  2. lovetotrav August 3, 2015 / 13:22

    My in-laws are in Scotland right now and it is their very first trip outside of North America at ages above 75! I,of course, have been trying to convince them for years to travel but at least they finally went. They have emailed to say they now have the travel bug πŸ™‚ so yay for Scotland! Of course, I get it but until people see it for themselves and do it for themselves it is hard to convince them. Your photos are always so gorgeous so it makes me think Scotland must be just one of those countries that is a photographer’s dream. Have a great rest of your Monday.


  3. Heyjude August 3, 2015 / 14:23

    I love cyber walking. All the views without the pain. I’d have stopped in the garden πŸ™‚


    • Anabel Marsh August 3, 2015 / 18:54

      Thanks Anne! I’ve had these stockpiled for a while, didn’t do it all at once!


  4. Birgit August 3, 2015 / 18:11

    What a great walk and some of the views are so beautiful. I love the little door-it looks like a door to another world-possibly gnomes:) The blue poppies are so pretty and I love blue. What a great walk!!


  5. restlessjo August 3, 2015 / 19:38

    Oh, please do! Blog about Hill House! Pretty please πŸ™‚ It’s on my list but I don’t seem to be making much headway 😦
    On the other hand, those gardens are really lovely. Many thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


    • Anabel Marsh August 3, 2015 / 19:42

      I shall have to make you wait a while! Building up stocks of island posts at the moment.


      • restlessjo August 3, 2015 / 19:47

        I’m a bit the same with walks. I did another lovely one today but heaven knows when… πŸ™‚ I’m in the Algarve at the end of the month and then I’ll have even more! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. dormousetidings August 3, 2015 / 21:15

    Blue poppies! I’d go there just to see them; gorgeous πŸ™‚


    • Anabel Marsh August 3, 2015 / 21:53

      They are! I’ve seen them in several gardens recently.


  7. anotherday2paradise August 3, 2015 / 21:32

    What a great walk and climb! I’m not surprised you were very pleased with yourself. Lovely views and flowers, Anabel. Thanks for taking me along with you. I’ve never been to Scotland. It definitely looks worth a visit.


  8. Laura Bloomsbury August 4, 2015 / 08:46

    the highs feel like such an achievement – certainly worth those views. p.s.Good to see Hill House ‘in the flesh’ as it were – at a recent RM exhibition was admiring the miniature models he made for it


    • Anabel Marsh August 4, 2015 / 09:50

      Glad you liked it. I must post some pictures of the interior some day. There are lots of models in The Lighthouse in Glasgow of buildings he designed but that were never built. Fascinating!


  9. KaTy Did August 4, 2015 / 16:02

    Just one beautiful walk I just took with you πŸ™‚


  10. Sue Archer August 5, 2015 / 01:16

    That walled garden looks like a wonderful place to sit down for a while. And that view from the top! So worth seeing. I’m feeling like I should go out for a walk now. πŸ™‚


  11. Donna August 5, 2015 / 04:55

    The flowers are so beautiful, especially the field of bluebells. I was disappointed that they only grow in a few states on this side of the Atlantic and Minnesota is definitely not one of them. I had to look up what a tussok was. I wouldn’t like walking through those either.


    • Anabel Marsh August 5, 2015 / 08:26

      Definitely uncomfortable! I’m always complaining about them. Very sore on the feet and ankles and very good for tripping over.


  12. susan@marsha'sbungalow August 5, 2015 / 05:21

    I’d have had to sit on one of those benches and marveled at those blue poppies. Excellent walk!


  13. Alex Hurst August 6, 2015 / 09:21

    What a beautiful area!! I felt like I was looking in on a time warp of charming countryside… It’s great that Ireland still has places like that.


      • Alex Hurst August 6, 2015 / 23:38

        *embarrassed* I am so sorry! πŸ˜› I knew when I was typing that it was wrong. My brain was confusing Gaelic and Celtic!


        • Anabel Marsh August 7, 2015 / 07:58

          Ah, but we can both be both! Much shared heritage – and only a short hop over the Irish Sea separates us. Forgiven!

          Liked by 1 person

  14. clicksclan August 9, 2015 / 16:01

    Looks lovely. My mum and stepdad lovely visiting all the National Trust gardens, I’m going to have to bookmark some of your blog posts to share with them when they’re next planning a trip. πŸ˜‰


  15. catbirdinchina August 10, 2015 / 12:18

    I came here by way of Joe’s Monday Walks. It’s nice to follow along on your walk through Geilston Garden & Tom na h’Airidh, even with the bogs and tussocks! Thanks for sharing your lovely day!


  16. budgettraveltalk August 14, 2015 / 09:20

    Great photos and I love the porthole photos, I feel like I’m looking through a looking glass. Cool.


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