town in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, UK

Bearsden is a town 6 miles northwest of Glasgow in East Dunbartonshire on Clydeside, with a population of 28,470 in 2020. The main reason to visit is the Roman bath house, built in the brief period when the Romans occupied the Antonine Wall.



The Romans built a military road north from the Clyde along the shore of Loch Lomond into the Highlands, as well as a coast-to-coast defence, the Antonine Wall, with an associated road. Here the two roads intersected, so there was a large fort, and probably a civilian settlement. But the Romans only stayed 20 years then retreated to Hadrian's Wall so the brambles reclaimed the site and it never became the nucleus of a town. Nothing much else happened for over 1000 years. In 1649 a new church was built, dividing the parish of Kilpatrick that had been almost the size of Dunbartonshire, with a huddle of buildings around it.

Milngavie a few miles north developed industry in this early modern period, but New or Easter Kilpatrick remained farmland until 1863 when the railway arrived. It suddenly became an attractive place for Glasgow businessmen to build their mansions, just far enough away from the malodorous source of their fortunes. Suddenly there was a prosperous new commuter suburb, with handsome Victorian red sandstone buildings, many of which still stand. The suburb took its name from Bearsden railway station, which in turn was from the nearby Bearsden House. No-one knows where that name originated, except that no bears were involved. The town adopted a coat of arms and motto "Bear the Gree" which means to take first place, to excel — "gree" indicates degree, status or pedigree.

Get in


Trains run from Glasgow to Bearsden every 15 min, taking just under 20 min. They run both from Glasgow Queen Street (lower level) every 30 min originating in Edinburgh, and from Glasgow Central every 30 min originating in Motherwell. Both services run via Partick and Westerton so you can interchange, and they continue from Bearsden to Hillfoot (handier for the east side of town) and Milngavie.

1 Bearsden railway station is at the south end of town along Drymen Road, with Hillfoot station half a mile east. Bearsden has a staffed ticket office and machines, a waiting room but no toilets. There is level access to Platform 1 (towards Glasgow) and a ramp to Platform 2.

By bus: Glasgow Citybus 15 runs from Glasgow North Frederick St via Hillhead, Kelvinside and Anniesland to Bearsden, taking 55 min, and continuing to Milngavie. It runs M-Sa hourly.

By road exit M8 onto A81 and head north via Maryhill.

Get around


You can walk almost everywhere, Bearsden is a small place.

Taxi firms are Station Taxi (+44 141 942 4555) and Allander (+44 141 942 9000).

  • 1 Roman Bath House, Roman Road G61 2HS. 24 hr. The Antonine Wall was built more simply than Hadrian's Wall, and the Romans only occupied it from 142 to 162 AD then again briefly after 208, so its remains are sparse. But building work here in the 1970s uncovered a Roman bathhouse, with seven rooms, plus hot and cold water systems and latrines which showed traces of the military diet. So it's the most extensive Roman structure in Scotland. It was part of New Kilpatrick wall fort, with Bearsden wall fort a couple of miles west, but hardly anything remains of these. Free.
  • 2 Kilmardinny Loch, Kilmardinny Ave G61 3NN. 24 hr. This small freshwater loch has a footpath dotted with wooden sculptures of the Gruffalo creations of Julia Donaldson, who lived locally 1989-2014. It'll take most of ten minutes to stroll around. The Art Centre overlooking the loch is now run by the council and hired out for weddings and the like. Free.    
Gruffalo sculpture at Kilmardinny Loch
  • 1 Bearsden Ski Club, The Mound, Stockiemuir Rd G61 3RS, +44 141 943 1500, . Su-F 9:30AM-6PM, Sa 1-10PM. Beginners and kids facility with main slope 100 m of Dendix, freestyle and nursery slopes are made of less abrasive Snowflex. They hire regular skis and snowboards; they also have tubing parties. Hours vary considerably (eg when booked out for groups) so check ahead. Two hours with kit hire adult £20, child £15.
  • Bearden Golf Club is at the west edge of town. This is a nine-hole course, but with alternate greens to make an 18-hole round of 5512 yards, par 68. Adult 9 holes £15, 18 £20. Other nearby courses are Glasgow Golf Club at Killermount, Douglas Park Golf Course at Hillfoot, Windyhill near Baljaffray, and three around Milngavie.
  • Allander Water flows south from the hills around Milngavie and along the east edge of Bearsden to join the River Kelvin. There's a firm walkway, which continues south along the Kelvin into Glasgow Maryhill.
  • Bearsden & Milngavie Highland Games are held in June at the West of Scotland rugby ground, midway between Bearsden and Milngavie. The next are on Sa 8 June 2024.
  • There are several small independent shops at Bearsden Cross and a Marks & Spencer food store. ADSA is at the junction of Boclair Rd and Milngavie Rd.
  • There's a straggle of places along Milngavie Road, with a couple more on Drymen Road.
  • Burnbrae, Milngavie Rd G61 3TA (next to Premier Inn). Daily 8:30AM-11:30PM. Greene-King traditional pub with open fires, good food and service.
  • 1 The Tickled Trout, 878 Boclair Rd G62 6EP (next to Dobbies Garden Centre). Daily noon-11PM. Reliable pub with good selection of food, dog-friendly.
  • 2 Monadh Kitchen, 19 New Kirk Rd, Bearsden G61 3SJ, +44 141 258 6420. Tu-Sa noon-2PM, 5-8:30PM. This bistro gets great reviews for its modern Scottish cuisine.


Roman bath house
  • The Station, 2 Station Rd, G61 4AN, +44 141 942 6752. Daily 11AM-midnight. Pub with food in a former station building at Bearsden railway station, a handy refuge whenever Scotrail leave you waiting in the drizzle.


  • 1 Premier Inn Glasgow Bearsden, 279 Milngavie Rd, G61 3DQ (A81 behind Burnbrae pub), +44 871 527 8418. Reliable budget chain hotel. B&B double £70.
  • There's another Premier Inn just 200 yards north, see Milngavie listing.
  • 2 Boclair House Hotel, 100 Milngavie Road, G61 2TQ, +44 141 942 4278. Upscale 15-room hotel in an 1890 mock-Tudor building, does a lot of weddings and similar functions. B&B double from £100.


Bearsden ski slope

As of July 2021, Bearsden has 4G from all UK carriers. 5G has not yet reached this area.

Go next

  • You need to transit Glasgow to reach most other destinations, but don't just treat it as a transport hub — it's a great city that deserves several days to explore.
  • From Milngavie the West Highland Way leads to Loch Lomond, and eventually all the way to Fort William.
  • The Forth & Clyde canal runs south of town from Glasgow via Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth then descends into West Lothian.

Routes through Bearsden
TrossachsMilngavie  N   SE  Glasgow

This city travel guide to Bearsden is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.