Dunbartonshire is situated North of the River Clyde, close to Glasgow in the central lowlands of Scotland. Split administratively into two parts, East Dunbartonshire is to the North of Glasgow with Campsie Fells and Kilpatrich Hills to the West. West Dunbartonshire is situated to the West of Glasgow and comprises many of the city’s commuter towns and villages. Nearby are Stirling, Argyll and Bute and Renfrewshire.
What’s Dunbartonshire like?
The area is very varied, with close links to Glasgow, yet on the doorstep of magnificent countryside, so Dunbartonshire offers much to its visitors.
Outdoor activities in Dunbartonshire
Dunbartonshire is able to offer the tourist a wide range of outdoor activities, from country parks, to walking, sailing, cycling, fishing, skiing, snowboarding (at the Bearden Ski and Board Club) and golf (at Campsie and Kirkintilloch Golf Clubs), for example. Or why not attempt to walk at least part of the West Highland Way which starts at Milngavie and ends (eventually) in Fort William.
Geographically close to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (the fourth largest park in the UK), Dunbartonshire is a fantastic base for loch and mountain sports. Inchmurrin Island on Loch Lomond is the largest fresh water island in the British Isles and offers many water-based sports, including canoeing and windsurfing.
East Dunbartonshire’s Mugdock Country Park is one of Scotland’s most popular attractions. Ten miles North of Glasgow, this park sports views of the Campsie Fells and is the home to Mugdock Castle – both park and castle have an active calendar of events.
History, Museums and Tourist Attractions
Dunbartonshire offers many attractions to tempt visitors. The Erskine Bridge across the Clyde, for example – it is a massive box girder bridge with cable stays. At 1720 feet long (not including the two approach spans), it bears the weight of around 26,000 crossings each day.
Balloch castle and country park, on the shores of Loch Lomond, twenty miles North of Glasgow, are very popular with visitors offering nature trails and guided walks in the grounds of a Scottish Baronial style castle. The castle, built in 1808 using the stone from a previous construction, hosts the Balloch Highland Games each Summer, as well as music shows and other events.
Dumbarton Castle, sited overlooking the Clyde, and built onto volcanic rock, encourages the visitor to climb its 500 steps to reach the peak. It has been a fortress and royal residence, and the centre of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde which was attacked by Vikings. It now contains an interactive family trail but is not suitable for visitors with limited mobility.
Heritage Centres in the area can also be of much interest to the visitor – East Dunbartonshire is home to Milngavie Heritage Centre which provides much local historical information, especially on the Antonine Wall (a stone and turf fortification built by Romans across the centre of Scotland) and the Roman Bath House in Bearsden. Many other Dunbartonshire towns have their own heritage centres, for example Clydebank and Dumbarton.
The Clydebank Museum and Art Gallery located in Clydebank’s Town Hall, includes many galleries and exhibitions, notably the Singer Sewing Machine Collection and some large model ships at the museum entrance. Also, in the Clydebank area, the Clyde Shopping Centre is great for day out, incorporating about 100 retailers, cinema and restaurants. Staying in Clydebank, the Titan Crane allows the visitor to take a lift to its 150 ft peak for spectacular views, and the Auchentosham Distillery and Visitors Centre offers interesting tours.
Getting to Dunbartonshire
Dunbartonshire is a well-populated area which benefits from great road and motorway links. Most areas within both East and West Dunbartonshire can be conveniently reached by rail, by car and by plane (Glasgow International Airport).
Staying in Dunbartonshire
The visitor to Dunbartonshire will be spoilt for choice with the properties we offer. Whether based nearer to Glasgow, to Loch Lomond or to the Stirling area, we offer the visitor to Dunbartonshire a fantastic array of holiday cottages, hotels, bed and breakfasts, pubs and guest houses. Some traditional, some budget, some in the midst of activity and some more quietly placed, we offer accommodation for all pockets and requirements. Do take a look at our listings below for more information.