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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > Scotland > Central Belt > Clydeside > Dumbarton


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Dumbarton Castle from the South side of the River Clyde

Dumbarton is a Royal Burgh (town) in Clydeside, Scotland. Dumbarton is in West Dunbartonshire Council Area.

The town does has some attractions, notably the castle, which is on a districtive hill like Edinburgh and Stirling castles, but has also attracted some unfavourable reviews: "Dumbarton is a brutal concrete sprawl, fulfilling every last hellish cliche about post-war planning and architecture" - so says the 1994 edition of The Rough Guide to Scotland.

The Denny Tank Museum is also worth a visit, but there is not a great deal to be seen in the modern town centre. The town could be comfortably explored as a day trip from Glasgow.

The population is just over 20,000. You may have seen the town on BBC television in Scotland as the set for the soap opera River City, a northern version of Eastenders. Whisky blending and bonded storage is a major industry in the town. The bonded warehouses can be seen as you enter the town from the east.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Electric trains serve the three stations in Dumbarton, from Queen Street station (low level) in Glasgow, with about four trains per hour, going to Helensburgh or Balloch. Some trains also provide a direct service from Edinburgh.

1 Dumbarton Central station is the station nearest the town centre, and also has occasional West Highland Railway trains on the Glasgow - Oban/Fort William Route.

2 Dumbarton East station is the nearest station for the castle.

3 Dalreoch station is closest to the picturesque Levengrove Park.

Get around[edit]


Dumbarton Rock, from Levengrove Park
  • 1 Dumbarton Castle, +44 1389 732167. It features a castle on top of a rock, overlooking the Firth of Clyde. It was an important royal refuge. Quite a lot of steps to climb to get the top, but the view is worth it. Dumbarton Castle (Q2177200) on Wikidata Dumbarton Castle on Wikipedia
  • 2 Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank, Castle Street, G82 1QS, +44 1389 763444. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. A shipyard model test tank built in 1882. Now part of the Scottish Maritime Museum, but still used occasionally for real tests. Adults £2. Scottish Maritime Museum (Q7437853) on Wikidata Scottish Maritime Museum on Wikipedia
  • 3 Levengrove Park. Given to the town's people by the Denny shipbuilding family. Large mature parkland, dramatically positioned between the Rivers Leven and Clyde. Contains many play areas for children, mature trees and flower beds. Dramatic views of the castle can be found at the bottom of the park. Remains of an old parish church can be found in the park.
  • 4 Geilston Gardens, Main Road, Cardross, G82 5HD. 1 Apr to 31 Oct, daily, 9:30AM-5:00PM. A National Trust for Scotland Garden, which dates from 1797. There is a fine walled garden around Geilston House (not open), a riverside area around Geilston Burn and a fruit and vegetable garden. In season there is a table offering fruit and vegetables for sale. Adult: £6.50. Geilston Garden (Q5530144) on Wikidata Geilston Garden on Wikipedia
  • 5 Overtoun House and Gardens (3km east from Dumbarton). Overtoun House (Q3396849) on Wikidata Overtoun House on Wikipedia


  • Watch football (aka soccer) at 1 Dumbarton FC, G82 1JJ. They play in Scottish League One, the third tier of Scottish football. The stadium, capacity 2000, is next to the castle.


  • Dumbarton High Street has a collection of lower end shops with a small shopping centre, the Artizan Centre.
  • There is a small outdoor shopping centre, which contains an ASDA on the Glasgow road near the Denny Tank. There is also a Morissons supermarket just across the road.



  • 1 The Captain James Lang, 97–99 High Street, Dumbarton, G82 1LF, +44 1389 742112. daily 8AM-midnight (kitchen closes 11PM). Wetherspoon's pub with real ales and food in the art deco former Woolworth's building built in 1922.


  • 1 Dumbuck Hotel, Glasgow Road. 16 room hotel in an 18th century mansion house fom £40.
  • Travelodge Dumbarton, A82 Stirling Road Milton, G82 2TZ, +44 871 984 6133 (13p per minute in addition to regular charges; £2.50 booking fee).

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