Dominated by its Castle (known locally as ‘the Rock’) Dumbarton sits 15 miles downstream from Glasgow where the River Clyde meets the River Leven. Formerly the Capitol of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, the town has a history stretching back to the 8th century. However it wasn’t until the 19th century that Dumbarton really began to prosper. It was then that banks of the Leven became a centre for the shipbuilding and marine engineering industries. Dumbarton’s shipyards prided themselves in their adaptability and branched out into the construction of many other craft including aeroplanes, hovercraft and the first ever helicopter capable of flight. But time moved taking with it the shipbuilding and the last shipyard closed in 1963.
Today the production of whisky is Dumbarton’s principal industry and the harbour is the domain of pleasure craft. Yachtsmen take advantage of the excellent sailing conditions and plentiful moorings, using the harbour as a base from which to explore the magnificent surround waterways. The town itself has been completely redeveloped attracting affluent new residents and tourists in their droves. The vibrant new town centre offers excellent shopping, dining and drinking. There are three public parks, distillery tours, the fascinating Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank, the ‘Rock’ of course and countless beautiful walks.
Dumbarton may well have changed its appearance over the last half century but one thing for sure it hasn’t lost its sense of pride and more than anything else Dumbarton is proud of its hospitality.