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Welcome to Explore West Dunbartonshire

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THE MAID OF THE LOCH turned 70 in 2023.

For more on this amazing project see : index.asp?pageid=715792 and index.asp?pageid=732265

MAPS : This website uses ///what3words to locate places and features. If you have downloaded the app, you simply have to click on the link to be taken to the point on the map. [Alternatively keep the ///what3words app open and copy/paste the words into it]. 


This is not a commercial website. The information provided has been gleaned from many sources and personal visits. Much of the comment is my own. It is intended that it is regularly reviewed and revised. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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In 2022, Dumbarton celebrated 800 years since being made a Royal Burgh by King Alexander !!. While this status actually lapsed in 1975, it is nevertheless an auspicious year for us.

West Dunbartonshire pivots around Dumbarton Rock and its Castle. Of course you know that already. What this website aims to do is inspire you to not only visit it, but see more of our area with new eyes. 

While this will entail some history, it is not a history website as such. There are others for that. It is more about suggesting places to visit and to give information about them. When organising DOORS OPEN DAY programmes through the LENNOX HERITAGE SOCIETY it was realised that we could do with a more permanent and central record of places to visit. The Doors Open Days programme for 2020 was caught up in the lockdown that coronavirus brought with it. Such programmes in larger centres managed to have a fairly successful virtual alternative. We had little representation on this occasion. Yet that has been one of the inspirations of this website. Why not provide a source of information about places that can be visited even outwith a Doors Open Day, or for that matter, ay any time. 

Doors Open Day programmes enable visitors to see intside buildings that are usually inaccessible. Watch out for such events in September. (West Dunbartonshire has been hosting this in alternate years). Many buildings can be better appreciated simply by having more information about them. Or perhaps you need to have some small interesting detail that you would otherwise miss, pointed out to you.

DOORS OPEN DAY is held in West Dunbartonshire on a Saturday September each alternate year so watch out for it. It enables access to buildings not usually open to the public, promotes those so often missed and provides guided walks through areas of rich history and heritage. You will find more on this in the sections below.

As this website grows, it will become a resource for those delving deeper into our environment, particularly the built heritage, but you may find some surprises along the way. As a resource, it includes some examples that have since disappeared, a record of of the recent past; some places that may not be accessible; some walks; some cycle tracks. A great deal of research and recording has been done over the years by many people. Each subject or place discussed here depends on that and links to key sources are provided at the end of each section to give a you a headstart in following up in more depth. 

This website grows regularly. The most recent additions include a large section on our natural heritage from flora to fauna towards the end.

Enjoy yourself and be quizzical.

If you have any comments, contributions, corrections or queries, please use the FEEDBACK section.

You will notice in some instances that we drift beyond the modern day borders of West Dunbartonshire into surrounding districts, places that were within the historic county of Dumbartonshire. Places, such as Carman Muir or the shore along the Firth of Clyde, simply don't recognise man-made borders and so it may be expedient to take our records and stories beyond them too.

Some rules and considerations -

  • Being included in this website does not indicate a place or building is necessarily freely open to access. Please be considerate about privacy. As a resource, this website includes some that are not generally open to visit, but watch for the Doors Open Days programme each September to see if one you wish to visit is welcoming visitors. 
  • Scotland has a right of responsible access to most land and inland water under the terms of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. See – https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/
  • You are responsible for your own safety while out visiting or walking so you need to consider the suitability of the outing according to your ability and those with you.  

* Title photo : Dumbarton from the Langcraigs. Dumbarton Rock, the Clyde and the River Leven taken a few years ago. Note too the red blick tower of Allied Distillery, since replaced by new housing. The urban environment is constantly changing. 


Jeremy Watson                                                                                                Instigator at large.

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