Get your free website from Spanglefish



The programme for Doors Open Day this year, 2022, will take places on Saturday the 10th September with events and walks on some of the preceding weekdays. 

Our local Doors Open Day programme is part the national Doors Open Day programme held across Scotland in September and coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust.

INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/dod_west_dunbartonshire/


2022 has a special significance for Dumbarton. This year we celebrate it being granted the status of Royal Burgh by Alexander II - 800 years ago! (This lasted until 1975).

Watch this space for details and watch out for the printed flyer and also information in the local newspapers. 

Watch out for the dark blue Doors Open Days banner as well as bunting to identify venues and the starting points of walks and other events.

Our Doors Open Day programme plus all those of other regions in Scotland are available here on the national website : https://www.doorsopendays.org.uk/ 

Links shown below take you to features within this Explore West Dunbartonshire website. 

The information here will be updated up until the final week, with more being added as it becomes available.

ACCESS : Doors Open Days encourage you to get into buildings not usually open to the public and it also provides a range of outdoor events. The degree of ease of access will vary. Ensure that this is suitable for you.

Regional coordinator : Jeremy Watson - through the Lennox Heritage Society


Main day : Saturday 10th September. Venues generally will be open between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

Other events including exhibitions, walks, cycle rides, demonstrations etc will be on Saturday and also during the preceding week as scheduled. Walks generally will be at either 2:00pm or 6:00pm.

We have a quite wide range of places to visit and things to see and do this year. You may well notice that many of these are out of doors, but this is in line with our concept that DOORS OPEN can also mean the introduction of new experiences and knowledge. And this also fits well with our first full Doors Open Day programme since emerging from the Covid-19 restrictions. Let's all get out and about again and experience this great area.

Regional coordinator : Jeremy Watson


Venues are listed as they appear on the map from Balloch, down the Vale to Dumbarton and up the Clyde to Clydebank. All of them will be open on Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm (unless otherwise indicated). All will be free to enter, even those that usually ask an entrance fee.

MAID OF THE LOCH The paddle steamer.

Great paddles driven by steam

WHERE : Pier Road, Drumkinnon Bay, Loch Lomond, near Balloch.

The Maid is a magnificent example of Clyde-built ship engineering with an art deco inspired interior. Already a much-loved feature on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, she attracts thousands of visitors every year and, over the last 20 years, a loyal band of volunteers has focused every available hour on her conservation. With your support we hope to safely steer the Maid to a new phase of her life, relaunching her as a fully operational paddle steamer. The Maid is currently on the slipway undergoing maintenance, but can be visited. [Entrance fees will be deferred on the day].

Come and visit this unique paddle steamer that has served Loch Lomond for generations.

Note : In accordance with Doors Open Days, general acccess will be free to the Maid on the 10th September. Guided tours, with the benefit of further access, will remain as a paid ticket event. Free access will be as usual to the shop with its small museum and the Winch House. 

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715792

WC / Tea



Some amazing mechanisms 

WHERE : Pier Road, Drumkinnon Bay, next to the Maid of the Loch. 

The slipway was constructed on the Loch so that the steamers could be put together and maintained. The steamers would be prebuilt at other boatyards and brought here in sections. The slipway and the engine house that winched the boats out of the water still exist and it was this that drew the Maid out of the water for the current phase of restoration. The winches and machinery are impressive.  


Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715793



Read poetry on the walls.

WHERE : Gilmour Street, Alexandria.

This is very intriguing from the outside. You will be surprised by the inside. Category A listed 1888-91. Formerly the " J A Campbell William Ewing Gilmour Institute for Working Girls". Renaissance halls with Baronial keep and hammer-beam roof. This roof is one of only three examples (the other two being at Stirling and Edinburgh Castles). There are some amazing wall paintings by Harrington-Mann who was one of the Glasgow Boys.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=716217

WC / Tea / Accessible (Request)



Dig it?

WHERE : This fairly new community garden is a little secretive, but can be found at the end of Glen View which is off New Cordale Road in Renton. Limited parking nearby - avoid using the residents parking.

It may be new, but it has got off to a very good start complete with raised beds and gazebo.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=719389




Wander and wonder

WHERE : Accessed from the very end of Castlehill Road, Castle Hill, Dumbarton.

These well known community gardens have had their ups and downs, but are regaining new confidence. Their keen volunteers would love to show you aroound.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=719389



Learn more about what our armed forces do and about their association

WHERE : Dumbarton Central Station, platform 2. 

Their main goal has always been to be able to provide help and support to veterans of all of HM Armed Forces and their families. They also work hard on being able to provide access to the stories of many veterans and the history of the armed forces and the local areas via our heritage centre. There is a small display, but most importantly those who man the centre will tell you all about what the association is all about. They are generally veterans themselves and will be happy to talk to you about their experiences.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715708

WC /Accessible



Look for angels.

WHERE : High Street, Dumbarton

Built in 1873 to the designs of architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in the Gothic Revival Style. The interior is said to be among Anderson's finest. Stained glass at baptismal font is by Stephen Adam with others to designs by Carl Alnquist. The organ was designed and built for the church by Smith and Brock.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715946

WC / Tea / Accessible



Watch out for the unusual dragon.

WHERE : Strathleven Place, Dumbarton

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715949

WC / Tea / Accessible



Have you seen the mausolea?

WHERE : At the junction of High Street, Church Street and Castle Street, Dumbarton

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715668

WC / Tea / Accessible



Some great stained glass.

WHERE : West Bridgend Road, Dumbarton.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=717659

WC / Tea / Accessible



Part of the Scottish Maritime Museum

Shape a bow.

WHERE : Castle Terrace, Dumbarton. Near Lidl.

Entrance fees will be deferred on the day.

This fascinating place with the world's first commercial ship model experiment tank will have free entry on Doors Open Day. 

Learn about the innovative engineering features of this unique test tank facility.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=716335

WC / Tea / Accessible



Hot stuff, but a cool head.

WHERE : Castlegreen Street, Dumbarton, G82 1EA

Learn about the service, careers, fire safety at home and other aspects. This is an active station so you need to look out for vehicle and other movement. See fire engines up close & meet the firefighters

WC / Accessible


Keeping us safe.

WHERE : Kilbowie Road, Hardgate, Clydebank, G81 6QT

Learn about the service, careers, fire safety at home and other aspects. This is an active station so you need to look out for vehicle and other movement. See fire engines up close & meet the firefighters

WC / Accessible


These are all under the Libraries and Cultural Services department of West Dunbartonshire Council. You can usually find exhibitions on at these venues throughout the year. What is listed here is what is on during the Doors Open Day period.


WHERE : Strathleven Place, Dumbarton G82 1BD

WC / Accessible

Dumbarton Library Heritage Centre

Celebration Days

Spanning over a century of celebration this exhibition shows how the communities of Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven came together to celebrate and commemorate special days and dates.

7th Centenary Celebrations of Dumbarton as a Royal Burgh WDC Collections

Opening Hours: Monday 5th – Saturday 10th September

Mon, Thurs and Fri: 9.30am – 5.00pm, Tue: 1.00pm – 8.00pm, Wed: 9.30am – 8.00pm, Saturday: 10.00am – 1.00pm.



WHERE : next to the Dalmuir Library, 2 Lennox Place, Dalmuir, G81 1LX

WC / Accessible

The Antonine Wall: beyond Boundaries

The Antonine Wall: Beyond Boundaries' is a touring exhibition from the Rediscovering the Antonine Wall Project. It's a family friendly exhibition with lots of interactive activities, visitors can get hands-on with history and learn more about the communities on the Antonine Wall then and now.

Monday 5th – Friday 9th September 9.30am – 5pm,

Saturday 10th September 10am – 1pm

Admission Free


TO BE CONFIRMED - due to works

WHERE : Dumbarton Road, Clydebank

WC / Accessible


WHERE : On Dumbarton Road, but accessed from Hall Street, Clydebank

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715657

The town hall is a significant building in itself and it holds both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Access is via the side entrance in Hall Street. Permanent exhibitions concentrating on Clydebank's proud industrial heritage have been created alongside new high specification temporary galleries, for exciting touring exhibitions as well as housing the Council's permanent exhibition of fine art. Part of the permanent exhibition includes the large model ships at the entrance and the Singer Sewing Machine collection which was awarded the 'Recognised Collection of National Significance' by Museums Galleries Scotland in 2013.

Cafe . WCs . Accessible for all 



All walks are free to attend and will be held at either 2:00pm or 6:00 pm. Check the schedule for times and days if during the preceding week. See how many you can participate in. 

We have a range of walks for a range of capabilities. Select what is suitable for you.


A walk led by archaeologist Fiona Baker.

A large but almost invisible hillfort.

WHERE : This walk will introduce you to the hillfort on Carman Hill, otherwise known as Mount Malow, above Renton. From the Renton side, the tarred road is Cardross Road. From the Cardross side the tarred road is Carman Road. To join meet at the gate on the dust road. Note that parking is unavailable at this point, but limited parking is available at various points nearby. Do not park at the gate as this is a private road entrance. 

WHEN : ##

This iron age hillfort is vast. But almost invisible! Fiona will enable you to discern the various features including the earth surrounding wall that used to have a timber palisade on it, the enormous rock eastern enclosures, the gateways and hut rings. The view is great from up here and with help you should be able to make out other ancient features across Carman Muir and beyond.

The walk varies from a fairly easy, but steep approach path to rough terrain to see some of the feature. You need to consider if this is suitable for you, but you do not need to walk across the whole site to enjoy this outing.

Also see here for more details : index.asp?pageid=715665


Inspiration amongst the flowers.

Hosted by West Dunbartonshire Council

WHERE : To join, please meet at the Kilmahew Fountain just in from the Lodge and gateway at the junction of Clydeshore Road and Veir Terrace

WHEN : ##

MEET AT : ##

WC / Tea / Accessible


Duration 1.5 hours. Participants may leave the walk at any time.

No booking required.

Come along and enjoy an inspirational Heritage Walk at Levengrove Park and learn about some of the interesting historic and heritage features of the park. This guided tour will look at the park’s history, as well as restoration work in the park and the stories behind it. 

If you require any further details please contact WDC Community Engagement Ranger, Sandra Anton through the following :

Mobile: 07765323929

Email: http://sandra.anton@west-dunbarton.gov.uk


Tracking tracks.

Led by Stwart Noble.

WHEN : Saturday the 10th at 2pm.

WHERE : Bowling Basin and the area around it.

MEET AT : ##

Stewart is the author of the book entitled VANISHED RAILWAYS OF WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE. Bowling Basin is dominated by the railway viaduct that runs over the junction between the Forth and Clyde Canal and the boat basin itself. The railway route has long been abandoned (the current railway being nearby), but it has recently been restored and modified as part of the cycle route between Glasgow and Dumbarton. While you can find many vestiges of a more intent railway era around West Dunbartonshire, Bowling is a great place to start. That bridge forming part of the railway viaduct used to swing to one side to allow craft with tall masts to pass. On this walk you will learn how that was done.

Also see : index.asp?pageid=715961


Inspiration amongst foliage.

Hosted by West Dunbartonshire Council.

WHERE : To join, please meet at the Ranger Office next to the Golf Shop off Overtoun Road. (Overtoun Road branches off from Duntocher Road in Dalmuir).

WHEN : ##

MEET AT : ##

Duration 1.5 hours. Participants may leave the walk at any time.

No booking required.

Come along and enjoy an inspirational Heritage Walk at Dalmuir Park and learn about some of the interesting historic and heritage features of the park.

This guided tour will look at the park’s history, as well as restoration work in the park and the stories behind it. 

If you require any further details please contact WDC Community Engagement Ranger, Sandra Anton through the following :

Mobile: 07765323929

Email: http://sandra.anton@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

Opening Times: The park is open to the public all year round

Wheelchair friendly. The park is situated on a slope.


Some surprises from the past.

Hosted by the Clydebank Local History Society.

WHERE : Starting point at Auchnacraig Car Park Cochno Road (G81 5QR) next to entry to Edinbarnet



Get pedalling.

WHERE : These rides take place from the Vale of Leven Trust ACTIVE TRAVEL HUB in Mitchell Way, Alexandria.

WHEN : ##

MEET AT : ##

This is a new initiative unique (as far as we know) to West Dunbartonshire as a Doors Open Day event. All cycle rides will be fully coordinated and run through the Active Hub of the Vale of Leven Trust. They will take in some of the Doors Open Day venues. 

All events start from and end at their premises at 9 Mitchell Way in Alexandria (down from the CO-OP and M&Co). You are welcome to just pop in to meet them and to find out about this and their other activities which include walks and social events.

Phone 01389 752629 or email http://info@valeofleventrust.com


WC / Tea



Staying safe in water.

WHERE : ###

WHEN : ###

The Fire and Rescue Service will hold a demonstration of water safety and rescue in the fast flowing River Leven. 

There have been a number of mishaps including drownings in our local waters. Loch Lomond and the Leven. The local Fire and Rescue Service undertake exercises from time to time to keep its crews up to date with rescue techniques. The public are always welcome to watch. This time the exercise will be aimed more at the public, to show them how rescues are done and, most importantly, to inform the public about water safety. So often emergency incidents get more serious, perhaps even involving the intending rescuer, through insufficient knowledge and experience. When is it appropriate to attempt a rescue oneself? Almost always it is so much better to call for help. This demonstration will keep you informed too. 


See WATER SAFETY under ARTICLES index.asp?pageid=715697 



Explore from your armchair.

Watch this space for news on our online presence.

You can also find more digital Doors Open Days coverage across Scotland here : 




Click for Map
sitemap | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement