Dumbarton Castle

Dumbarton Rock

Visit Dumbarton Castle and conquer more than 500 steps to get to the top of Dumbarton Rock. Located only 18 miles away from us at Loch Lomond Waterfront, you must witness the breathtaking views of the Clyde, Loch Lomond, and Agryll from Rock of the Clyde.

The Castle sits atop a volcanic rock that was formed and active about 340 million years ago. However, the Castle’s history goes back 1,500 years. Initially known as Alt Clut or Rock of the Clyde, later called by its Gaelic name Dun Breatann (Fortress of the Britons) finally became Dumbarton.

Dumbarton Castle History

Throughout its long history, the Castle acted as a royal residence and a fortress. It even saw military action during the Second World War. In the Dark Ages, Dumbarton Rock was a great fortress and was besieged several times, including by the Vikings. The Castle was finally built by Alexander II of Scotland in 1220 as a defence against the threat from Norway. Moreover, Dumbarton Caste also played a part in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Furthermore, during turmoils in the 16th century, Mary Queen of Scots sheltered in Dumbarton Castle in 1548 for her safety before being shipped to France. So there are many fascinating things to find out when you visit this wonderful castle.

Things to do

As the Castle is situated atop a rock, there are plenty of things to climb. And once you have reached the top you can admire the beautiful surroundings. You can climb the White Tower Crag and sometimes even see as far as the peak of Ben Lomond! Are you interested in the Castle’s military history? Then take in the artillery fortifications to see fine examples of early 18th-century military architecture. Once you are there why not step into the Governor’s House, a fine Georgian residence, and have a look at some interesting artefacts found at the castle.

Plan your visit to Dumbarton Castle

Dumbarton Castle is only a 35-minute car ride away from us, which makes for a perfect day trip destination! The tours are guided by friendly staff and at the end of it, you can enter a wee shop. Find out more information on opening times and tickets and plan your visit today!

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