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4 of 5 bubbles Review of Dumbarton Castle

Dumbarton Castle
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Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Dumbarton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Conquer more than 500 steps to stand atop one of Scotland's greatest strongholds. The iconic Rock of the Clyde has heritage as breathtaking as its views over the Clyde, Loch Lomond and Argyll. Dumbarton was a centre of power in what later became the Kingdom of Strathclyde. It was later sacked by Vikings. The castle became a cornerstone of medieval royal power and latterly served as a military base and prison. You can explore its many fortifications with our interactive family trail.
Level Contributor
124 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2014

Very good castle situated on Dumbarton rock, towering over the town. To visit it is 20 minutes west of Glasgow by train (get off at Dumbarton east, turn right then left down Victoria street) its about 10 minutes walk. There is'nt many building to see the the castle but the views of the river Leven and Dumbarton town are fantastic. There is information both in the shop, the old guard house and doted about the grounds of the rock. A massive word of warning to visitors though, the castle is on a very steep hill, so you need to be fit and not afraid of heights! the castle is under going some renovation work to the governors house and the french prison which is the only part you can't get into but is still worth the £4.50 per adult to spent 1 and half hours.

Tip: go on a clear sunny day and bring a picnic.

Visited February 2014
Thank yankeebhoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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306 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Level Contributor
126 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Quite a climb!”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Well worth visiting from the view of the Clyde from the top, although you have to be fit! We were lucky enough to have good weather to enjoy the scenery.

Visited August 2013
Thank Allandot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
68 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

On a clear day be sure to follow the signs of Dumbarton Castle when passing by. Hidden behind the rock is the best picnic spot on the Clyde in the shadows of the spectacular main castle. Check with NT for opening times of the castle but even if it is closed is just beautiful place to go. I have never been in castle but have had many a lovely day picnicking, playing & taking photos from this spot.

Visited September 2013
Thank JAC0409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
186 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Really different castle in a stunning location with views up and down the River Clyde.”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

There aren't many buildings to visit at Dumbarton Castle but, the climb up to the top is quite airy. Hope you have a good head for heights. So, pick a good day. There has been scaffolding on the buildings for some time so it would be worth checking with Historic Scotland before you visit.

Visited November 2013
Thank Stuart W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vashon, Washington
Level Contributor
388 reviews
156 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Great Views...Not So Much Castle”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

First, there isn't really a castle here anymore but lots of military fortifications and buildings dating from the 1800's. The royal buildings are long gone although there is the foundation of one tower. From the top of the rock there is an amazing 360 degree view of the area (assuming no clouds) but there are lots of stairs and no access for wheelchairs. You need to be pretty fit to explore the different paths up to the top. The information plaques along the routes give a good history of the rock and the custodian at the entrance was very friendly and helpful. Strong waterproof boot are ideal if it is rainy as there are lots of puddles and wet stone steps..

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Adam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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