Dumbarton

Dumbarton

DUMBARTON, founded approx. V w., today it is an ugly concrete city, which concentrated all the worst features of post-war architecture and urban planning. Talking Heads fans at Dumbarton can stop the fact, that this is the birthplace of David Byrne- this one from oversize suits, but everyone else can safely avoid the city itself and head towards the castle, which is slightly southeast (IV-IX pn.-sb. 9.30-18.00, nd. 14.00-18.00; X-III pn.-śr i sb. 9.30-11.45 i 13.30-16.00, Wed. 9.30-11.45, nd. 14.00-16.00; 1,50£). The easiest way to get there is from Dumbarton East Railway Station. When leaving the station, you should turn right, and then the second block to the left. It is called Victoria Street and leads straight to the castle just above 1,5 km. It is hard to find a better natural location for the stronghold than the basalt one, split at the top of Dumbarton Rock; it is surrounded on three sides by water, and there are exceptionally extensive views around. A Roman fort existed here two thousand years ago, which in the 5th century. it was expanded by the Britons of the Damnonia tribe. The stronghold served as the seat of the rulers of Strathclyde, until w 1034 r. their state was not swallowed up by the more powerful kingdom of Scotland. Then the castle passed into the hands of Scottish monarchs. Hence, in 1548 r. Maria Stuart left for France, to marry the son of Henry II. Here, too, she tried to find shelter 20 years later with its branches, crashed at the Battle of Langside. From the 17th century on. castle, where the garrison and artillery unit were stationed, it served as a fortress guarding access to Glasgow. Most of the building fragments that have survived to this day come from this period.

Massive 18th-century Commander's House (Governor’s House) lies at the foot of the rock. This is the entrance to the proper castle complex. By climbing steep stairs you will reach a narrow crevice under the summit, which divides the rock into two peaks. The oldest architectural element in the structure of the castle extends above it – A fourteenth-century arch that once crowned a gate with a grate. Stairs that can make anyone dizzy lead to both rock peaks; to get both peaks, you have to overcome over 500 degrees. From the windswept east, on the higher peak there are breathtaking views of the lakes, rivers and mountains beyond the city.

If you are interested in shipbuilding, you might want to visit Denny Tank (pn.-sb. 10.00-16.00; 1 £), the oldest tank in the world designed for testing floating models. I'm ok. 100 m in length and is used for water tests with the use of small prototypes of ships intended for construction. The tables explain the testing process – from the formation of wax models to the experiments themselves. The center is on Castle Street, three streets west of Victoria Street.

Regular trains run from Glasgow Queen Street Station to Dumbarton East and Dumbarton Central stations. Intending to go to the castle or look for accommodation, you should get off on the first one. Tourist information office (codz. IV iV 10.00-17.00; VI-IX 9.30-18.00; X-III 10.00-16.00; tel. 01389/742308) it is situated outside the city on the A82 road. It is focused primarily on servicing numerous motorized tourists heading north, into the mountainous regions of Scotland. The same applies to accommodation – the easiest way to find them is on the mentioned exit route, and also on the busy Glasgow Road leading to the proper Dumbarton. Spacious and comfortable rooms are offered by the Dumbuck Hotel on Glasgow Rd (tel. 01389/34336), natomiast Kilmalid House (tel. 01389/732030) it's a quiet B&B located at 17 Glenpath, departing from Barnhill Rd. Opposite is the great Cladhan Hotel, which is definitely better to avoid. To get here from Dumbarton East Rail Station, turn left at the exit and walk as far as Greenhead Road, which leads straight to A82. In the city center on High Street there is a fairly large selection of venues, where you can buy something to eat on the nose. During the day, however, it is worth opting for a quite tasty meal in the Burgh Bar.