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Dave Hitchborne

Dumbarton is a town in Clydeside in the Central Belt of Scotland, with a population of 20,000. It stands on the north shore of the Clyde at the outflow of the River Leven, which drains Loch Lomond. Its name means "hill of the Britons" referring to Dumbarton Rock, louring over the Clyde and fortified since ancient times. Shipbuilding and whisky-distilling were the town's traditional trades, and it was the historic county town of Dunbartonshire (note the spelling). It nowadays hosts West Dunbartonshire Council, and is a commuter town for Glasgow and for Faslane navy base ("HMNB Clyde") on Gareloch. It's frankly ugly, a sprawling mess of ill-planned post-war concrete. Most visitors are simply making a stopover, as this is the first town and cluster of accommodation you encounter heading north from Glasgow towards the Highlands. The main reasons to visit are the castle and the model ship tank.

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