West Dunbartonshire has a rich history and is a gateway to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
Northwest of Glasgow, many pass through the West Dunbartonshire region on their way into Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and along the West Highland Way 96-mile (154-kilometre) walking route. For those who choose to stay a while longer, outdoor activities on offer in the region include taking a cruise on the loch, wildlife-watching, golfing and hiking—all of which are best enjoyed in the summer. While there are few private campsites in the region, campers are always within their rights to wild camp, as long as they follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
The gateway to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Balloch is a pretty village lying on the south-west shores of the loch. In the village, Loch Lomond Shores offers a variety of activities, from boat trips to a children’s playpark and bird of prey centre. Camping options range from touring pitches in caravan parks to glamping pods.
Farther up the loch, and just over the Stirlingshire border, Balmaha is another of Loch Lomond’s main gateways. The village has a good visitor center and a number of companies offering cruises around the loch. The West Highland Way passes close along the eastern side of Loch Lomond. You can find nearby campsites with tranquil lochside settings.
The village of Bowling has a picturesque harbour and is home to the Forth and Clyde Canal which stretches all the way to Grangemouth on the Forth River and is a popular spot for activities including boating, fishing, cycling, walking and wildlife spotting. The village is close to the Kilpatrick Hills where you can wild camp, according to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
On the north bank of the River Clyde, Dumbarton’s main draw is Dumbarton Castle which is dramatically perched on top of waterfront volcanic rock. History lovers will be interested in this castle, one of the oldest fortified sites in Britain, which has served as a Roman outpost, dark age citadel, medieval castle and military base. West of the town, the Overtoun Estate has wooded glens, parkland, exotic gardens and good views of the surrounding Kilpatrick Hills.