The following paragraphs introduce the town of Dumbarton and provide some general information about the Linkage:
Dumbarton is a popular commuter town, about 30 minutes from Glasgow within easy reach of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The town lies on the north bank of the River Clyde where the River Leven flows into the Clyde estuary. As of 2011, the town had an estimated population of 20,527. With easy and direct train access to both Glasgow and Edinburgh, an increasing number of families are now moving to the town, with some three new housing developments presently being built.
While having historic links as the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde, Dumbarton is now transforming itself, as West Dunbartonshire, the local council is focusing its regeneration plans on the waterfront in Dumbarton.
To the north-east of the town lies the ever popular Overtoun Estate, within easy walking distance of the town centre. The grounds have a variety of landscapes, from wooded glens and gorges to rolling parkland and exotic gardens, with colourful species collected in the Himalayas. Superb views of the surrounding Kilpatrick Hills can be enjoyed from the estate.
Popular visitor attractions are Dumbarton Castle, and the fascinating Denny Tank Museum, linking both the ancient and more recent industrial history of the town.
There are good shopping facilities in the St James’s Retail Park, with restaurants, Asda, Morrisons, a Marks and Spencer food store and other hardware and furniture stores, and these are supplemented by Loch Lomond Shores just over a ten minute drive away.
The town has its own theatre, the Denny Civic Theatre where the DPT, a local amateur company do regular shows. Sports facilities are plentiful including the Meadow Centre where there is a swimming pool and gym, with bowling clubs and golf clubs in the locale, not forgetting Dumbarton Football Club, “the Sons of the Rock”, who carry the pride of the town, even if results are not always spectacular!
Dumbarton is also home to the BBC Scotland’s drama studios, notable for filming River City, Hope Springs and Personal Affairs.
The formal Service of Linkage between Dumbarton: Riverside and Dumbarton: The West Kirk took place in 2014 in The West Kirk with St Andrews joining to form a triple linkage in 2018.