The famous town of Balloch sits at the southern end of beautiful Loch Lomond, and boasts one of Scotland's most spectacular visitor destinations in Loch Lomond Shores. This modern attraction combines the beautiful environment with a first-rate shopping mall featuring a range of outstanding leisure and shopping experiences overlooking the famous Loch. The site is open all year round from 10am.
Ferry cruises are available to take you on voyages of discovery on the Loch, while the more adventurous can hire canoes and pedalos. There's also the chance to visit Balloch Castle and Country Park which feature some of Scotland's best loved gardens in a perfect picnic setting.
West of Clydebank along the A82 is the village of Bowling which showcases one of the great examples of British maritime engineering. Beside the picturesque harbour, which offers stunning views of the rugged Kilpatrick Hills, is the start of the recently restored Forth & Clyde Canal which stretches from Bowling all the way to Grangemouth on the Forth River. It was the world's first manmade sea-to-sea waterway and opened in 1790.
The town recently celebrated its 125th anniversary and today offers visitors the chance to climb the iconic Titan Crane with panoramic views of Glasgow and the Clyde estuary. There's also the free Clydebank Museum, rated 4* by Visit Scotland, which celebrates and reflects on the rich heritage of the town as well as the devastation it faced following the Clydebank Blitz in 1941. And lastly for those looking for that special something the Clyde Shopping Centre offers more than 100 of your favourite retailers under one roof including the Empire Cinema and a range of restaurants. Free parking available.
Dumbarton is the second largest town in West Dunbartonshire and was formerly the centre of the Ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde. It lies on the north bank of the River Clyde and beside the powerful River Leven. Its outstanding attraction is Dumbarton Castle which sits on top of volcanic rock overlooking the Clyde Estuary and is one of the oldest fortified sites in Britain with a history dating back 1500 years. This 4* visitor attraction has at one time served as a Roman outpost, dark age citadel, medieval castle, garrison fortress and more recently as a military base during World War 2.
Dumbarton also offers you the chance to visit the Scottish Maritime Museum's Denny Tank which displays the fully restored Denny experimental water tank. This Victorian masterpiece is as long as a football pitch and was built in 1882 for testing ship designs. The 3* visitor attraction looks back on the glorious early days of the Clyde Shipbuilding industry.
West Dunbartonshire Council has a twinning arrangement with the French town of Argenteuil. The twinning arrangement allows for pupil exchanges between the high schools in each area and also enables community organisations such as pipe bands and dancing groups to be invited to participate in local events.
Learn more about our French twin town: http://www.argenteuil.fr/
West Dunbartonshire has also signed a friendship agreement with the French village of Beauvoisin which is located in the Languedoc Roussillon Region of France. There is a small Scottish community in Beauvoisin who hold an annual event in the village to celebrate its Scottish connection.
For further information contact:
The Vale of Leven covers the area around the River Vale as it flows from Loch Lomond to the Clyde and is steeped in industrial history. During the 18th century, the area was known for its bleacheries and dyeing of textiles. Alexandria, situated south of Balloch, was home to the Argyll motor works which was at the time, the world's largest motor car works. This historic building now features the Loch Lomond Galleries. Nearby is the 4* shopping experience at the Antartex Village Visitor Centre. This former Sheepskin factory houses a vast array of classic knitwear, leisurewear and outdoor clothing such as the Edinburgh Woollen Mill.