Today, we started Glasgow about 9.30am and then headed to Dumbarton which was the centre of an ancient, Welsh-speaking Kingdom around the 5th-10th centuries AD. The name translates as Fort of the Britons. Here we visited Dumbarton Castle which is built on a volcanic plug. Towards the end of its military life the fort was used as a defensive gun battery in the wars against France and many cannon are in situ as a reminder of this era. There are many steps to climb, but for the fit a rewarding visit as the elevation offers stunning views over the Clyde estuary and surrounding landscape.


Here is a view of the Clyde at very low tide.
Antipodean visitor atop Dumbarton Castle.


After Dumbarton, we motored on to Balloch at the southern tip of Loch Lomond which is Scotland’s largest loch (lake) in terms of surface area. Here is an image of the loch featuring the paddle steamer ‘Maid of the Loch’ which is in process of restoration.

After Balloch, we drove on to Port of Menteith and Lake of Menteith. Enjoyed a pub lunch in front of an open wood fire at the lakeside hotel featured in this image. Not so long ago, this lake was frozen over. See this video clip of curling on the ice.

After Menteith, we headed to Doune Castle, the finest surviving medieval castle in Scotland. It dates from the 14th century and was built to a simple and sound plan which incorporated robust defensive features. In recent times the castle became famous when it featured in the film ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’


After Doune, we visited another castle, this time at Stirling which in its day has been a military establishment, royal palace and British Army base. The former royal court features fine Renaissance work but was treated with little respect after King James VI of Scotland moved to London to assume the English throne. This image shows the royal palace.

Main entrance.
View from Stirling Castle of the snow-capped Ochill Hills and the Wallace Monument.

Here is the restored Great Hall basking in the sunshine.

After Stirling, we returned to Glasgow arriving about 5.15pm. A good day with weather relatively dry.

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