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More of our sites are now available to pre-book in advance of their opening later this month. We are working hard to open other sites in the coming weeks

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Access

Special arrangements are currently in place at Dumbarton Castle, to comply with Scottish Government guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic. These arrangements are detailed below, and will be regularly updated. Last updated: 28 July 2020.

Although things may be a little different, we hope that you will have an enjoyable visit and will be greeted with a warm and friendly smile by staff.

Safety measures

  • Our staff have been trained in hygiene and physical distancing and have been provided with the necessary PPE
  • Signage is on site to guide visitors, including one way systems and marked areas that are currently closed to visitors
  • We have introduced enhanced cleaning measures, including our toilet facilities, to make visitors feel comfortable while visiting
  • In line with Scottish Government legislation and guidance, face coverings are now mandatory if you are visiting any indoor/enclosed spaces at our sites including retail and catering areas (subject to some exceptions)

Watch our video on what to expect when you visit our sites

Carers tickets

In line with best practice in the visitor attractions industry and as advised by Capability Scotland, visitors with disabilities are treated on an equal basis with all other visitors and entry is charged at the appropriate admission category rate - Adult/Concession/Child. Proof of disability is not required.

We offer free entry for carers accompanying visitors with disabilities. To book a free carer ticket, please email ticketing@hes.scot and quote your order number.

Parking

The small car park is level tarmac with no accessible spaces marked.

Approach to site

The site is along a short, slightly sloping path. There are 40 steps to the King George Battery (the first 14 with no handrail).

Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time. Owners must pick up after their dogs.

Visitors' dogs are not permitted at Dumbarton Castle. 

What will be open during your visit 

Your visit will be led by a member of the castle team. We would advise arriving 10 mins before the start of your time slot. There will be a waiting area at the castle where you will be met by one of our stewards.

  • The Guardhouse
  • White Tower Crag
  • Magazine
  • The Beak batteries
  • Shop
  • Toilets

What will remain closed/unavailable during your visit

  • Spur
  • Spanish and Bower batteries

Visiting the site

Your visit will be led by a member of the castle team. We would advise arriving 10 mins before the start of your time slot. There will be a waiting area at the castle where you will be met by one of our stewards. This is to ensure physical distancing is possible.

  • The shop and artefact display are in the Governor’s House. The doorway has a threshold
  • The castle site is very large, steep and rocky. All areas are reached by several narrow stairways, many historic
  • The Governor’s House (shop and exhibition) is up the first set of stairs at the entrance to the site at King George’s Battery
  • The Spur, Spanish and Bower Batteries are on a long, narrow path of largely stone slabs with loose gravel at the end. There are around 50-60 steps on this path that runs along the south west wall. It finishes in a dead end
  • The Guard House and Portcullis Arch are reached up a very long, steep, narrow and historic set of stairs between the two rock peaks of the site
  • Further on, the remains of the White Tower are on the top of the highest point of the site, reached by another very long, narrow set of stairs. This route is exposed and can be extremely windy
  • The French Prison, Wallace Tower, One Gun and Duke of York’s Batteries are reached along a loose gravel path with a slight incline from the top of the stairs just after the Portcullis Arch
  • The Duke of Argyll’s and Prince Regent’s Batteries are up another set of steep steps from just after the Portcullis Arch. The Magazine, at the top of the second peak, is reached by a steeply inclined loose gravel path
  • There are two benches on the terrace at the back of the Governor's House. There are three picnic benches: one on the terrace behind the Governor's House; one on the cleft between the peaks by the French prison and one next to the Duke of Argyll's gun battery
  • The site is largely external. The site may close depending on weather conditions

Toilets

Toilets are available in the visitor centre, though the nearest adapted toilet is about 1/3 mile away at Asda, St James Retail Park, Dumbarton, G82 1RB.

Historic Scotland

Opening times

11-30 Sept:
Sat-Tue, 10am to 4pm

1-31 Oct:
Sat-Wed, 10am to 4pm

Last entry time slot 2.15pm

Advance booking required.

Your visit will be led by a member of the castle team. We would advise arriving 10 mins before the start of your time slot.

Winter opening times to be confirmed.

Facilities

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