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Kids trail launched at Dumbarton Castle

2 August 2010

                             Kieran Johnson and Luke Callanin at Dumbarton Castle

Historic Scotland has launched a new kids adventure trail at Dumbarton Castle.

Local children Keiran Johnson, five, from Paisley and Luke Callanin also five, from Renton were the first to try the adventure trail which takes in five key areas across the site.

Designed to give children the opportunity to engage more with the historical environment, the trail follows the ‘secret survival’ theme and looks at how the castle’s natural defences helped it when it was under attack, and why it was such an important site for the West of Scotland. This includes examining the choice of location, and how the rock itself developed many millions of years ago to become the ideal choice for a defensive stronghold.

Children are also encouraged to look for examples of the castle’s defensive past, for example locating the grooves where the imposing portcullis once stood or finding the well which was such an important resource for the castle’s inhabitants at times of siege.

The trail ends with a chance to look at some of the more colourful stories from the castle’s past, including the fact that it was beseiged by Vikings in 870 AD, and gives children the opportunity to map out how the longboats managed to manoeuvre round the west coast of Scotland and up the River Clyde to the castle.

Kit Reid,  Interpretation Manager for Historic Scotland, who manage the site said;

“Dumbarton Castle was a hugely important defensive structure, and has enjoyed a very prominent and important role in Scotland’s past.

“The new trail is a great resource for young visitors interested in finding out more about the castle’s past in a fun, interactive way.

“The children are given a ‘My Secret Survival Notes’ handbook which leads them round the five areas on the site and helps them understand why it was built the way it was, and some of the challenges facing  those who sought to attack it.

“We hope that this is a great addition to the castle and look forward to it being enjoyed by families and school parties visiting the site.”

Dumbarton Castle is open all year round. Summer opening hours are 1 April – 30 September, 7 days a week from 9.30am to 5.30pm.


Notes for editors


  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.



For further information


Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858
iona.matheson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk