My Day Trip to Dumbarton Castle

Location

Castle Road
Dumbarton
Dunbartonshire
G82 1JJ

Website

View

Visit Date : Wednesday 19th April 2017

Cost : £5.00 per adult

The last time I was at any castle, would have been when I was in primary school so I was looking forward to talking a walk around the castle and seeing the sights.

I was very lucky today as the weather started out very dull and part of me thought it would rain, but it turned out to be a very nice day as you can see from some of the photos.

First stop some fuel before the castle…..

We visited a little cafe called The Little Coffee Shop and Sandwich Bar.

Facebookthelittlecoffeeshopdumbarton

Location

94 Glasgow Road
G82 1JP
Dumbarton

The cafe has a nice cosy, warm and relaxing look and atmosphere.

On entry we were welcomed and took a table, we were then given menu’s and took a few minutes to decided what to have before our long walk around the Castle.

I decided to order a Cappuccino and a roll and bacon, I didn’t want to fill myself up too much as my girlfriend prepared lunch for both of us.

I could have easily had a few of the cakes as they looked really good, but I thought I better be good.

I didn’t take note of the costs, but it was about standard prices for these items.

If I was ever back in Dumbarton I would return here to try a few other things, and some of the cakes as they looked really nice.

Onward to the Castle…

When we came out the cafe the Castle was only about a 10min walk, so we just took our time and enjoyed the sun that was starting to come out.

I took many many photos but I will only add a small amount, so you can see some of the locations I visited.

The castle has many many steps, so if you are not able to do a lot of walking then maybe this Castle isn’t for you. If you don’t mind lots of steps, then you will be treated to some amazing views and a lot of history.

As you’re walking about the grounds of the castle, you will come across several points of interest these include a prison, where they stored the gun powder etc etc I didn’t expect to find as many as I did.

There are also educational post markers about, where you learn a little about this specific area e.g. one was feeling how heavy a bucket was as this was to represent how heavy it would have been when they were carrying water around the castle.

The land is kept in very good condition, and I saw they are always working on it to keep it really nice, clean and tidy.

The main areas that you will visit when you are here, thats if you manage all the stairs are :

  1. Bower Battery : This is where cannons once controlled the route up the Clyde
  2. White Tower Crag : This is the highest part of the Rock at 74m high, where you get a 360 view.
  3. Guard House : The 16th Century Guard House
  4. Crane Bastion : Built to raise stores and munitions to the summit from the ground
  5. French Prison : As the name suggests it held French Prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars
  6. Powder Magazine : Use to keep gun powder barrels

Plus as you are walking about, the views you are treated to is amazing.

Overall the visit was very nice, the weather today was really good which made that more enjoyable as if it was raining climbing all the stairs wouldn’t have been nice.

I would come back and see the castle again, firstly as it’s a nice cheap day out and also if it’s a nice day the views are amazing.

As I said just a nice short post on my visit, if you want more historical details check out the website or go and visit….or even both.

My Visit to Lomond Shores SpringFest 2017 Event

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Location

Loch Lomond Shores
Ben Lomond Way
Balloch
G83 8QL

Website

www.lochlomondshores.com

Visit Date

Sunday 2nd April 2017

I have been visiting Lomond Shores a lot this year, its a really relaxing place and its a nice day out.

On April 1st and 2nd they were holding their SpringFest event, this event has many many stalls food, drink etc so this is one event I couldn’t miss.

I was going with a group of friends, most who had never seen Lomond Shores and they were looking forward to seeing it. We aimed to get the train from Glasgow Central as this is a nice way to travel here, and it only takes about 50-55 minutes.

On arrival at Central Station we were told that the lines to Balloch were getting replaced, and a bus service was put on for this. This bus service would take about 1 hour and 50 mins, so we knew we were in for a long trip…on the plus side the train would be back on for the return to Glasgow.

Anyway enough of the trip and now to the event….

SpringFest 2017 :

I had three stalls I really wanted to visit at SpringFest 2017 they were :

  1. Funky Fudge
  2. Island Slice Rum
  3. All Things Nice Food

Two of the above I had seen at the last Lomond Shores event, but Island Slice Rum I had recently seen on Facebook and since I like rum had to check them out to see what they offer.

On arrival I could see there were A LOT more stall than the previous time, this was great to see and tons of people walking about so I was happy it was as busy as this for all the stalls and Lomond Shores.

There were lots of stalls here today, so I won’t bored you and do a full run down but what I will do is talk about the main ones I visited.

Funky Fudge :

Twitter : @funkyfudge_uk
FacebookVIEW

This was a must to visit, as I really liked chatting to the guys last time and really liked the fudge.

This time round I wanted to try some of the other flavours, but the Billionaire Fudge I had to get again as it was my favourite from the last time.

They had a few new flavours for me to try, and the most recent new one was Lemonade so I thought I would get that one plus a few others.

This visit I purchased 10, but I will talk about my favourites out the 10.

  1. Billionaire Fudge
  2. Rockyroad Fudge
  3. Mars Fudge
  4. Malteser Fudge

The above 4 are now my top fav’s from Funky Fudge, and these are ones I will get next time I see them.

Do check them out if you see them at any events.

Island Slice :

Websitewww.islandslice.co.uk
FacebookIsland Slice
Twitter@islandslicerum

I had seen a few Instagram and Facebook mentions about Island Slice, and then spotted that they were going to be at this event so I added them as one my 100% must check out stalls.

As you know I have been doing a lot of Rum Club Promotions when Sugar Dumplin (Glasgow) was open, and now about to start promoting a new Glasgow Rum Club so I had to buy some of Island Slice products to sample.

I decided to go for the pack today which contained the following :

  • Caribbean Rum Fusion
  • Caribbean Wine Fusion
  • Funky Island Slice Glass

I tried the samples today of both the above and liked both, so I got this today to try at home.

Caribbean Rum Fusion :  This is my favourite out the two fusions, it just tastes right, had a nice after taste and you want more. It’s not a strong flavour, and the spices add a nice flavour.

Caribbean Wine Fusion : For me this is ok, its got an ok taste but one that I couldn’t drink a lot of where as the Rum one I could.

I really liked these and will get more next time I see these guys, both drinks were very refreshing and my favourite was the Caribbean Rum Fusion one

All Things Nice Food :

Websitewww.allthingsnicefood.co.uk
Twitter : @allthingsnicefo

I visited this company at the last Lomond Shore event, and just like the Funky Fudge and Island Slice I had to come back and try some Jam this time round as I got a Salted Caramel Sauce.

Just like last time we got talking, and again had a nice chat. Today I got a marmalade for my Gran and a Jam for myself.

The Jam I got today was “Strawberry and Cracked Black Pepper Jam”, at the time of writing this post I have not tried it yet as I am working my way through the Fudge, the Rum etc etc etc but I will add a little update when I do.

The Great British Cheese Company :

Websitegbcheese.co.uk
Twitter : @GBCheeseCo

I had never heard of this company till today, I like cheese mostly strong flavours so I thought I would stop say hi and see what they had to offer….not expecting to buy anything.

I got chatting to the guys here, and they allowed me to sample a few cheeses on display.

All the cheeses I tried I liked but one stood out from the rest, this cheese was “The Drunken Monk”

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The description for this cheese is “Mature cheddar with caramelised red onion and red wine”

The flavour of this was nice, a little strong but not too strong so it was perfect for me.

Lunch : 

So for lunch I wanted a burger, and there were a lot of burger places but one place caught my eye. I think the company was called “The King of Cattle”

The burger I had was one they were promoting today “Haggis Burger with whisky cream sauce”

This was a very very good burger, flavours were good and the burger was perfectly cooked and tasted nice. I would have this again, if I saw them at the next event.

Other Stalls….

As I said I won’t tell you about every stall the above were my favourites of the day. Below are a few more that stuck out for me

Whisky and Spice : Fraiser’s of Scotland

I am not a fan of Whisky, the taste, smell it just doesn’t do anything for me. I saw this was flavoured so when I stopped at this stall, and the guy offered me a sample I thought ok lets see.

This was nice and pleasant, I am not sure if I could pay for a bottle as it was nice but still in my head its whiskey…..I think I will stick with my rum but for a whisky I did like it.

Loch Lomond Brewery : 

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Websitewww.lochlomondbrewery.com

Today was a nice day, and after my burger a beer was needed and luckily we found a stall that did beers.

These beers are a nice light beer, that today since it was warm was very refreshing.

Chrystals Shortbread : 

Website : chrystalsshortbread.co.uk
Facebook
: VIEW

I really like Shortbread, and normally its very hit or miss when you buy some.

I decided to stop at Chrystals Shortbread table and try a sample, instantly I knew this was good and i had to purchase some.

For me this was some of the best Shortbread I have tasted in a long time, its texture was perfect not soft not hard just right and its taste was really sweet and nice.

I will be buying more next time I see Chrystal.

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Overall :

As I said there were many stalls and the above are just a few that stood out for me. Today was a really nice and fun day, and I got to spend it with friends who saw Lomond Shores for the first time.

I felt very relaxed again today, and probably spent too much but hey it was a great fun filled day and I can’t wait for the next one.

Follow Lomond Shores on Facebook etc to find out when the next event is, and you can try some of these products for yourself.

I will be going to the next one later this year, and probably come back to Lomond Shores to try the cruise.