West Dunbartonshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas into which Scotland has been divided since 1996. It lies on the north bank of the River Clyde immediately to the north west of the City of Glasgow. It extends from Clydebank on the edge of the Glasgow conurbation in the south east, to the south shore of Loch Lomond in the north west. For accommodation in West Dunbartonshire and a full list of features, see our Glasgow & Clyde Valley area pages.
Other significant settlements in West Dunbartonshire include Balloch, Alexandria and Dumbarton. Visitors are often bemused as to why a council area so obviously named after a town called "Dumbarton" spells its name "Dunbartonshire". It seems that the name of the town had its origins in the Gaelic Dùn Breatainn or "Fort of the Britons", referring to Dumbarton Castle. At some point this was wrongly anglicised with an "m" where there should have been an "n". The name "Dumbarton" has always stuck for the town and for a district name (and for the castle), but for centuries "Dunbartonshire" and "Dumbartonshire" were used virtually interchangeably for the traditional county name. By the early 1900s "Dunbartonshire" had become accepted as the definitive spelling, and this has carried on through local government reorganisations into the names of today's West Dunbartonshire and East Dunbartonshire council areas.
From the point of view of local authority coverage, the 1996 reorganisation that discarded Scotland's 12 regions in favour of 32 unitary council areas saw West Dunbartonshire formed from the Clydebank district of Strathclyde Region, and part of the Dumbarton district. Other parts of Dumbarton district, including Helensburgh and the area to the west of Loch Lomond, became part of the Argyll & Bute unitary council area. If you take a longer view and compare East Dunbartonshire to the traditional counties of Scotland before they were replaced by regions in 1975, it occupies parts of the traditional county of Dunbartonshire.
InformationWest Dunbartonshire Council:
Tel: 01389 737000
Dumbarton G82 3PU.