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The River Leven walk

11 September 2021 (2:00pm)

West Dunbartonshire


This trail covers a wide range of history of Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven. Bridges, glass production, textile industries such as Turkey Red, Robert the Bruce's retirement home and other surprises.


Local historian, David Harvie, is an authority on the textile industries that once spread right through the Vale. You will explore the remnants of what was to become commonly known as the Turkey Red, the strange and often dangerous methods, the world-wide markets and the great social changes that occurred in spite or perhaps because of it. But along the way you will find many other historic features and their stories of interest.

This trail covers that in the River Leven Heritage Trail brochure available from local libraries or online here

More can be found on the Explore West Dunbartonshire website. Look for the RIVER LEVEN and TURKEY RED. The latter includes old maps and can be opened section by section on your smart phone as you walk. 


Explore West Dunbartonshire | TURKEY RED TEXTILE INDUSTRY, OVERVIEW (     The individual related sites are set out below this introductory overview. They appear in order from north to south so consider this when doing the walk.  


Saturday the 11th at 2:00pm.

Meet at Dumbarton Bridge where the towpath starts on the west side of the River Leven (upstream / Bridgend side alongside the small cafe). There is a carpark off Woodyard Road on the other side. The route follows the River Leven for most of its length and is flat the whole way. The walk finishes in Balloch with return by rail if required. Drop-out points are available in Renton and Alexandria where there are stations. It is possible to leave the walk at various the points along the way if you so wish, but please notify the walk leader if you do. Ideally you can enjoy some refreshments in Balloch before finding your own way home. Duration 2.5 hrs.



Precautions : As this is an outdoor event, precautions according to Covid-19 recommendations are minimal, but individuals or family groups are still expected to keep a safe distance from each other. 

Booking : This event does not require booking. Please arrive at the designated start point and notify the walk leader, David Harvie. 

Key Information



  • Starting at Dumbarton Bridge
  • Ending at Balloch
  • Dumbarton to Balloch
  • G82 4AD