The Scottish Maritime Museum in Dunbarton

Scotland and Glasgow have always been associated with Shipbuilding, due to its booming industrial trade throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. If you have ever wanted to learn more about the nations Maritime history, but also want to take a break from the city, then The Scottish Maritime Museum in Dunbarton is the place for you! The Museum was founded in 1983 and boasts sites at Dunbarton and Irvine, with internationally recognised collections. Some of these include historic vessels, artefacts, and the largest collection of associated tools and machinery in the country.

How can I find the Scottish Maritime Museum in Dunbarton?

The museum is easily located from the town centre. If travelling from Glasgow, hop on the Helensburgh Central train and the museum is a five-minute walk from Dunbarton Station.

Visitors can also feast their eyes on the former William Denny shipyard, this features the Denny Ship Model Experimentation tank, which is the worlds first of its kind! The museum also boasts regular Exhibitions and events including the Textile Panel Workshops and the Harbour Stories; Short films. Admission starts at £4.50 for adults and is free for children. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, throughout the year. So why not make the most of your day out and experience an educational and entertaining day out, away from the hustle and bustle of the city!

  • Cafe.
  • Wheelchair access.
  • Parking.

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What's on in Glasgow

Charity Garden Opening - Wraes

13 - 26 August, 2022
Tranquil seven-acre garden developed since 2012, with far-reaching rural views. Only surviving historic 1860 wood planted by Lady Anne Spiers of Houston House for the Wraes, currently undergoing renovation with extensive new tree planting. Formal garden with raised herbaceous borders, woodland walk with 100 different rhododendron species and hybrids. Pond, burnside and cliffside walks, peaceful woodland walk with plentiful seating areas to relax and enjoy the views and tranquility. A great space for children to run and explore (under supervision). NEW IN 2020 - apple and pear orchard, wildflower meadow and grass maze. This is a fundraising event for the open garden charity Scotland’s Gardens Scheme which raises money for hundreds of local charities.

'Hope Floats' -- The Skylark IX Recovery Project

12 - 25 August, 2022
‘Hope Floats’ reveals the twisting story of Skylark IX, which is believed to be one of only two ‘Dunkirk Little Ships’ from the World War 2 Operation Dynamo surviving in Scotland. The travelling exhibition, which has been curated by the Skylark IX Recovery Project which cares for Skylark IX, charts her story from launching as a pleasure boat in 1934 through her wartime service and final sinking in 2010. The story culminates with her new role inspiring and changing the lives of people recovering from addictions across West Dunbartonshire. The exhibition also celebrates the achievements of the Skylark IX Recovery Project over the last two years made possible by a National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) award in 2018. The NLHF award has enabled the Dumbarton-based Skylark IX Recovery Project to plan vital work to help stabilise Skylark’s condition and deliver boatbuilding training for Alternatives Community-based Recovery Service and Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol clients. The Project also delivers therapeutic arts and heritage projects for people across the community.

Into The Maelstrom: The Scottish Kayak Expedition To North West Norway 1980

12 - 13 August, 2022
Get swept up in the adventure of a lifetime! Discover what made four young friends make Scotland’s first major sea kayaking expedition and conquer one of the world's largest whirlpools, the treacherous Maelstrom…. Follow Jim Breen, Angus Mathieson, Bill Turnbull and Peter Wilson’s story as they paddle 394 miles around the islands of North West Norway in the Artic Circle, battling food poisoning, a heatwave and severe magnetic anomalies to make the first ever crossing of the ‘Maelstrom’. The exhibition, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the expedition, is included in Museum admission.

Chariots of Steam: An Exhibition of Model Ships by Lachie Stewart

13 - 21 August, 2022

'Into the Maelstrom' Expedition Leader Talk at the Scottish Maritime Museum

13 - 13 August, 2022
Join Expedition Leader Jim Breen for a fascinating, personal tour of the Museum’s latest exhibition, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of Scotland’s first major sea kayaking expedition. The one-off personal Talk and Tour around Into the Maelstrom: The Scottish Kayak Expedition to North West Norway 1980 is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Jim’s personal memories of the bold expedition which also included the first recorded dual crossing of one of the world’s largest whirlpools, the ‘Maelstrom’. During the hour long Talk and Tour, which takes place at 11am and 2pm, Jim will tell how he and his friends Angus, Bill and Peter found themselves storm-bound on an island off the West coast of Scotland in 1978 and made a pact to embark on Scotland’s first major sea kayaking expedition together. Touring the photographs, memorabilia and equipment on display, visitors will hear how, after two challenging years of planning and fundraising, the four friends finally set off. Paddling 394 miles (634 kilometres), they circumnavigated the two island groups of Lofoten and Vesterålen in North West Norway, 200 miles within the Arctic Circle, before setting out into the ‘Maelstrom’. Jim will also share his memories of the challenges of the expedition which included very severe magnetic anomalies, bland meals only alleviated by occasional treats of Angel Delight and Cabana chocolate, as well as food poisoning and an unexpected heatwave. There will also be an opportunity to ask Jim questions about the 28 day expedition as well as time to explore the exhibition independently.