The Western Region currently comprises of the administrative areas of Argyle and Bute, North Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Aryshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, Inverclyde, West Dumbartonshire, East Dumbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Stirling. Dramatic contrasts mark this region. In the north, utilitarian man has left his indelible print - the Clydeside area of heavy engineering and shipbuilding, together with the bustle of Glasgow and its conurbation towns, stands in stark contrast to much else that is Strathclyde. The gently rolling, seemingly empty landscape of the Lowther Hills, frequented mainly by sheep and grouse, make a tranquil contrast to the urban sprawl further north. West Strathclyde enjoys a mild climate brought by the Gulf Stream's warm currents lapping the coastline, where holiday resorts are dotted among rocky coves and sandy beaches. Further inland, swift flowing rivers cut through lofty hills and the fingers of wooded valleys reach down toward the coast.
This landscape, the towns and villages located here, the ruined strongholds, reminders of feuds long past - all were inspiration for the poems and ballads of Robert Burns - these rural idylls were where Scotland's national poet found his muse, and his genius caught alight.
The western borders of the former Central region are consumed by the vast expanse of Loch Lomond's waters, for nearly two centuries a major attraction in the region. The largest loch in Scotland at 23 miles in length, with 38 islands breaking its surface, it is accompanied by the dramatic grandeur of the West Highland Way, where wooded slopes and waterfalls tip into the sparkling calm of the ancient loch. Loch Lomond, together with the sharp peaks and frost-covered slopes of the Trossachs, fulfil a popular ideal of Scotland, based on the widely read poems and novels of Sir Walter Scott. To the south, lie the scattered remains of the Antonine Wall, built across the narrowest neck of Scotland, a less than convincing attempt by the mighty Roman Empire to extend its northern limits in AD140. In the east of the county it is man's achievements that last in the memory.
Indomitable upon a high rock, the massive bulk of Stirling Castle broods upon Bannockburn below, where Robert the Bruce put Edward II's English troops to flight in 1314, thereby ensuring Scotland's independence.