Weekend Away: Forth & Clyde Canal 6th & 7th October

It’s 16 years since the last weekend walk on the Forth and Clyde Canal. We weren’t able to attend then so it was very useful when Jan accidently stumbled upon the write up of that weekend.

Although Saturday’s walk is going to follow the same route (but downhill this time) we think there are enough changes to make it interesting still for those who were there in 2002.

THE PLAN

Saturday

Starting near the Falkirk tunnel  we will walk through the tunnel and towards the Falkirk wheel, stopping to look at the old lock line and the new staircase locks before passing through Roughcastle tunnel which brings us out at the top of the impressive Falkirk Wheel, in our opinion the best position to view it from. In 2002 the lift and swing bridge were closed and a diversion had to be made, hopefully this won’t be the case this year and we’ll be able to cross the swing bridge and walk down the canal to our lunch stop at the Union Inn.

After lunch we walk down the 16 locks to the amazing Kelpies and see the new locks and channel down into the River Carron.

It will be possible to join us at the Wheel or the lunch stop if you don’t want to do the whole day’s walk which breaks down as follows:

Bridge to Falkirk Wheel 2.6 miles

Wheel to lunch stop 1 mile

Luchstop to the Kelpies 2.9 miles

Kelpies to River Carron lock ½ mile.

We’ve gone with the majority decision on riding the Falkirk Wheel which is for people to make their own arrangements

Saturday Night

The meal will be at the Stables at Kirkintillock. This is a very nice canalside Vintage Inn, we have tried and approved the food.

Sunday

The morning’s walk will take us from Port Dundas to the Kelvin Aqueduct with plenty to see on the way:  Spiers Wharf with it’s Georgian Canal House and warehouses, Possil Road Aqueduct, Hamiltonhill Old Basin, WW2 stop lock, Firshill Basin timber pounds and the splendid Maryhill locks. This is an easy 3½ miles on wide, made footpaths shared by polite cyclists (is this a first?).

After retrieving cars from Port Dundas we’ll lunch at a nearby Wetherspoons after which we’ll drive to Dalmuir drop lock then  to Bowling Basin with its Bascule Bridge, the disused but listed Railway swing bridge, Custom House, the old and the new sea locks and the basins.

As everyone will have their cars at this point those needing to get straight off will be able to do so but there is also the option to join us on a short  walk up to lock 37 which is dwarfed by the Erskine Bridge which crosses the river and canal.

Several walkers have already communicated their intention to join the weekend but there is no need to commit until the final email is sent out in September with details of meeting and parking places and asking for menu choices for the Saturday night.