Forth and Clyde Canal

The canal towpath makes an ideal short walk.

Parallel to the Antonine Wall, and extending for 56 km (35 miles) from the village of Bowling on the River Clyde in the west of Scotland to the large town of Grangemouth on the River Forth, the Forth and Clyde Canal was built during the later part of the 18th century (begun on 10th June, 1768) and operated until 1st January, 1963. Navigation along its entire route is now possible through the Millennium Link project and Falkirk Wheel.

As the shortest (and easiest!) route across Scotland, the canal towpath provides an ideal weekend walking tour or cycling excursion, with a good choice of overnight accommodation at the midway point in Kilsyth for the traveller and many other local attractions to make a longer stay a worthwhile experience. It’s easy to reach by public transport or car from anywhere in Scotland.

Kilsyth-Auchinstarry Basin (B802)

The Forth and Clyde Society arrange sailings on the canal, including sailings from the Auchinstarry Basin. For details please see their web site.

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Falkirk Wheel

_1502900The world’s only rotating boat lift connects the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals, replacing a series of 11 locks. The spectacular official opening ceremony was performed before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on May 24th.

The 115ft high structure at Camelon near Falkirk is able to lift eight boats at a time. It has taken two years to build and is part of a £78 million Millennium Link Scheme which allows boats to pass along the 68 miles of canals between Glasgow and Edinburgh and between the rivers Clyde in the west and Forth in the east.