A weekend walk or cycle trip across Scotland

Kilsyth is on the Lands End to John O' Groats long distance walk and the South of Scotland Way, as well as being at the half way point for the shortest walk across Scotland

canal towpath near Twechar Kelvin river valley from the canal

Photos (left) canal towpath near Twechar (right) Kelvin river valley from the canal.


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Well, this page covers two weekend walks across Scotland actually - or why not combine them for an unforgettable "there and back again" four or five day hike?

"My bed and breakfast in Kilsyth was superb. Tucked out on the northern edge of town, Allanfauld Farm had a wonderfully warm welcome, a luxurious bath, a soft double bed, great decor and an atmosphere that was as good as any B&B I've visited on my trip. I loved it and I'd recommend it to anyone. Similarly, Kilsyth has a lovely old part of town that's clustered round a well-crafted park, with a couple of little streams babbling past the houses with their manicured gardens and pretty architecture. And on the northern edge of town, just before you get to Allanfauld, the houses are large, discreetly hidden behind hedges and trees, and are very pleasant places indeed. Kilsyth has much going for it."

http://www.landsendjohnogroats.info/southern_scotland/51_kilsyth.html Mark Moxon 1995-2006

Walk One - The Antonine Way

The Antonine Way links Bo'ness on the River Forth with Old Kilpatrick just outside Glasgow on the River Clyde. 

The walk is 37 miles and can be used to connect with the West Highland Way and many other walks and trails. It is tough going in places and some imagination and a good map will be required to follow the best route. The easier option is to follow the canal towpath (below) for the hard sections, linking two fascinating historical experiences.

Massive ramparts of the Antonine Wall above Kilsyth

Massive earthen ramparts of the Antonine Wall above Kilsyth

bulletToo long or in a hurry? Try a pleasant four mile circular walk from Twechar to Auchinstarry

http://www.antonineway.com  provides a website guide to this fascinating walk with:

Walk Two: Forth and Clyde Canal towpath

As the shortest (and easiest!) route across Scotland, the Forth and Clyde canal towpath ensures an ideal and level two day walking tour for walkers of all abilities, 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.

The canal towpath between Bowling and Grangemouth makes an ideal weekend walk.

The canal towpath between Bowling and Grangemouth makes an ideal weekend 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. 

The Forth and Clyde was the first canal built in Scotland, linking its two major waterways for trade and transport and providing an additional three-mile branch to Glasgow from Port Dundas. Created to accommodate sea-going boats, its 39 locks are over 18m (60 feet) long and nearly 6m (20 feet) wide; its highest point of 48m (156 feet) is between Banknock (Wyndford Lock) and Glasgow (Maryhill). The engineers who built the canal included John Smeaton (1768-73), Robert MacKell (1773-79) and Robert Whiteworth (1785-90), with no work carried out in the period 1777-85 during much of the American Revolution. The first steamboat, the Charlotte Dundas, carried out trials in 1802 on the canal, and the Forth and Clyde was also one of the first canals to carry vehicles such as carts and railway wagons. In 1868 it was bought by Caledonian Railway and its present owner is British Waterways.

The Forth and Clyde Canal links Grangemouth, Falkirk, Bonnybridge, Castlecary, Twechar, Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Maryhill (Glasgow), Clydebank, Erskine and Bowling.

Auchinstarry basin is the natural overnight point for a canal cruise, cycle tour or walk, and a short walk (half-mile) from Kilsyth town centre for essential supplies and refreshment. The basin is a 15 minute stroll from Croy railway station with direct trains every 30 minutes to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Falkirk High and regular local bus services. 

Wild swans and other fowl frequently nest on the canal banks at Auchinstarry

Photo: Wild swans and other fowl frequently nest on the canal banks at Auchinstarry.

Recreation:

Local Canal history: 

Wetlands and wildlife along the canal:

Fishing information:

Auchinstarry marina Auchinstarry Picnic site

(left) Auchinstarry marina                                                  (right) Auchinstarry Picnic site

 

The canal is a place of great calm and natural beauty with magnificent open views and wildlife. The Antonine Wall crosses Barr hill in the background. 

All Photos RK

Guided walking tours? - try this link http://www.maketracks.net