Forth & Clyde Canal, Scotland
Best for: Old world and new world aligned When it opened in 1790, the Forth and Clyde was the world’s first sea-to-sea canal, linking the Atlantic with the North Sea. Today its towpath forms part of the John Muir Way. The route crosses the Lowlands, though the 39 locks are a hint that there’s still some high ground to cross between the Clyde and Carron rivers. A short extension takes you to the impressively futuristic Falkirk Wheel, which moves boats between the Forth and Clyde and the Union canals, mixing kinetic sculpture and steampunk engineering. At the western end you’re close to the Antonine Wall, a more northerly and less successful sequel to Hadrian’s defences. You’ll also pass a bewildering variety of bridges, from heritage lifting bridges to the Erskine Bridge, carrying the A898 some 55 metres above the canal. With a wellsurfaced towpath and stunning views, it’s surprisingly remote for much of its length, so take the rare café, pub and meal opportunities when they arise. WALK HERE: Download Falkirk Wheel at ww.lfto.com/bonusroutes
WHEEL OF FORTUNE The Falkirk Wheel is the star attraction of the Forth & Clyde, although the Kelpie horses (inset) run it close.