Forth & Clyde Canal, Scot­land

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Discover | Canal Walks -

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 at­routes

WHEEL OF FORTUNE The Falkirk Wheel is the star at­trac­tion of the Forth & Clyde, al­though the Kelpie horses (in­set) run it close.

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