mustardman wrote:Impressive or what?? The resurrection of the canal in the last 2 years has been somewhat quiet. Don't you think? What I mean, is that I never hear of when barges will be travelling down it. I normally always go to old kilpatrick via the canal in the suimmer months, which takes me to Loch Lomond. Now up at Maryhill Locks, it demonstrates great engineering with the canal passing over the River Kelvin by a bridge which transports the water. The height between them is scary and you wonder, how did they do that
mustardman wrote:Would like to see similar views from people and their thoughts on this 'ghost'
germistonguy wrote:Pgcc93 wrote:JayKay wrote: Recently moved to VietNauld
Classic Is it still Sucky sucky $2...... love you long time GI.
'scuse my ignorance - why VietNauld??
Cyclo2000 wrote:Having recently moved to Cumbernauld (all together, What's It Called?...)
I find myself almost exactly half way along the Canal geographically. As a keen cyclist I've been using the towpath as a traffic free route for training so...
I usually join the Towpath at Auchinstarry, where there is a large holding Basin. Barges would have been tied up overnight here at one time. I'm told the basin is being rejuvenated and it's true that there is a fair bit of building work going on there, at least sporadically. There is meant to be a hotel going up, too. There is a large-ish carpark nearby at the Auchinstarry Quarries (a popular spot with rock climbers) so it's a convenient place to start exploring the canal by foot or bike for those of you who want to take the car along.
From the starting point then, you can choose to travel East to Falkirk and the wheel, or West to Glasgow and civilisation. (For those of you who think me hard on Falkirk I must say in my defence that I know the town very well having spent a fortnight there one weekend. God bless you Chic Murray!)
Heading West, you will pass under and skirt round Bar Hill, an ancient Roman Fort on the Antonine Wall, the route of which the Canal largely parallels. The path here is excellent and the section between here and Twechar is one of the quietest and most tranquill on the whole canal. As you approach Twechar you will come to a bridge at which, should you want to, you can turn left up the short rise about one hundred yards where you will see a sign for the path up to the top of hill and the Fort proper. If you're on foot or a Mountain bike you might want to make this detour as the view from the top (the highest spot in quite a radius) is well worth the effort. On from Twechar the canal meanders along quite pleasantly to Kirkintilloch but you are more likely to come across other cyclists and walkers on this stretch and a fair number of anglers (most of whom seem to drink as much as they angle) and a few groups of Neds just hanging about. Luckily, the Neds are usually on the other side so they shouldn't bother you much. After about 15 mins cycling, you will pass the remains of one of the inns/stabling blocks that line the canal at intervals. This where the horses that used to draw the boats were changed and presumably, people must have stayed. This house is unusual in that it isn't near a set of locks, the canal here being very level. Near here, there is a traditional narrow boat moored. From Twechar, the bridge at Kirkintilloch comes up in half an hour to 45 mins on a bicycle. Dunno what happens after that as I always turn here to go back!
From the Basin at Auchinstarry heading the other way, towards Falkirk and the East, the path passes several sets of (now working) locks. This path tends to be busier, particularly at the weekends but it is broader along this stretch so a decent speed can usually be kept up. First up lock-wise is Craigmarloch where, if you look up to your left, you'll see a slightly better preserved example of the kind of staging post I spoke of earlier. It's well hidden in vegetation at this time of year and may be hard to get into, but I can assure you that if you make that effort....you'll have wasted your time! It's just four walls and honestly, theres nothing to see but graffity. Next set of locks along are manned so if you're lucky you might see a boat going through. If you head up to your right at this point you'll go to Cumbernauld Airfield. They have a couple of old Soviet jets at the end of runway should you be so enclined. Go to the left and you'll be near Banton more or less, where there's a pub. Next locks are at Castlecary. Good place for lunch (the best on the length of the canal I think) is the Castlecary Hotel, but it isn't signposted. Cross the canal by the old bridge, which comes immediately after you've gone under the A80, and carry on to the road end. Be carefull joining the road as there is very fast traffic joing from the A80 here. Turn left, up the hill to the T-junction then turn right. Follow the road round 500 yards and you'll see the Hotel on the right. Go right round the back to the beer garden where you can leave yer bike safely. Inside, look at the blackboards for todays guest ales. Back the way you came to the canal. You'll pass a wee white cottage on the other side ofthe canal which last summer was doing ice creams and cups of tea etc. To get to it you'll need to walk over the lock gates. This is the roughest part of the path but also the broadest. Not far along to the next set of locks at Underwood, where there is the only working lodge house still along the length of the Canal. It's an Indian Restaurant now, but they do have tables outside where a thirsty chap or chapess might imbibe. Just before you get to it you'll see apair of quite ornate old gates set at a crazy angle amid the bushes. I think they belong to the large house you can see set well back in the trees. If you crossed the canal at Underwood and rummelled along the road towards Falkirk a bit you'd come to the best preserved section of Antonine Wall still in existance. Carry on to Bonnybridge ( which isn't bonny at all and PS citizens, I can't even find a bridge). There is a nice section of very broad smooth path skirting the edge of the town and some kind soul has planted a bit of the verge with beautifully colourful shrubbery. Again after this I dunno what happens as I usually turn and go back, but safe to say that another half hours wheeling would bring you to the Boat Lift at Falkirk.
As I explore more I'll post the rest...
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