Our family has recently been discovering the delights of the Forth & Clyde canal, which (as its name implies) runs from the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh, through Glasgow to join the River Clyde. It opened in 1790, but was closed in 1966. However, through the efforts of many volunteers it was reopened in time for the Millenium in 2000. You can read more about its history here.
One Saturday morning, Michael and I headed out early for a cycle out to Clydebank. It was the first time I’d been on my bicycle for a good number of years. I was therefore a bit wobbly at first, but it was great fun and I didn’t fall in the canal:
On our next outing, I was feeling bolder and we went all the way to where the canal joins the River Clyde:
The canal passes close to the heart of the city. Below is a photo looking towards Lock 27, north of Anniesland Cross in Glasgow. I had driven over the canal many times going up to Bearsden, and had seen the canal-side pub called Lock 27, but I’d never come along the canal itself.
There are many locks along the canal, and various watercraft use it to travel. It was interesting to watch one boat’s crew work the lock, though I don’t have a photo to show you. One great advantage of cycling along the canal is that the path is level except for gradual rises at the locks (as you see below). There are no great hills to climb.
One of the most amazing things about the canal is the sense of peace and countryside that you have, even though you are in a very large city.
The Dafter also came for a walk with me along the canal, one beautiful day when she had a bit of energy after school. This photo shows the canal just beyond where I was standing in Clydebank in the top photo:
Glasgow reminds me a bit of my hometown, Portland, Oregon, in that while it is a large city, there is a lot of unspoiled nature even in the heart of the city. My parents actively campaigned for the conservation of Oaks Bottom in Portland, and I am very proud of what they achieved. Other people similarly worked very hard to clean up the Forth & Clyde canal, build the lovely path, and re-open it to barges and boats. I really appreciate their hard work. The path is very well used by dog-walkers, runners, cyclists and people out for a stroll. (A bicycle bell is essential!) The canal is a wonderful asset for the city to have, and I look forward to discovering much more of it.