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A wheely impressive boatlift

A wheely impressive boatlift


Postby denfinella » Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:31 pm

Route description: Falkirk Wheel - two canals circuit, near Falkirk

Date walked: 21/11/2015

Time taken: 1 hours

Distance: 6 km

Ascent: 60m

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Finally a good weather forecast again, and with snow on the hills potentially making higher walks difficult, we decided on an overdue visit to Falkirk, and the Falkirk Wheel. Before taking to the water we went for a wander along the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, reversing the direction of the walkhighlands route.

All calm and cold at the start:

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A quick glimpse at the Falkirk Wheel in the sunshine before continuing with the walk:

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Snowy Ochils:

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Hopeful swans:

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A mile or so of pleasant but uneventful towpath took us to Lock Sixteen, where there's also a pub which serves food. Lots of people out taking their dogs for a walk. It was sunny for now as forecast, but an unwelcome layer of cloud was starting to encroach from the west.

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Leaving the canal behind, a dreary (but short) section of pavement walking through suburbs follows to get up to the higher Union Canal. The narrow dogleg from the railway bridge up to the towpath could be avoided by turning right instead of left, up the steep and grassy bank directly to the canal, although this misses out a little wooded section. Back on a towpath:

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Aqueduct over the road:

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The next section gets you away from the houses, but a busy railway line alongside detracts from the rural feel.

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Eventually a couple more locks marked an abrupt turn in the canal to the right. A weird selection of abstract "houses" had been placed on the embankment here!

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Roughcastle Tunnel was next up, a modern tube-like tunnel with atmospheric reflections in the calm water:

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The highlight of the walk was next - suddenly emerging from the tunnel at the top of the Falkirk Wheel! This was the reason we'd walked the route in the opposite direction. There were great views of the Ochil Hills from the top:

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A path leads back down to the visitor centre, with good views of the boatlift from the side:

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After arriving back at the visitor centre, we went on a boat trip up the wheel - not really worth the money to be honest, as you're stuck inside the enclosed roof of the boat. Better to see it in operation from the outside, which we got a chance to do afterwards:

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A pleasant morning's walk, although nothing too dramatic, and perfect for working up an appetite for lunch...

Afternoon: Falkirk Tunnel: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=58253
Last edited by denfinella on Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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denfinella
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Re: A wheely impressive boatlift

Postby spiderwebb » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:43 pm

Nice one, that second tunnel pic looks like there isn't any water :?
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spiderwebb
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