Map of Forth and Clyde Canal from Kirkintilloch to Kilsyth
Map derived from data (c) OpenStreetMap

Glasgow to Kirkintilloch Kilsyth to Falkirk

Beyond Townhead Bridge and the high concrete flyover of Nicholson Bridge is the canal's second major aqueduct, the Luggie Aqueduct. This single stone arch originally spanned the Luggie Water, but later on it was used by the Campsie Branch Railway as a convenient way to cross the canal without having to build a new tunnel, culverting the river and laying tracks through the arch between river and canal. The railway is gone now, but the aqueduct has been restored and the stonework of the path below now bears a depiction of railway tracks.

Kirkintilloch's other bridge, Hillhead Bridge, was originally a bascule but is now a steel swing bridge. It was fixed shut after the canal closed but restored to working order for the Millennium Link. East of the town is another long rural stretch, although the houses extend quite a long way on the south side of the canal. A tiny aqueduct known as Shirva Pend passes underneath. It spans a minor road but with only 4'9" headroom is rumoured to be the lowest road bridge in Britain! Close by is Auchendavie, where a large water pipe used to span the canal only a few feet above the water, causing an obstruction. It has now been replaced by a new pipe underneath the canal.

The village of Twechar appears on the south side, and round the next corner is Twechar Bridge. A new metal lifting bridge was installed here in 1962, only a few months before the canal closed! Unfortunately by the time of the restoration it was no longer in good condition and most of it had to be replaced. There was once a railway bridge at Twechar too. The next section along to Auchinstarry is quite winding and passes through a pretty woodland.

Auchinstarry Bridge south of Kilsyth was a low swing bridge until quite recently, but it was not restored to working order - instead it was bypassed by a new concrete bridge. The narrow point where the old bridge was and the old line of the road can still clearly be seen on the west side. On the other side is Auchinstarry Marina, very popular with boaters. The Boathouse, a new pub and restaurant, overlooks the marina and has a terrace with lots of outdoor tables, perfect for enjoying a cold beer on a hot day. The pub was built to be environmentally friendly and incorporates an energy saving geothermal heating system.

View photos of this section of canal in the gallery