Living in Falkirk, I take my dog Digger for his “usual” walk through Langlees and Abbotshaugh Community woodland, to the Kelpies and back along the canal to Bankside.
The circular walk I take with Digger is about 6km and it follows the River Carron, which is pretty much tidal; it is pretty eventful for me (I'm easily pleased). After passing through Langlees park, the walk passes the tree that has railings running through the middle of it!
The path continues alongside the river and beside a wood. You have a choice to walk through the wood and see the odd sculpture - the Abbotshaugh Sentinel called “love and kisses”. The intended purpose of this large iron sculpture was to look like a scar, a healed wound, but from above it looks like a big pair of lips blowing a kiss. It is a sculpture designed for Google Earth! At the time of writing, however, both Google and Bing have yet to be updated to show the sculpture.
Love and KissesDigger explores the Abbotshaugh Sentinel The woodland here is pretty special as it was planted by the local community in the 1990s and it is always a pleasure to walk through.
River CarronThe river Carron in Falkirk, Scotland The River CarronThe river Carron in Falkirk. This was taken near the Kelpies. My usual route goes past a reed bed from where you can see the river before heading into the woods. Both routes converge at the Human Sundial! Abbotshaugh Community Woodland The Human Sundial The human sundial consists of metal bits stuck in the ground with great accuracy. To use it you stand on the correct month and your shadow will fall on the correct time! It is Scotland however so the sundial is not often available for use by a watchless passerby…
We then turn left at the Sundial and head towards the Kelpies along the tidal River Carron.
The path is an artificial bank but to the right lies wetlands which have a mixture of trees, ponds and bulrushes. I always like this bit, apart from at low tide when it is less river and more muddy banks and also apart from the bit where you reach the sewage works at the end! I don't hang around here and cross the footbridge to reach the Forth and Clyde canal and the Kelpies.
Ducks Crossing Wet Day Walking The River Carron
Wetlands The Kelpies are the world's largest horse statues, I took this picture of them on the evening of the opening day. I have not really bothered taking any more pictures as they are so very well photographed; just not by me... The KelpiesThe Kelpies in Falkirk. The statues are by the Artist Andy Scott. They were built to remember the horses that used to pull the barges along the network of canals My walk with Digger generally avoids the Kelpies and we continue along the towpath on the opposite side of the canal, or if it's dry we follow a grass path that is a shortcut away from the Kelpies and being wasteland it is more natural to me. It is a pleasure to go this way, even despite the electricity pylons looming overhead. The iron horses may be to most tastes, but to me, this is where the action is - wherever there is nature, there is beauty. The golden reeds swaying in the breeze lit by the sun - it is wonderful and a walk through nature, however small, lifts my spirits much more than any man-made object can.
After the shortcut we rejoin the towpath on the less crowded side of the canal - the other side is very busy with Kelpie visitors! It is then a good walk to bankside industrial estate where we cut back over towards Langlees to complete the circle.
All in, it a good hour's walk that gives me pleasure and it clears the head.
Edit April 2019:
I've recently made a wee video that encompasses the new Abottshaugh footbridge across the river that was completed in 2018. This video is just a small selection of video and image snippets that I've taken over time.