Spotty Dog Campsite

John Muir Way

The John Muir Way stretches 134 miles or 215 km across Scotland's heartland, running between Helensburgh in the west through to Dunbar on the east coast and Muir's birthplace.

It'll take you 7-10 days to walk and about half that by bike. Each section has its own interactive map.

The route symbolically links Dunbar (John Muir's Birthplace) with Scotland's first national park (Loch Lomond and the Trossachs) and with Helensburgh in the west, forming a coast to coast route.

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Forth & Clyde Canal

The Forth and Clyde Canal is a canal opened in 1790, crossing central Scotland; it provided a route for the seagoing vessels of the day between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde at the narrowest part of the Scottish Lowlands. It is 35 miles (56 km) long and it runs from the River Carron at Grangemouth to the River Clyde at Bowling, and had an important basin at Port Dundas in Glasgow.

Successful in its day, it suffered as the seagoing vessels were built larger and could no longer pass through. The railway age further impaired the success of the canal, and in the 1930s decline had ended in dormancy. The final decision to close the canal in the mid 1960s was made due to maintenance costs of bridges crossing the canal exceeding the revenues it brought in. However, subsidies to the rail network were also a cause for its decline and the closure ended the movement of the east-coast Forth River fishing fleets across the country to fish the Irish Sea. The lack of political and financial foresight also removed a historical recreational waterway and potential future revenue generator to the town of Grangemouth. Unlike the majority of major canals the route through Grangemouth was drained and back filled to create a new carriageway for port traffic.

The M8 motorway in the eastern approaches to Glasgow took over some of the alignment of the canal, but more recent ideas have regenerated the utility of the canal for leisure use.

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Antonine Wall

The Antonine Wall was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, it spanned approximately 63 kilometres (39 miles) and was about 3 metres (10 feet) high and 5 metres (16 feet) wide. Security was bolstered by a deep ditch on the northern side. It is thought that there was a wooden palisade on top of the turf. The barrier was the second of two "great walls" created by the Romans in Northern Britain. Its ruins are less evident than the better-known Hadrian's Wall to the south, primarily because the turf and wood wall has largely weathered away, unlike its stone-built southern predecessor.

Construction began in CE 142 at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, and took about 12 years to complete. It may be noted in passing that Antoninus Pius never visited the British Isles, whereas his predecessor Hadrian did, and may well have visited the site of his Wall, though this has not yet been proved.

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Bar Hill

Bar Hill is home to a Roman Fort along the Antonine Wall, the hill and fort are situated south of the Campsie Fells near Twechar. It was built to house troops manning the Antonine Wall, which itself is quite the attraction. Bar Hill can be a leisurely walk or part of a larger adventure.

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Auchinstarry Quarry

Auchinstarry Quarry is a central belt Dolerite quarry near Croy, that has been landscaped to provide a pleasant enough venue. Has the benefit of being close to a main line train-station, making it easy to reach for those in Glasgow or Edinburgh without a car. For those with a car, parking is very close - one of those belay from the car venues.

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Auchinstarry Marina

On the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal between the historic mining towns of Kilsyth and Croy lies British Waterways, Scottish flagship destination, Auchinstarry Marina.

Auchinstarry is a 50 berth marina with long and short term moorings and if you fancy setting sail along the canals why not sign up for inland waterways training with Seaskills The Forth & Clyde Canal Society also operate barges for hire along the canal.

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