Walk: Hidden underbelly of Falkirk

[Falkirk Tunnel]

On a dull and damp day it's often appealing to stay indoors... or you could head underground and explore Scotland's longest canal tunnel! Stalactites have been growing inside from the constant dripping for nearly 200 years since the tunnel's construction - these and atmospheric reflections in the still canal water create a fascinating underworld, accessible by foot or by boat. Beyond the tunnel exit, look out for the Laughin' Greetin' Bridge. Its arch is adorned on the Edinburgh and Glasgow sides with happy and miserable faces respectively: referring to the comparatively easy time canal navvies had in building east over flat ground, compared to the numerous locks (many now replaced by the Falkirk Wheel) and the long tunnel lying ahead to the west. The overland return route through suburbs and scrub doesn't quite compare, but a decent view over Falkirk to the Ochil Hills is a nice bonus.

[Entrance to the tunnel]

Name: Walk: Hidden underbelly of Falkirk ★☆☆
Length: 3 km / 2 miles
Ascent: 30 metres
Points of interest: Falkirk Tunnel; Laughin' Greetin' Bridge
Start / finish: Car park, Falkirk High railway station, G.R.: NS 881792 / tender hiring sailors

Route: Car park - Falkirk Tunnel - Laughin' Greetin' Bridge - double back left up bank, then return to start above ground (mostly signposted)
Terrain: Surfaced paths and some pavements, often wet in tunnel.
Wildlife today: Mallard ducks, small birds.
Weather today: Dull with just a little sunshine breaking through cloud in places; just above freezing. The faintest trace of snow on the ground in places, left from the previous night - more snow on hills.

[Good views across to the Ochil Hills on the return]


Route credit: Walkhighlands

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