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Welcome to the Kelvin Valley

Come back and visit us again from time to time
to learn more about this lovely part of Bonnie Scotland. 

ANTONINE WALL
The Antonine wall was Scotland's Roman frontier. It ran for 37 miles from Bo'ness on the River Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde, and was built by the Roman army under Emperor Antoninus Pius about 142 AD.
Approximately every 2 miles along the wall there was a fort - 19 in all, as well as fortlets, watchtowers and signal platforms.
About 6000 troops were based in the forts until about 160 AD, when Hadrian's Wall became the frontier of the Empire instead.
The Roman wall is popular with walkers in the Kelvin Valley. Its visible sections can be accessed from Bar Hill/Castle Hill (south of the River Kelvin) and Croy Hill. Fine views over the valley can be seen from both these areas.

AUCHINSTARRY BASIN Gypsy Princess
To the south of Kilsyth, is one of the most scenic stretches of the Forth and Clyde Canal. The 'Gypsy Princess' canal boat (shown in her new colours at the reopening) is usually moored at the basin is active during the summer weekends, when the local canal society provide public boat trips between Auchinstarry basin, Craigmarloch bridge and Wyndford Loch. Soon there will be a new hotel situated here with adjacent moorings so perhaps you'll extend your stay.

A canal festival is held each June at the end of the Kilsyth Civic week. The Kilsyth Thistle Pipe Band and the Civic Queen are in attendance while thousands of visitors sample the festival delights.

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AUCHINSTARRY QUARRY Auchinstarry Quarry from the Forth & Clyde Canal
To the South of Kilsyth, between the edge of the town and near the Forth and Clyde Canal, is Auchinstarry Park. On most days climbers can be seen scaling the rock faces of the flooded former quarry. Minibus loads of would-be climbers arrive regularly to learn the ropes and enjoy the grass and flooded quarry area.

Swing Bridge at Auchinstarry looking EastAUCHINSTARRY SWINGBRIDGE (now destroyed)
Where the B802 road between Kilsyth and Croy crossed the Forth and Clyde Canal, a horizontal swing bridge (shown above) was placed. This swung over onto the south side of the canal bank and enabled canal traffic to pass. When the canal was closed then it was set in the closed position to allow the road traffic to flow but severely restricting the height of canal traffic. A new road bridge built in 2000 bypasses this original swing bridge and then it was cut up and removed - removing this constriction on the canal.

BANTON
Banton village, with its remote church and manse sits peacefully among the rolling hills of the Kelvin Valley. Some of its old cottages date back to the 18th century.

BANTON LOCH
This loch is one of the man-made feeder lochs built for the Forth and Clyde Canal. Part of it covers an area associated with the Battle of Kilsyth. It can be reached from the Colzium Estate and attracts a number of fishermen.

BAR HILL
Bar Hill with its Roman fort can be reached by following the road from Auchinstarry to Croy and taking a signposted path on the right hand side of the road before reaching the village of Croy.
From the top of Bar Hill, the Kelvin Valley can be seen stretching out northward towards the Kilsyth Hills and, to the left, the Campsie Fells together with further views of Central Scotland. The footpath can be followed down to the village of Twecher. The Bar Hill site was first excavated in the early 1900s. Uncovered remains such as the bath house are of interest.

COLZIUM HOUSE AND ESTATE
Situated just off the Stirling Road on the east side of Kilsyth is Colzium House with its 50 acres of park land.
Once the seat of the Lennox family, it was gifted to the people of Kilsyth by W. Mackay Lennox of Craigengoyne, Kilsyth in memory of his mother. The estate contains a famous walled garden, which is a popular visitor attraction. There are many interesting walks and features throughout the extensive estate. "The Walled Garden", "Granny's Mutch", "The Lade", the "Ice House", the "Curling Pond", the "Clock Theatre" and the "Colzium Castle" remains - these all deserve further investigation.

CRAIGMARLOCH
Once it was the destination of day trippers from Glasgow, who came along the Forth and Clyde Canal on the 'Queen' steamers. Today, it has a picnic area and canal paths and provides a useful stopping point for walkers and cyclists alike

CROY HILL
Croy Hill is the site of part of the Antonine Wall and a Roman fortlet. It can be reached from the northern end of the village or by following the road up from the Craigmarloch Bridge over the canal and taking the right hand signposted track. The views northward from the top of Croy Hill, overlooking the Kelvin Valley, are quite inspiring.

CROY STATION
A superb 'park-and-ride' facility is found at Croy Station. Park your car here and take one of the frequent trains to Scotland's major cities - Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The fast train from Croy to Glasgow takes less than 15 minutes, while the train to Edinburgh takes just over 30 minutes.
Falkirk can be reached in 10 minutes, Stirling in 22 and Dunblane is just over 30 minutes.
Whichever direction you want to travel you can soon be there - and promised soon are more parking spaces.

CROY VILLAGE
Croy village boasts an impressive Chapel, which is set on a hill and is a landmark in the surrounding area. There is also a small grotto to be found along the track between the village and the canal bank.
The walk up Croy Hill ends in the village, and those who have enjoyed the exhilarating walk and taken in the views of the valley, may be glad of the refreshment provided in the village. Croy is also famous for its world famous champion boxers.

CUMBERNAULD
One of Scotland's famous new towns - now a little older than new. Not situated in the Kelvin Valley but linked by local Governmental links. The town is centre is unusual and has received both awards and brickbats. One interesting feature (at the time of building) is that it has a dual carriage main road built through the town centre! Fortunately it also had a bypass built to the north, the A80. In recent years the town has spread further afield and especially to the North and West. The town centre seems to be continually being rebuilt though it has yet to match the facilities on many other of the Scottish new towns. Cumbernauld is home to a number of companies, many situated on industrial estates. It also has its own local airport and is home to the relocated Clyde Football Club in addition to other sporting teams.

Somewhat lost among the more modern areas, just to the south of the A80, is the old village of Cumbernauld with historic features.

CUMBERNAULD AIRPORT
Lying just on the south rim of the upper Kelvin Valley is Cumbernauld Airport. It is home to light aircraft, gliders and helicopter services. The upper Kelvin Valley is unusual in Britain in having so many forms of transport together in one place. Standing on the peaceful canal bank, in addition to the boats one may see the trains, the distant main road and overhead a plane or glider.

DULLATUR
Sometimes spelt as Dullator.
The village has some famous houses, designed by the Glasgow architect, Alexander Thomson and more modern houses of distinction. It is also well known in the area for its popular and upmarket golf course.

DUMBRECK NATURE RESERVE
Dumbreck Marsh is one of a series of wetlands that lie in the flood plain of the River Kelvin. It supports a large bird population, including the rare water rail. The reserve is a good place for both bird watching and nature walks.

 

Material Copyright © 2000 - 2005 DGR

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