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Last year my daughter, son-in-law and four of my grandchildren took a wonderful trip with me to historic Scotland. In 10 days we went from Loch Ness and Inverness in the north to Hadrian's Wall in the south and many places in between. You can see pix from that trip at  2007 Scotland Trip.

But I really fell in love with two historic sites which tied together the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea; the  Antonine Wall and the Forth & Clyde Canal. I just had to come back to do those in depth, so here I am again. Falkirk is the focal point not only of these two sites, but early cattle trysts, and several historic battles.

Almost everyone knows about Hadrian's Wall, a Roman frontier built in the 120's, but until that trip I never heard of the more northern Antonine Wall built by Antoninus Pius in about 142. This wall went from sea to sea across the middle of Scotland connecting the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Many sites and ruins still exist and many museums and societies are devoted to this project. I will not try to tell you all the details, because it is well done at many other websites. One of my favorites is at: http://www.britanniafilm.de/antonine01.html

In the late 18th century the Forth and Clyde Canal was built roughly along the same line to provide a shortcut from ocean to ocean. Later the Union Canal was built from Edinburgh and connected to the F&C at Falkirk through a flight of 11 locks. Eventually rail and highways replaced the canals and they fell into disuse and disrepair. The locks were dismantled and housing built in the area. Preservationists fought for the reclamation of the canals and they were cleaned up for business and recreation.The 11 locks were replaced by a marvelous machine called the Falkirk Wheel. The following link will take you to the wonderful Virtual Earth maps, where you can trace much of my focus area with highly detailed photos. Tomís Falkirk Trip


You can rent a boat like this on the canals and motor from sea to sea.


This gadget, the Falkirk Wheel, carries a boat in a tray of water up 101 feet, from the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal.


Top of the swing with boat.


The boat travels about 1/4 mile and under a RR bridge, which was built roughly on the Antonine Wall

Line of the Antonine Wall
Roman Era in Britain by John Ward
A map of Arbuthnot House. Click to see the map on MSN Maps & Directions

Click on map for navigable map.

Arbuthnot House, Falkirk, Front of Building
Arbuthnot House

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