This was to be another long day on the Union Canal.
I left Uphall at 7.45, as I had around 5k to walk before meeting up with Rachel at 9.00 at Winchburgh. Luckily we arrived within minutes of each other.
The only memorable parts of this section were the huge slag heaps and the Peel tower at Niddry Castle.
After a lot of catching up, Linlithgow eventually appeared, with the skyline dominated by Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. In all honesty, we were more interested in tea and cakes which were amply provided by the Strawberry Cafe (highly recommended).
I am sometimes asked why I do not visit more of the tourist highlights that I pass. I think it is that I have to view the trip as a job. Each day the objective is to reach the next stopping place, and I do not want to be diverted from that task.
Leaving Linlithgow, we trudged on passing the Avon Aqueduct, which is very similar to the Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales.
The only other excitement was finding a toad on the path.
Nearing Falkirk things looked up. The Falkirk Tunnel was a joy, with stalactites hanging from the ceiling and large picturesque calcite deposits on the walls.
The tunnel is 631m long and was constructed because a wealthy industrialist, John Forbes, objected to the canal being visible from his estate!
We left the canal at the Tunnel to walk into Falkirk for more tea. We arrived around 3.45. Once we found my hotel, Rachel caught a bus back to Winchburgh. It was great to have Rachel’s company for a 20-mile day, and our conversation made the walk pass quickly.
After I had a quick shower and dinner, John arrived to take me to see the Kelpies.
These are breathtaking and a must-visit if you are ever in the area. The photos speak for themselves.