SUP field note - Clyde & Forth Canal, Kirkintilloch, G66 1RH
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Disclaimer: All SUP activity is undertaken at the users own risk. Please be aware of your surroundings, the weather condition, or any personal factors that may impact your ability to use the paddleboard safely. The air and water temperatures may change quickly – Scotland is particularly notorious for this, even in the peak of Summer. Please dress and prepare accordingly. At all times when paddleboarding, you should have safety items such as a personal floating device, sound signaling devices (e.g. a peerless whistle, a surfer's leash and a flashlight/headlight for times of difficult visibility. Paddle safe, and have fun.
Location: Forth & Clyde Canal, The Stables, Kirkintilloch, G66 1RH
Scotland's canals are excellent for paddlers of all abilities. They are flat, relatively sheltered and the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet at a stones throw from the city.
Depending on where you live, there are plenty of places to enter the Forth & Clyde Canal (another good one is the marina at Auchinstarry, Kilsyth, G65 9SG). We live in Lennoxtown, so decided to launch at The Stables pub and restaurant just outside Kirkintilloch. It has a car park with plenty of space, there are toilets inside and the rumour is they do a good pint and a hot chocolate!
The canal is quiet at Kirkintilloch so it was easy to find a place to inflate our SUPs and launch. We went for a paddle towards the city centre (into the wind) and got a nice blow back on the return to where we had left out equipment.
It is worth noting that Scottish Canals ask that you tell them in advance if you are going to be using the canal for a paddle, so they can keep you up to date with safety information which may affect your trip. More info here
As long as you have. We paddled for around an hour – 40 minutes out and around 20 minutes back. Try and spot as much wildlife as you can during your trip.
Travel by car to The Stables pub near Kirkintilloch. There is a free car park outside – simply take your SUPs via the beer garden around the side of the building. There is a ramp down to the canal where you can inflate and launch.
Toilet facilities at The Stables. Afterwards stay for a drink, snack or meal.
A great place to build up skills and experience. Quiet in winter but probably busier with barge traffic in spring/summer. Downside is that Scottish Canals ask for 5 days notice before taking your SUP on the waterway, so plan your trip in advance.
Rating (out of 5*)