Lambhill Stables enjoys a tranquil canalside location. It’s easy to forget how close you are to the city, and the traffic on Balmore Road becomes a distant murmur when you’re contemplating the diversity of wildlife and the lush greenery on the canal’s banks. It wasn’t always this way…
Conceived in 1763, surveyed in 1768 by the father of civil engineering John Smeaton and completed in 1790, the Great Canal as it was originally known, connected the North Sea with the Irish Sea across Scotland’s narrowest point, just 36 miles wide, between Bowling on the Firth of Clyde and Grangemouth on the Firth of Forth. It allowed a safe trading route, avoiding the dangerous passage around the north coast of Scotland, and allowed the swift transportation of goods and people along its length.
The advent of the railways in the mid-19th century meant that the canal’s heyday was short-lived. Passenger traffic ceased soon after the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line opened in 1843, following roughly the route of the canal, and goods traffic slowed to a trickle as the railway network expanded and the industry that the canal had supported began to wane. The Forth and Clyde Canal fell into disuse and was closed to navigation by an act of Parliament in 1963.
Since 2001, however, after a lengthy campaign to reinstate it, the canal has found a new lease of life providing quiet, green routes through and out of the city for walkers and cyclists as well as contributing to the biodiversity of the area. These days, you are more likely to pass herons, swans and kingfishers on the canal than boat traffic.
The Forth & Clyde Canal Society play an active role in the continuing life of the canal as a waterway and run regular talks, events and boat trips. You can find them at forthandclyde.org.uk
There's lots to do at Lambhill Stables, and below are just some of the activities we have available. Get Involved!