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Glasgow, Forth & Clyde Canal, Arria, The Kelpies, Forth Road Bridge, Kirkcaldy, Scotland.
(3 day bike-pack)
Thu 11 Jun - Sat 13 Jun 2015

Thu 11 Jun 2015

Thu 11 Jun 2015
Fri 12 Jun 2015
Sat 13 Jun 2015
I'm heading off to Scotland with my bike with a few objectives. I set off just after 05:30am to cycle to Preston Railway Station to catch the 06:40am train to Glasgow. The ticket price is worth commenting on. Buying mine as an advanced ticket earlier in the week I paid £9.90 for the single ticket with a senior railcard. If I'd bought it on the day with no card it would have been over £60.

About to depart Preston

The train was on time and I enjoyed the clear views across Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland hills. It was sunny and warm outside. We reached Glasgow at 09:12 and I took my time getting stuff ready before cycling to the Clyde then the cycle trail along the bankside and under the M8. The cycle route followed a pedestrian overpass then I followed cycle tracks by the road to Kelvingrove Park.

Arriving at Glasgow Central

Glasgow Central Railway Station

The track followed the River Kelvin for a while. I was here earlier this year in January and had to turn back because the park was still covered in snow ad ice. Then I had to find an alternative way round. I had no problems today and the sunny weather helped. There was an interesting information board by some ruins. It had been a flint grinding mill.

Along the Clyde

Kelvingrove Park

North Woodside Flint Mill remains

North Woodside Flint Mill

North Woodside Flint Mill: The first mill on this site was built around 1765 as a barley mill. Later it was used to grind gunpowder for the Napoleonic Wars. It was reconstructed as a Flint Mill in 1846 and was used until the late 1950s. After roasting the flint was ground to powder and used in the pottery industry to lighten the colour and help to make a hard glaze.
Eventfully the track took me up to join the Forth & Clyde canal. I followed some locks and basins upwards to a longer stretch of towpath. My main objective of the day is to visit the Arria sculpture near Cumbernauld. The artist is Andy Scott and his workshop is near to the canal route in north Glasgow.

On the Forth and Clyde Canal

I left the canal and cycled to the industrial estate where his workshop is. At the gatehouse I was told he was away, possibly out of the country, but there was a part completed artwork outside his workshop. I cycled over for a look then rejoined the canal route.

Near Andy Scott's workshop

Forth and Clyde Canal

On the line of the Antonine Wall near Croy,
the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.

I rode on to Kirkintillock where I'd been in Dec 2014 and then had to be careful because of ice over the pavements. I continued to near Kilsyth where I left the canal and had to endure the roads. I headed south and had a long climb before turning off on a quieter road towards Cumbernauld.

Arria by Andy Scott Jan 2011


The sculpture Arria stands 10 metres tall and faces towards the town of Cumbernauld. Commissioned by Campsies Centre Cumbernauld Ltd, she is a cultural landmark that enhances the town centre ad its environs for visitors and residents.
She was designed and created by renown Scottish sculpure Andy Scott at his studio in Glasgow, and took 18 months to design and fabricate.
Arria is made in 13 sections which are bolted together and weigh 7 tonnes. She is a welded steel fabrication and was galvanised by Highland Colour Coaters in Cumbernauld. Her production involved a host of specialists and professionals, including lighting designers, structural engineers, project managers, haulage and crane contractors as well as the artist and his team.
The name Arria was selected through a competition and was suggested by Bethany and Louise Reid.
The sculpture also includes the poem "Watershed" written for the sculpture by Scottish poet Jim Carruth.
Arria was inaugurated by HRH The Princess Royal in January 2011.


I reached the Tesco supermarket and called in to buy 2, 2lt bottles of water at 17p each and some pastries for £1 for lunch. I'd found a cycle track on the on-line map and followed it towards the cemetery area and the Arria sculpture by Andy Scott. Down the lane I took the minor path towards the statue. I'd seen it several times before as I'd driven along the M90 but wasn't able to appreciate it because I only saw it for a few second as I passed at 70mph.

Arria and part of the poem
"Watershed" by Jim Carruth



by Jim Carruth

The first sounds spoken
from the springís core
are of a new beginning
of people and place
a poetry that bubbles
and gargles to the surface
to leave this watershed
flow east and west
in a rush of words
that tumble and fall
to join the conversations
of two great rivers
a voice calling out
I belong I belong
adding to the language
of sea and ocean.

a voice calling out

I thought my tent was well out of the way and wasnít too near the path Iíd wheeled my bike down. Later in the evening there was bank on my tent and when I looked out saw two youths (male) running away as fast as they could. The missile was an empty beer bottle which fortunately hadnít done any damage to the tent. I always wonder why some people do senseless acts of vandalism like this.

Camp below Arria.