Celebrating reopening of Forth & Clyde Canal

Published: Tuesday, 05 February 2019

A FLOTILLA is being organised to celebrate the re-opening of sea to sea travel along the Forth & Clyde Canal.

The canal was reopened after problems with its bridges, and this will be celebrated over the Bank Holiday weekend of the 24th to 26th May 2019 and people are invited to get involved.

Attracting additional funding

This fun-filled weekend is being jointly organised by voluntary canal-related organisations and Scottish Canals to mark the re-opening of the Lowland Canals to sea-to-sea travel. It recognises the success in attracting additional Scottish Government funding to upgrade Bonnybridge and Twechar lift bridges and is a thank-you to the government, local authorities, MSPs and all those who helped make the case for additional funding.

Works are due to commence on Bonnybridge and Twechar next week and complete in April, along with Bard Avenue at Knightswood. Lock 6 will also be ready for the 2019 season but Leamington Lift Bridge will still be out of operation at the time of the event.

Thriving waterways

By demonstrating that the Lowland Canals are thriving waterways with fantastic destinations along their banks, we hope to pave the way for similar events in 2020 during The Year of Coasts and Waters and again in 2022 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Union Canal.

The itinerary is as follows:

§ Boats gather at The Falkirk Wheel on the evening of Fri 24th May to meet old friends, make new ones and enjoy some food, drink and music

§ Leave The Falkirk Wheel on the morning of Saturday 25th May and travel to Auchinstarry for another gathering, food, drink and music (details TBC) plus overnight stay

§ Depart Auchinstarry on the morning of Sunday 26th May and travel to Kirkintilloch (Canal Capital of Scotland) where we are hoping to hold another lunch (TBC).

As many craft as possible

Jonathan Mosse tells us:

We’re hoping to welcome as many powered and non-powered craft as possible to the 2019 Lowlands Canal Carnival, including steam boats, yachts, narrowboats, rowing boats, canoes, kayaks—even if you can only make one leg of the event.

If you would like to get involved, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible to register your vesselplease tell us the name of your boat, its size, what day you are planning to join the flotilla, where you are starting from and going to, your telephone number and email address.

Transport provided

Transport will be provided to those boaters arriving by sea at the east end of the canal on Friday 24h May so they can reach the Falkirk Wheel for the evening’s festivities and assisted passage will be available through to the top pound and Auchinstarry the following day.

We are hoping to attract as many spectators to the canal banks as possible and would like to have live music performing throughout the eventat the Wheel, at Auchinstarry and on individual boatsso if you or anyone you know plays in a band, can pipe, play the guitar, accordion or any other instrument and would be willing to be involved with the event, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and mark your email ‘Canal Carnival’.

We will post updates on the Scottish Canals website and social media channels in the run up to the event and will write to you again with more information as the event unfolds.