A walk around the Kelpies

The walk starts at Helix Park, just north of Falkirk, and after passing The Kelpies takes to the south side of the River Carron westwards towards the site of the old Carron Iron Works. The walk is about 8 miles and mainly flat.

Near Mungal the route crosses to the north bank of the river and picks up a cycle path along a disused waterway. Near Camelon the route re-crosses the River Carron and traverses a cemetery before joining the Forth & Clyde Canal for the return journey to the start point.

Starting Point:

OS Reference NS 904 814 which is the first car park at Helix Park.

Center map

Getting there: 30 miles/41 minutes

Take your favourite route out of Glasgow towards the M80 (Stirling).  Exit M80 onto M876 (Falkirk).  Continue on M876 and join M9 (Edinburgh).  Leave the M9 at Junction 6 (just past the Kelpies on the right) onto A905 (Falkirk).  At the traffic lighted junction approach in the left hand lane and turn right, then get in the middle lane.  At Earl’s Gate Roundabout turn right (A904 Falkirk) going under the M9. On exiting the roundabout move to the right hand lane and continue to the Westfield Roundabout.  Turn right onto the A9.  At the Etna Road Roundabout turn right into Helix Park.  The free car park is on the left.  Toilet facilities are at the Kelpies Information Centre where there is a café. 

The walk, which is essentially flat, starts from the car park and heads towards the Kelpies.  Head for the right side of the Kelpies and follow the path over the canal and skirt the sewage works before enjoying a good path through woodland and wetland – the River Carron is on the right.  After crossing the Bainsford Burn there is a crossroad of paths.  

For a 3 mile walk turn left and follow the path south through woodland eventually exiting onto Abbots Road close to a roundabout.  Cross the A9 using the underpass and continue down an unnamed road.  At the canal turn left and rejoin the main routeø.

Continue straight on and past some artworks.  The path then resumes it way adjacent to the River Carron before skirting some habitation and heading into Cobblebrae Community Woodland.  Exit the woodland and take the underpass (under the Carron Road), past a place of worship, and at the bridge turn right.  

For a 5 mile walk turn left (Stenhouse Road) then after a short distance merge right onto Carron Road (B902).  Continue down Carron Road and into Main Street and at Bainsford turn left onto the canal towpath and rejoin the main routeø.  

Having crossed the River Carron turn immediately left onto a small road.  This is still used so take care.  Continue past the Carron Phoenix works and take a gently rising path to the right.  For a loop around the Carron Dams bare right and downhill off the tarmac path. This optional extension adds 1 mile to the walk.  The path is generally good but includes sections of netted boardwalk.  Exit the Carron Dams loop by climbing a flight of steps and turning right to rejoin the main path.  Continue on this path as it follows the route of an overgrown lade.  When the path meets a narrow lane turn left.  After about 500 metres cross the bridge onto the south side of the River Carron and follow the tarmac path as it swings to the left – playing fields are on the right.  At the top corner turn left and take the inclined walkway up to the cemetery. Head towards the south-east corner of the cemetery and follow the Exit signs.  At the cemetery entrance turn briefly left, cross Dorrator Road and head up the lane opposite, past the Rugby Football Club and onto the grass (with the playing field on the left) and then go slightly downhill to join another tarmac path.  Turn left on joining the path and follow it to the main road (A9).  Cross the road using the protected crossing area and head for the minor road which is only a short distance away.  Turn right and just before the Clyde & Forth Canal turn left onto the towpath.  Follow this for about 4km, passing Bainsfordø, until reaching Helix Park.  Cross the canal and head back towards the car park or for a more interesting end to the walk, cross the access road and take the broad boardwalk pass the ponds back to the car park.

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