I had always wanted to visit the Kelpies at Stirling so this particular weekend, myself and Tom planned a route up to Stirling to see the Kelpies and the Falkirk wheel, then onto our first camp spot on the Friday night at Edinburgh, then onto Loch Lubnaig for a more peaceful evening on the Saturday.
I will start with the Falkirk wheel.
This is a pretty awesome piece of kit – Its the worlds only rotating boat lift which is used to connect the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals.
A few facts about the Falkirk Wheel just in case you aren’t already sold on the idea of a quick visit here…
- Its the first and only rotating boat lift in the world
- It uses the energy of only 8 kettles to lift up to 500 tonnes of boat and water over 80ft into the air.
- The architect made the original design out of his daughters Lego
- It has 15,000 bolts and 45,000 bolt holes
- The wheel only takes around 10 minutes to do a full rotation.
We then moved onto the Kelpies.
The Kelpies are 30 meter high horse head sculptures standing next to the Forth and Clyde canal. They are illuminated in various colours on an evening. They certainly stand out.
The idea behind the Kelpies was to represent Scotland’s past heritage and economy which was heavily relied upon horse pulling ploughs, barges and coal ships.
I have collated a few facts about the Kelpies to help persuade you as to why you should pay them a visit…
- They’re 300 tonnes each
- 1200 tonnes of reinforced steel per horse head
- They were built in 90 days
- They cost 5 Million pounds to complete
Now I’ve finished impressing you with the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies, we headed off to our camp spot for the evening.
We found this Van spot by pure chance. I knew we wanted to head towards Edinburgh so I spent a few of my lunch hours searching Google maps for potential areas/car parks/ beach fronts. Eventually I came across Portobello Beach, a few miles out of Edinburgh.
Whilst zoomed in as far as possible and searching along the coastline I noticed a small car park which appeared to have Vans and Motorhomes already parked there. I zoomed into street view and check the signs, none of them said anything about no overnight parking – Winner!!
When we arrived, we certainly weren’t the only ones who had the same idea, in fact I would go as far as to say, some of them were without a doubt regulars!
Its a square car park which backs directly onto the beach. Unfortunately as we arrived so late we didn’t manage to get our tailgate backing on to the beach, however there was still enough room for us for the night. We parked up and put the silver screens on, keeping the engine running to keep some heat in! Soon as that was done, we caught an Uber up to the City Centre. The approx cost for an Uber from here to the city centre was £8 – not bad considering the free accommodation in my opinion!
We have been to Edinburgh more recently and done quite a lot of exploring so I will go into more detail on a future post as to the places to see and things to do. But we basically got quite drunk then caught an Uber back!
Please see below for the exact car park location.
After breakfast, we set off up towards Loch Lomond in the hope of finding a Loch side spot to settle by. This proved harder than expected! Eventually we found a quiet layby which was a minute walk through a slight wooded area to the Loch side. Unfortunately we weren’t alone, we had been beaten there by what seemed like a ‘Lad and Dad’ group. However we weren’t going to complain as they already had a huge fire roaring which kept the chill off us whilst we lit our fire pit. They were a very friendly bunch, the children ranged from around 5 to 13 and they were all running around with footballs and fishing rods whilst the dads sat back drinking beer and cooking on the BBQ, it was quite nice to watch.
We sat out with a few beers and the fire pit roaring, watching the stars as it was a very clear evening, we were also lucky enough to witness a meteor shower that evening.
The plan for Sunday was to climb up some mountain which Tom had found, however when we woke up we were greeted by heavy rain, I was absolutely gutted as you can imagine. So we decided to take a drive into Glasgow. We only spent a couple of hours having a nosey here, however we were nowhere near as impressed with Glasgow as we were with Edinburgh. Maybe we need to spend some time here and have a proper look around so I’m not going to pass too much comment!
Here’s the location of the camp spot we used for Saturday night by Loch Lubnaig.