Eye Spy Glasgow: the Forth and Clyde Canal's perfect spot

The Forth and Clyde Canal is one of Glasgow's greatest civil engineering marvels - a link to our industrial past.

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It runs from Grangemouth on the Firth of Forth to Bowling on the Clyde and is part of a Scottish canal network enjoying a renaissance after years of neglect.

All along the route are points of interest - not least at the end of the branch linking Stockingfield Junction near Maryhill with Speirs Wharf at Port Dundas.

A quaint old-fashioned looking plaque at the end of the line states "Forth and Clyde Canal, Glasgow Branch. Canal Built 1788-1790. Stockinfield (sp) Junction 2 1/2 miles. Speirs Wharf Port Dundas".

Speirs Wharf is a really quiet hidden gem a stone's throw from the centre of the city.

The impressive buildings there used to house grain mills, warehouses and a sugar refinery. Now they are offices, flats and a restaurant.

Boats still line the canal banks here but not the industrial puffers of old of the 18th and 19th centuries.

They have been replaced by houseboats and hire cruisers. Those who take the time to travel by boat here on a sunny day can enjoy a drink or a coffee on outdoor restaurant tables.

It's all a far cry from the days when the building at Speirs Wharf housed the offices of the Forth & Clyde Navigation Company, the City of Glasgow Grain Mills and stores built for John Currie & Co. in 1851.

Port Dundas even owes its name to the canal. Sir Lawrence Dundas was a Scottish businessman and Baronet and one of the major backers of the Forth and Clyde Canal project.

It was also the site where the Forth and Clyde Canal linked to the Monkland Canal, which brought coal from the minefields of Lanarkshire into the centre of Glasgow.

In the 20th century the Monkland Canal was built over and the entire network went into decline.

Its recent rejuvenation is part of a millennium project and has been a major success with thousands using the canals and the towpaths for leisure purposes.

But for one of the most spectacular sights the canal has to offer, take yourself up to Speirs Wharf and stand beside this plaque.

The view across the whole of Glasgow city centre and beyond is breathtaking.

It might be a bit of an uphill hike but it's well worth it. Sit down, enjoy a drink and enjoy the view.

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