Clackmannan to Alloa

 
   
GRADE Easy Recreational
   
UPDATED March 2002

 

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This description continues from the end of the Clackmannan way.

After going down the embankment, turn left and then right onto the B910, follow this road into Clackmannan, at the cross roads turn right, following the NCN 76 signpost towards Alloa, a signpost for Dunfermline points back the way you came.

It is my regret that I did not have the time to explore Clackmannan, it is well worth taking the time to have a look around this historic town. If you wish to explore the town, go straight on at the cross roads. To get to the town centre – either retrace your tracks or go down Kirk Wynd to rejoin NCN 76, there are signs at the bottom of Kirk Wynd directing you onto the route.

Clackmannan Tower dominates the town. The tower was the residence of the Bruce family until 1772, the earliest part of the tower dates from the 14th century.

Otherwise, continue all the way through Clackmannan, turning left shortly after crossing bridge, NCN 76 is signposted to the left, almost opposite the cemetery. Go around the gate onto a well surfaced forest road, this road is a great alternative to the main A907Alloa Road. The track comes out at a T-junction on the outskirts of Alloa by some houses, turn right onto the cycle lane. Follow this road for a short distance before turning left into Earn Court. Alloa Tower is now straight ahead of you.

You may notice several closed circuit television (CCTV) monitors mounted on high poles in Alloa, while one accepts these CCTV cameras in shopping areas it is a little unnerving, seeing these cameras in residential areas. The thought of “You are now entering Dodge City” came into my mind more than once. I mean no disrespect citizens of Alloa it is just the impression I got from these CCTV structures.

Alloa Tower formed part of a 14th century fortified house (as part of a defensive line along the northern banks of the Forth, Clackmannan Tower, visible from Alloa, also forms part of this defensive line), to its role as an 18th century mansion house. The Tower is open to the public though it has restricted opening times. One thing that struck me was the ornate stone work around the tower entrance way which is somewhat detracted by the bland, gray Historic Scotland paint on the doors. One expects to see mighty oak doors with iron nail heads sticking out like a “proper” castle door rather than just a gray painted door.

To get to the tower you unfortunately have to cross a cobbled area – there is always the pavement. The way forward from the tower is not obvious, turn right and shortly after wards the path forks, again it is not obvious which direction to go, take the left hand fork.

Path then comes out onto a park, follow the path around to the right. Views of the ruined St. Mungos’ Church and Greenside Cemetery are to the right, unfortunately both the church and the graveyard are not open to the public, except by arrangement.

The path ends at an entrance way in a high wall, the hole in the wall is a tight squeeze and is obstructed with a bollard with two chain loops on each side. Both are set at fine heights for catching and gashing your legs not to mention damaging your bike.

Cross the road in front of you, the designated crossing point treats cyclists with the usual platitudes of Cyclists Dismount signs – that will be the day.

Cross straight over the “dual carriageway like” road to pass beside a small industrial unit, then going parallel with the Royal Mail Sorting office up to the next junction. NCN76 appears to end here as there are no more signs as to where the route goes from here.

The Devon Way begins at this point and is covered in detail on
the Devon Way page.

Wallace Shackleton

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