Walk Falkirk Challenge complete

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Nine hardy adventurers braved wind and rain to complete a gruelling endeavour.

The Walk Falkirk Challenge ended last weekend with a 14km hike through spectacular scenery between Avonbridge and Linlithgow along the River Avon Heritage Trail.

It was the final instalment of three walks, each around 10 miles in length, organised by Falkirk Council’s ranger service.

Each walks was described as “moderate to difficult” due to the terrain, but the scenery along the way eases the pains a long trek can inflict.

Ranger Fiona Wishart said: “The weather was horrendous on Sunday, but everyone who turned up was determined to complete the challenge.

“The River Avon trail is one of the best routes in the area but the banks had burst on Sunday and we had to take two-mile detours which added a bit of time onto the day.

“It’s the first time we’ve done this challenge and it has been really successful so there is a possibility we could do it again next year.”

In July the walk took in the Falkirk Wheel, Roughcastle, and various woodlands, Glen Village then a return hike to the wheel.

The second walk in the challenge gave participants stunning views across the east of Scotland and the Forth Estuary from Tarduff Hill, climbing up towards Carron Bridge and the steep Tak me Doon Road before ending on the summit of Tomtain at 1,486ft (453m).

The River Avon Heritage Trail allows walkers to climb above the river using rough paths, boardwalks, stiles and gates.

Rangers Fiona and colleague Lesley Sweeney point out historical, cultural and geological points of interest,

John Law (48), from Falkirk, who received a certificate for doing all three challenges, said: “I do a lot of the walks with the rangers and they are brilliant.

“The good thing about the walks is that they show you just what’s on your doorstep. You don’t have to travel miles somewhere to do one with great scenery. There’s plenty of good walks around here people don’t know about.”

For information on the ranger service call (01324) 504950 or e-mail rangers@falkirk.gov.uk.