Plans unveiled to create ‘Neptune’s Slide’ on Caledonian Canal

Visitors to Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal will soon be able to enjoy a new way of descending the iconic lock flight thanks to plans to create an innovative visitor experience at the site.

Ahead of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People in 2018, Scottish Canals has revealed a proposal for the installation of a 40-metre slide on the banks of Britain’s longest staircase lock flight. The new experience, titled ‘Neptune’s Slide’, will allow visitors to glide from near the top of the flight to the bottom, enjoying a spot of ‘gongoozling’ en route.

Dr Olaf Pirol, Head of New Experiences at Scottish Canals, said: “Scotland’s young people are tomorrow’s canal custodians and it’s important that we engage with them today. During a recent design workshop, local schoolchildren floated the idea of a slide on the banks of the canal. We already encourage people to explore the Caledonian Canal by boot, boat and bike – so why not slipping and sliding in the shadow of Ben Nevis?

The new slide, which is expected to be in place by June 31st 2018, will not affect navigation of the lock flight.

“We hope that this new attraction will give a 21st century twist to this amazing feat of 19th century engineering and encourage young people, and the young-at-heart, to experience Thomas Telford’s masterpiece from a new perspective.”

Dr Olaf Pirol, Head of New Experiences at Scottish Canals

Notes to Editors

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel.

As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for bridges, buildings, locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands, together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles.

The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22 million visits per year. See scottishcanals.co.uk for more information.

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