Public invited to watch race in ‘oar’ at Bowling Harbour Festival

Scottish Canals is inviting the public to view the biggest open water rowing race to be held in Scotland from beautiful Bowling Harbour beach as part of a fun-filled festival on Saturday 23rd September.

The harbour’s brand new BHive Activity Hub is hosting a day of activities on and off the water of the Forth & Clyde Canal to accompany the 13 mile rowing boat race event from Dumbarton Castle to the Finnieston Crane. Visitors will witness more than 75 rowing boats pass the harbour as part of the first-ever Castle to Crane rowing race whilst enjoying a day of activities, workshops and events running from 10am until 6pm.

From canoeing and water zorbing to woodcraft and pony treks, there’ll be a range of activities for all ages. Additional activities will include:

  • Watch historic films of the area with Concord Community Cinema
  • Get creative with craft activities with the Bowling Harbour Project
  • Explore the area with a trek from Patchwork Ponies
  • Take care of the environment with a beach litter pick
  • Discover the history and prosperity of the Dunkirk Little Ship, Skylark IX with Skylark Trust
  • Find out more about the work of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Sustrans
  • Take part in a range of fun activities with Scottish Waterways Trust
  • Dance the day away to toe-tapping live music

“Bowling is fast becoming a bustling hub of activity on and off the water and the festival is a great way to way to showcase everything that’s happening at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal.

“Whether they’re picking up a paddle and taking to the water, exploring the many stories of Bowling’s past, or enjoying watching the Castle to Crane race from the beach, I’d encourage everyone to come along and get involved.  All activities from the BHive Activity Hub are only a fiver per person and there will be many other free activities to dip in and out of. It’s a great chance to get outdoors, learn new skills and enjoy a fantastic day out – whatever the weather.”

Matt Skilling, Activities Co-ordinator at Scottish Canals


More information on the festival can be found at; for further details on the Castle to Crane race, see

Over the past few years, Scottish Canals and its partners have been breathing new life into Bowling Harbour, developing a new tourism and leisure destination fitting of the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal. This regeneration programme has been created on the basis of a shared, collective vision for the area, which was formulated with the local community and partner stakeholders as part of an award-winning ‘charrette’ programme.

To date, Scottish Canals and its partners have collectively invested more than £3.2 million in the area, which has included the transformation of disused railway arches into commercial business space and public realm improvements to the lower basin area.

For more on plans for the area, see

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. See or follow @ScottishCanals for more information
  • 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
  • Today Scottish Canals is utilising these 18th century assets along with innovative technology to tackle modern problems. Through working with partners to create pioneering systems, Scottish Canals is helping to combat flooding and driving positive transformation in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas
  • The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year. See for more information

For further information, please contact:

Chris McDonald at Scottish Canals, on 07917 217 608 or email

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