The 45 minute project

Our project from 2013: exploring everything Scotland has to offer within a 45-minute radius of our house.

In 2009 we spent six months living in Auckland, New Zealand. It was an amazing time in many ways, but one of the best was that Auckland had so much to offer. Every week we would go somewhere different. One of our favourite activities was to drive to the Waitakere Ranges and have a picnic lunch, then go for a walk in the forest. It was such a privilege to live in a city that had its very own unspoilt native rainforest, right there in easy reach.

When we came back to Scotland, we were a bit disappointed – Falkirk doesn’t really have very much to offer compared to Auckland, or so we thought. But then we realised that when we drove across Auckland to get to the Waitakeres on the other side of the city, it took us 45 minutes. A 45 minute radius from our house is a lot bigger than just Falkirk – and within 45 minutes of our house Scotland has a lot. Thus was born The 45 Minute Project.

The 45 Minute Project is our plan to explore everything that Scotland has to offer within a 45 minute radius of our house (in Falkirk), with a particular focus on walking and other free family outdoor activities. After some years’ gestation, it began in earnest in January 2013. You can follow along as we go by reading the blog posts in the ’45minproject’ category, or you can see our summary below. Whatever you do, please join us and do the walks too. Enjoy!

Falkirk area

Black Loch, Limerigg: 15-20min, 8mi. Mar 2013. No facilities. Free parking in the school carpark, then walk west to the wood and follow the path along the lochside, through the wood, and back via the road.

Helix Park, Falkirk: 10-15min, 3mi. Oct 2013. No facilities yet. Free parking (small carpark), or walk/cycle.

River Carron, from Helix Park, Falkirk: 10-15min, 3mi. Dec 2014. No facilities. Free parking, or walk/cycle.


Devilla Forest: 20-25min, 13mi. Jan 2013. Website. No facilities. Free parking on road.

Castle Campbell and Dollar Glen: 30-35min, 20mi. Sep 2015. Website. Tea/coffee, toilets. Free parking with a bit of a walk. Glen free, castle charge (Historic Scotland).


Gargunnock House Gardens: 25-30min, 24mi. Feb 2013. Website. No facilities. £3/adult, children free. Only open on specified dates; check website.

Carron Valley Forest: 30-35min, 16mi. Feb 2013. Website. Toilets. Pay and display.

Plean Country Park: 20-25min, 14mi. Jan 2013. Website. Toilets. Free parking.

North Third Reservoir: 25-30min, 17mi. Feb 2015, Apr 2015. Route. No facilities. Free parking on road.

West Lothian

Almondell and Calderwood Country Park: 35-40min, 20mi. Feb 2013. Website. Walk. Toilets, visitors’ centre with kiosk, playgrounds for young and older.

Beecraigs Country Park: 20-25min, 9mi. Jan 2013. Website. Toilets, kiosk. Pay and display (?).

3 thoughts on “The 45 minute project

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