The Forth and Clyde Canal opened in 1790. It crosses central Scotland and provides a route for seagoing vessels between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. As the canal is 56 kilometers (35 miles) long, it could be expected that people may get hungry along the way.
Those looking for some food are in luck. Situated in Clydebank, not too far from the Firth of Clyde, is McMonagle’s Restaurant. Opened in the 1990s, it claims to be the world’s first sail-through fish-and-chips shop. The restaurant sits on a boat with two sides for ordering your takeaway: one window for land-dwellers on foot, and one that opens right onto the canal. You can actually place your order and pick it up from the back hatch without even having to leave your boat.
Ships have played a very important part in the history of Clydebank, which used to be the home of John Brown and Company, the Scottish marine engineering and shipbuilding firm. At its height, from 1900 to the 1950s, it was one of the most highly regarded, and internationally famous, shipbuilding companies in the world.
McMonagle’s is situated aboard the 100-ton Debra Rose ship, which was built in Campbeltown. Interestingly, after the boat was towed up the Clyde, it had to be cut into eight pieces to be carried over the last 400 yards to the canal, where it was welded back together. The Debra Rose does not float but sits on cement.
The menu consists of usual “chippie” classics, including haddock, sausage, and haggis, as well as traditional breakfasts, pizzas, and healthy light bites. It makes a perfect last supper before you journey West, toward the Small Isles.
Know Before You Go
The Restaurant is open 12:00 to 9:00 p.m., Monday to Sunday. The Forth and Clyde Canal has a wealth of history that can be explored the whole way along its banks. It makes for a great walk or cycle.