Ratho to Linlithgow

The Union Canal between Ratho and Linlithgow is tucked away between other busier transport links and offers a get-away-from-it-all feel. Numerous bridges, impressive aqueducts and the pretty Linlithgow canal basin are highlights of this 13 mile/21.5km route.

Access: There is no train station at Ratho so either cycle from Edinburgh. See the Edinburgh to Ratho cycle route or drive to Ratho and leave car. Ratho is a village to the west of Edinburgh and easily accessed via the M8.

Start: The Bridge Inn, Ratho.

Finish: Linlithgow Canal Centre, in the centre of the historic West Lothian town.

Return: If you have cycled from Edinburgh catch the train from Linlithgow to Haymarket. If you parked at Ratho, cycle back the same way.

Distance: 21km / 13 miles

Terrain: Flat traffic-free path along the Union Canal; mix of tarmac, gritted tarmac, cobblestones and rougher trail.

Bikes: Hybrid and mountain bikes.


  • Many fine bridges and aqueducts
  • Scenic countryside and fabulous avenues of trees
  • Picturesque Linlithgow Canal Basin with a museum and tearoom.
  • Boat trips offered by the canal society in summer months
  • Access to Linlithgow Palace, owned by Historic Scotland

Cycling options:

It is possible to shorten this route, for example at Broxburn where you can access Uphall Train Station.


  • The Bridge Inn, Ratho
  • Shops at Broxburn and Winchburgh, signposted from the canal
  • The Park Bistro, Park Farm, Linlithgow, West Lothian
  • Tea room at Linlithgow Union Canal Society