Covid-19 FAQ’s – Walkers, Cyclists and Anglers

On this page you will find answers to our FAQs surrounding Scottish Canals towpaths and how to use them safely during Covid-19.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please complete our online enquiry form and we will do our very best to get back to you as quickly as we can. Please follow us on social media for the latest updates @scottishcanals.

Can still I go cycling and walking along the towpath?

Yes. Following the lift of the five mile restriction on the 3rd of July, we welcome back those who have not been able to visit our towpaths during lockdown. Keep at least two metres away from others and be mindful of others; slow down, use your bell and take sensible steps to avoid breaking the guidelines. Certain sections of our towpaths may be less than 2m wide and run through popular and busy locations. Please limit usage of these sections and consider if there is an alternative route you can use to reduce congestion and numbers of towpath users. Please refer to NHS Inform for guidance and Sustrans for more information on cycling.

You can read more information regarding your access rights during Covid-19 here

Can I fish on the canal or go paddling, kayaking or use an SUP?

Yes, as long as government guidelines are followed.

For more useful information on paddling visit Scottish Canoe Association.

What should I do if I visit an area that’s extremely busy?

During lockdown we have seen increased usage of our towpaths and public spaces, this is even more during nice weather.

If you arrive at a public space, for example The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies or Edinburgh Quay, and it is so busy that you can’t observe physical distancing, please act responsibly and leave or amend your plans to protect yourself and others. Additionally when planning your visit to a popular spot on the network, please take the weather into account.

Will events now start taking place on the canal or towpath?

All events that were planned have been postponed. This includes The Scottish Boat Rally and all customer forums and meetings. We are working with partners to find alternative dates for holding these and will update our website and social media channels as soon as we are able to do so.

Can I host an event on the canal or towpath later in the year?

Inline with Scottish Government advice that outdoor events can take place from 24th August with the appropriate safety measures in place, we’re currently reviewing our events guidance and will update our events pages once this review is complete.

Will Scottish Canals begin looking after the canals?

Safety critical operations, including managing water control and inspecting the assets, have continued throughout lockdown as normal and continue to take place.

Our operational teams are carrying  out core maintenance, vegetation management, weed cutting and channel clearance taking almost 500 tonnes of weed from our canals each week.

Are you emptying rubbish bins on the canal?

We are emptying bins along the network atleast once per week. As visitor numbers increase we kindly remind people to take their litter home.

Will The Kelpies still be lit up at night?

The Kelpies will shine blue into the night for the foreseeable future, as we stand as one in support of our NHS and all key workers who continue to support us through these challenging times.

You can find out more about what Scottish Canals is doing across the business with our other FAQ pages below.


The Falkirk Wheel

Caledonian Canal Centre

The Steamer Terminal and The Egg Shed on the Crinan Canal

Bowling Harbour