Two engineering marvels on the Union Canal will be illuminated for the first time to mark its bicentenary.

As part of a year-long calendar of activity, to celebrate the Union and Caledonian Canals’ turning 200, Scottish Canals and Mackenzie Construction will be lighting up two iconic Edinburgh canal structures.

On Friday, November 4, the Slateford Aqueduct, which will be illuminated between 6.30pm-9.30pm and on Saturday, November 5, the Leamington Lift Bridge, will be lit up as part of Scottish Canals ‘Canal illuminations’, between 7pm-10pm.

These much-loved heritage assets will shine brightly across the dark skies whilst putting the spotlight on our capital.

Boaters, cyclists, walkers, local residents and paddlers in the area between are encouraged to watch out for some #canalmagic/#Canalilluminations and share their images online.

Scottish Canals, Chief Operating Officer, Richard Millar said: “This is a big year for Scottish Canals as we celebrate 200 years of the Caledonian and Union Canals. These important heritage assets have been important to the people of the city; providing important transport routes, bolstering the local and national economy and helping put Scotland on the map as experts in engineering and innovation.

“We’re grateful to Mackenzie Construction for partnering with us to celebrate this landmark year and these important heritage assets. Over the past 10 months we’ve supported a number of events across both canals for local people to enjoy but through ‘Canal illuminations’ we want to remind the world our canals are here for everyone to enjoy and benefit from both now and in the future.”

Mark Wilson, Construction Director at Mackenzie Construction said: “Over the past 15 years we have worked closely with Scottish Canals to protect Scotland’s canal heritage whilst transforming spaces along the network for future generations so we are delighted to be partnering with Scottish Canals to celebrate this milestone moment.”

Meanwhile on Saturday, November 5, the annual Ronnie Rusack Flotilla of Light, organised by the Lowland Canals Association, will return for 2022 with a special edition to mark the 200th anniversary.

Decorated and illuminated boats will make their way with a loud and colourful procession at 6pm at Harrison Park and the boats will slowly move towards the Lochrin Basin.

For further information, please contact:

Shirley Bartynek at Scottish Canals on 07768458442 or via email at

Notes to editors

About Scottish Canals

  • 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