Cycling - The Union Canal
Enjoy a leisurely cycle ride along your local canal or take the family and the bikes off somewhere special to enjoy the outdoors.
Discover the Union Canal by Bike - The Union Canal provides a great route in and out of Edinburgh, ideal if you commute by bike, but also great for an excursion or to keep fit. The canal towpath is open to cyclists, but watch out for the bumps and narrow sections.
There’s nothing quite as invigorating or stress relieving as getting on a bike and cycling through miles of beautiful countryside. The 35 miles of towpath has been restored with the cyclist in mind – it’s safe, traffic free, pollution free and an ideal route for cyclists of all levels.
Sustrans Route 754 follows the canal towpath from Bowling to Edinburgh, so you can cycle across Scotland. The towpath between Dalmuir and Bowling forms part of the scenic Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycleway.
Route 754 starts in Fountainbridge, near the centre of Edinburgh. Next, you’ll cycle along the wonderfully calm towpath of the Union Canal, through the towns of Broxburn, Linlithgow and Falkirk. Route 754 links with the Forth & Clyde Canal at the Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift that was built in 2000. The wheel replaces the original flight of locks that linked the two canals but were removed when the canal fell into disuse. From the Falkirk Wheel, Route 754 continues along the canal towpath through Kirkintilloch, the northern suburbs of Glasgow and the town of Clydebank, ending at the Bowling Basin, where the canal joins the River Clyde.
This 56-mile route is entirely traffic-free and runs alongside gorgeous canals between two of Scotland’s most exciting and dynamic cities.
- Alert walkers by ringing your bell and always give way to walkers.
- The towpath is often only 1m wide, and can be wet and uneven. Take extra care. It is being upgraded and widened in sections.
- Dismount at all road crossings, bridges, aqueducts and blind bends and at canal weirs, including cobbled weirs.
- Tandem bike users – please be aware that you will need to dismount and lift your bike through the gates, as they are not wide enough to cycle through.
- Do not speed, speed causes accidents!
The canal towpaths are mixed-use routes and are enjoyed by a variety of users including walkers, anglers, cyclists, horse-riders, users with disabilities, portaging canoeists and maintenance vehicles.