Union Canal closure

On the 12th August 2020, the Union Canal experienced a significant breach on the section between Polmont and Muiravonside/Avon Aqueduct next to the A801. Scottish Canals has implemented measures that have stopped the flow of water.

This section is part of the John Muir Way (Section 5). Its towpath is currently closed and signage at entry and access points advises users of the closure. The diversions are detailed below:

Directions (eastbound from Brightons)

  1. Leave the JMW/towpath at Brightons (Station Road).
  2. Turn right along the lane, then turn right onto B810 Quarry Brae and follow south towards Rumford and Maddiston.
  3. At the top of Quarry Brae turn left at the T-junction onto the B805 Maddiston Road. Continue on the B805.
  4. Continue ahead at next roundabout on B805 Main Road, and ahead again at another roundabout on B805 Main Road (Maddiston Primary School will be on your left).
  5. Continue on the B805 past Maddiston Mini Market (on your right) and towards brow of the hill. At sign for “Cairneymount Church”, turn left onto Eccles Place.
  6. Follow the Public Right of Way sign for ““High Road” to Muiravonside Park”, continuing ahead (east) onto High Road which quickly becomes a track and then a compacted stone path (“Maddiston High Road”).
  7. Follow “Maddiston High Road” path straight ahead, ignoring tracks and gates to left and right, until it emerges onto an unnamed minor road.
  1. Exit “Maddiston High Road” path by continuing straight ahead to join minor road and then Almond Road, following sign for “Path Muiravonside Park”.
  2. On joining Road – taking care at the junction – continuing east and following sign “Public right of way to Union Canal” as far as the bridge over the Union Canal.
  3. Cross the canal and take immediate left down the steps to join the towpath.
  4. Turn left along towpath to join the JMW eastbound (i.e. heading for Linlithgow).


Directions (Westbound from Almond Road)

  1. Leave the JMW/towpath up the steps to your right to join the public road.
  2. Turn right then right again to join Almond Road
  3. On joining Almond Road – taking care at the junction – continuing west over the canal bridge along Almond Road and minor road for approximately 0.6m (passing a road to your right) and continue on as far as the sharp left hand bend in the road with “Maddiston High Road” path in-front of you.
  4. Leave the Minor Road and continue straight ahead onto “Maddiston High Road” path, ignoring tracks and gates to left and right (crossing over the bridge over the A801 road below) until the path turns into a track and emerges into Maddiston (Eccles Place) where it then meets the B805 Main Road
  5. Turn Right down the hill and continue on the B805 past Maddiston Mini Market  (on your left) and down past Maddiston Police Station (also on your left)
  6. Continue ahead to roundabout on B805 Main Road and veer left (Maddiston Primary School will be down on your right below the roundabout).
  7. Continue on the B805 and across the next mini roundabout past the Esso Petrol Station on your left.
  8. Continue around the left hand bend in the road and then turn right onto the B810 Quarry Brae. (opposite Braes Equestrian)
  9. Continue North (downhill) on the B810 Quarry Brae.
  10. At the Junction turn Right onto Station Road and cross the canal (Blue Bridge)
  11. Once over the canal bridge turn immediately left onto the lane and re-join the Union Canal Towpath (heading for Falkirk Wheel)

Visit Scottish Canals and John Muir way websites for the lastest updates and a map of the diversion route.


Union canal diversion route


There are a whole variety of alternative routes and interesting places available to explore while this part of the Union Canal is fixed:

Discover The Forth & Clyde Canal and explore its vibrant green corridor.

Explore section 4 and section 6 of the John Muir Way. 

Cycling John Muir

Discover Falkirk

Plan your next adventure in Scotland and discover Falkirk and the surrounding area. You'll be truly amazed!

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