Route 8 – VISIT SCOTLAND CHALLENGER The Union and Forth & Clyde Canals Towpaths

Length: 62 miles

Route type: 1-way+public transport

Difficulty: Medium/High

The canals of central Scotland mean you can ride from one side of the country to the other. The Visit Scotland Challenger Route along the canal towpaths of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals takes riders through the Falkirk area as they cycle between Glasgow and Edinburgh and the Scottish coast. The full 62 mile, 100km route takes one and a half days, with the option to stop in Falkirk overnight to rest and recharge.

Starting at Bowling Basin on the River Clyde, the route takes you along the Forth & Clyde canal through Glasgow and into the Falkirk area near Banknock. Ride past Seabegs Wood and the remnants of the Roman Antonine Wall as you near the town of Bonnybridge. The towpath will soon reach The Falkirk Wheel, one of Falkirk’s most famous attractions. The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s only rotating boat lift and links the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. It is an engineering marvel and has become a must-see visitor attraction. Stop at the visitor centre for some refreshments or to watch the boats take a trip on the wheel. Then ride up the hill, and dismount to walk through the colourfully lit Roughcastle Tunnel and join the Union Canal towpath.

As you ride along the Union Canal, you’ll reach the Falkirk Tunnel. Again, dismount as you walk through this 630-metre-long tunnel. From there, ride through the Falkirk countryside until you reach Muiravonside Country Park. Here you will find the towering, 26-metre-tall Avon Aqueduct. The aqueduct carries the Union Canal over the River Avon below. Dismount and walk across, enjoying stunning views across the West Lothian countryside as you go. Continue on your journey to Linlithgow a few miles later and then on to Edinburgh.  


Map location: G60 5AF

View route (external website)