The Union Canal
Take a 2 hour walk along a 200-year-old wonder
Once the heartbeat of the city, bringing in coal that powered everything from the lights to the stoves, today the Union Canal is every bit as magnificent as it used to be, just with a slightly different job—leading adventurers down an enjoyable and educational path, showcasing our Industrial past, and being a haven for amazing wildlife.
Walk the Aqueduct
The Avon Aqueduct is the longest and tallest of its kind in Scotland, and the second longest in the whole of the UK. It’s a fascinating structure, carrying the Union Canal over the Avon river.
On a fine day, you can take a leisurely walk down the cobblestone pavements of this engineering marvel. You can see for miles, beautiful views in all directions.
If you’re visiting the Union Canal on the weekend, you can take a gentle cruise down the aqueduct on a 40-seater boat, viewing the canal from a different point of view.
As you step off the cobbled paths of the aqueduct, you’ll find yourself in the stunning Scottish countryside.
If you’re feeling confident and energetic, you can take the approximately 14-mile hike through green fields, light forest, and over babbling brooks to our next location, Linlithgow. If that sounds a bit daunting, you can always take a boat trip down along the canal.
This route is ideal for nature lovers, who can spot a variety of bird life and if you’re lucky, some wildlife along the way as well.
Visit the Canal Museum
This is the home of the Linlithgow Union Canal Society, who played a huge role in the reopening of the canal in recent years. It’s thanks to them that we can enjoy and learn about the role the Union Canal played in West Lothian’s history.
In a rough, stone-hewn room, canal artefacts and information await interested eyes and ears. You only need to spend a few minutes in the Canal Museum to get a feel for the magnitude of the canal and its role in industry and history of The Union.
Linlithgow Boat Trip
With your newfound knowledge of the Union Canal, break back out into the sunlight. It’s time to get out on the water and see the town from the canal.
If you’re short on time, you can take a quick canal cruise aboard the Victoria. A well-spent 25 minutes, during which you’ll learn about the town, a bit of its history, and see life from the water.
If you’ve got some hours to spare, taking a cruise to the famed Falkirk Wheel is well worth your time. This is one of the newest parts of the canal, opening in 2002 and bringing together the Union Canal and Forth & Clyde Canal for the first time in close to a century!
Your trip will set you back half a day but you’ll get to experience the boat lift at the wheel, as well as learn a thing or two at the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre before heading back.
Getting to West Lothian
West Lothian is just 15 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh. With frequent public transport and numerous motorway connections from across Scotland, you'll be here in no time. Check out our 'Getting here' page for full details.