Canoe Days Out

West Lothian - Union Canal - Linlithgow to Rumford & return

This page was submitted by Scott Arbuckle (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Linlithgow is mid way between Edinburgh and Stirling. From junction 4 on the M9 take the A803 heading east. After three miles (at the eastern end of the High Street) Take the second exit from the roundabout into High Port and then over the railway bridge then sharp right into back Station Road. Bear left into manse Road and then left over the canal bridge. Turn immediately right to park car.

For those with SatNav the postcode is EH49 6AJ.

Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Launch over the bank.

General Description - The Union Canal is a contour canal with no locks until the junction with the Forth & Clyde at the Falkirk Wheel. This trip crosses the impressive Linlithgow Aqueduct. This 12-arch structure built by Thomas Telford is the second longest in Britain - only beaten by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal.

Heading west takes you through the suburbs for one mile before reaching the countryside and a further mile and a half to the Linlithgow Aqueduct. After a further half mile there is a basin on the left where we chose to picnic. We turned round here making a trip of six miles but you can adjust this to suit your own wishes.

If you want to you can extend the trip to the Falkirk Wheel which makes the trip 11 miles with one lock to portage, a portage to the car park at the Falkirk Wheel and two tunnels, Falkirk Tunnel (700 yards - controlled by traffic lights) and the newly built Roughcastle Tunnel (150 yards). The local BW staff may try to tell you that unpowered craft are not allowed through the tunnels but this is contradicted by British Waterways central information. (See this statement of policy and an email from British Waterways HQ at Watford which states

"Thank you for your email.

The national tunnel list does indeed relate to all tunnels in the UK on canals and rivers looked after by British Waterways

Justin Davies, Customer Services Advisor, British Waterways.")

In practice the BW staff seem fairly relaxed as long as you take sensible precautions e.g. follow a narrow boat through if you can and have lights and whistles.

To do this you will need to leave a car at the Falkirk Wheel (see end map). For those with satNav the postcode is FK1 4RS.

Comments on this trip

03 Sep 2009
hi all this is a great stretch of canal with great views if you wish to contact me feel free and i will see if i can join you on the trip


Union Canal
Linlithgow Canal Centre

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson