How to get there -
Laughin Greeting Bridge is in Glen Village, one mile south of Falkirk on the B8028 (Falkirk Road). At Glen Village the road turns sharply yo the left. Park just before here on the right next to the sports field.
For those with SatNav the postcode is FK1 2AH.
Get a map with driving directions to start
(enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site -
Launch over the bank at Laughing Greeting Bridge.
Laughing Greeting Bridge is the last bridge at the south-eastern end of the Falkirk Tunnel. The bridge gets its name from the two carved faces on the keystone either side of the bridge arch - one is laughing and the other greeting (crying). Head west and very shortly you will come to the portal of the Falirk Tunnel. Local canal workers may tell you that canoes are unable to use the tunnel but this is contradicted by British Waterways central information (see this
statement of policy) which I have confirmed via email with their HQ. In practice the British Waterway 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. There is also a traffic light system at the Falkirk Tunnel which is 700 yards long with a towpath.
In a further two miles after a portage around a double lock, the canal turns north and enters the shorter (150 yds) Roughcastle Tunnel.
At the northern end you will exit onto the approach to the Falkirk Wheel which was opened in 2002 and lowers boats from the Union Canal 80 feet to the Forth & Clyde Canal. You definitely will not be allowed to use this.
Pause for a while to marvel at the engineering then retrace your steps to the start.
The entire trip is a little over 5 miles with two tunnels and a portage arround one double (staircase) lock.