The Forth and Clyde Canal links Glasgow to Falkirk providing a wonderful, flat traffic-free walking and cycling route across central Scotland. The highlight of this route is the famous Falkirk Wheel, the world's first and only rotating boat lift which connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.
Starting from the picturesque Bowling Harbour on the Clyde Estuary west of Glasgow, the route passes through Clydebank and continues along to the junction at Stockingfield. To begin with the route is labelled as National Route 7, but there's a route junction east of Clydebank - with Route 7 leaving the canal. For this ride continue on the canal - now labelled as National Route 754.
At Stockingfield canal junction note that it is easy to take the wrong route. Little visually (other than signage) alerts a stranger that they have reached a canal junction at all - and what seems to be a continuation of the main canal route is actually a branch into Port Dundas in the centre of Glasgow. Look out for Route 75 signs directing you down a ramp and along the road under the canal and back up to the towpath on the other side.
The route passes the beautiful Kelvin Valley, Kirkintilloch, Auchinstarry Marina and Bonnybridge before reaching the Falkirk Wheel. Auchinstarry Marina is definitely worth a stop. Onsite you will find ‘The Boathouse pub hotel’, Scotland's first eco pub. There are picnic benches by the water where you can relax and watch the canal boats go by.
Arriving at The Falkirk Wheel, visitors can enjoy the wheel in action by going on one of the boat trips which offers a great vantage point. There is also a visitors' centre containing a shop, café, and exhibition centre.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.