The route starts in Linlithgow on the Union Canal, close to the railway station, which is on the Edinburgh to Glasgow main line. Linlithgow is more than just the start of this cycle route. Places to visit include the loch near the centre of town, the 15th century Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of James V and Mary Queen of Scots, and the Linlithgow Canal Centre alongside the Union Canal. East of Linlithgow, the route is mainly rural, following the towpath along the northern bank of the canal, through Philpstoun and Winchburgh and past Niddry Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was given shelter before her final capture.
The canal then turns back on itself through Broxburn and heads over the River Almond on the Almond Aqueduct, with fine views down valley to the 36 arch Almond Valley Railway Viaduct. The route passes the Scottish National Climbing Centre before heading into Ratho. The centre is well worth a visit – you can sit in the café and watch climbers on the indoor wall. In Ratho you can visit The Edinburgh Canal Centre, run by the Seagull Trust, from where two restaurant boats operate. The Bridge Inn is also a popular eating spot here.
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.
To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.