Glasgow to Edinburgh via Canal towpath

Tenkaykev

Über Member
Location
Poole
In a little over two weeks time my wife and I are planning to take our Bromptons up to Glasgow and cycle from Bowling Basin along the canal towpaths to Edinburgh.

I am familiar with parts of the route but have never cycled on it, my last trip being five years ago.
I'd be grateful if anyone with recent experience could advise on the current condition of the towpaths and any particular hazards that we might encounter.
 

Slick

Guru
You will love it.

I've only ever went as far as the Falkirk Wheel from Bowling but the route is pretty good quality all the way as it was upgraded on some of the roughest parts.
https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/bowling-to-the-falkirk-wheel

I did make a bit of a mistake the first time I tried it whilst waiting on my car being serviced, I took a wrong turn and ended up in the centre of Glasgow at Port Dundass, so watch out for the signs there. There is steps down if you miss the ramp but not ideal with a Brompton.
I found this on YouTube, it starts in Glasgow but Bowling to Glasgow is nice and simple but if you are still unsure speak to the boys in the Magic Bike Shop who are under the old railway bridge right on the canal and they will help you out.

View: https://youtu.be/1awjnchs4UI

I'm pondering going g the other way today. Glasgow to Balloch and through Loch Lomond is a much nicer cycle. :thumbsup:
 
OP
Tenkaykev

Tenkaykev

Über Member
Location
Poole
Many thanks, I'm aware of the possibility of going off course. When I ran a bit of it 5 years ago I knew that I had to go from Canal on my left, to Canal on my right so was really concentrating on not getting that bit wrong.
We'll be making an early start so hopefully there will be somewhere to grab a coffee along the way.
( when I ran some of it I remember leaving the towpath and going up a street where I found a cycling themed café, but for the life of me I can't remember where it was.)
 

Slick

Guru
Many thanks, I'm aware of the possibility of going off course. When I ran a bit of it 5 years ago I knew that I had to go from Canal on my left, to Canal on my right so was really concentrating on not getting that bit wrong.
We'll be making an early start so hopefully there will be somewhere to grab a coffee along the way.
( when I ran some of it I remember leaving the towpath and going up a street where I found a cycling themed café, but for the life of me I can't remember where it was.)
Maryhill I think, pretty much right on the canal, can't quite remember the name either but I know a man who will. @pjd57
 
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Tenkaykev

Tenkaykev

Über Member
Location
Poole
Will do,

That's reminded me of the times I've run bits of it, the numerals on the bridge keystones counting down as you get towards Edinburgh and the distance left to go on marked on stones at the side of the towpath.
 

Nebulous

Veteran
Location
Aberdeen
We did Edinburgh to Falkirk wheel in early March and there were several poorly signed diversions, as there was a lot of work ongoing to upgrade the path. Hopefully it will be finished by now. We went from the campsite near Cramond, and didn't pick up the canal until Winchburgh.

It was still an enjoyable trip, but would have been improved by more information about the diverted route.
 
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Tenkaykev

Tenkaykev

Über Member
Location
Poole
Yes, and just as the bridge numbers reach single figures and you think " I must be nearly there " they go and append letters after the numbers!
 

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
Hi @Tenkaykev.
I did Glasgow to Edinburgh on the canal once, Edinburgh to Glasgow once, Linlithgow to Edinburgh a few times too.
If you start from Bowling Basin you will have to go all the way to Maryhill then change paths.
The cut off is well signed "to Bishopbriggs/ the Falkirk Wheel" but in summer can be hidden by an overgrown bush.
Look out for a steep downhill exit on your right: careful there's a gate at the end, and it throws you onto a traffic calmed road.
You need to turn right, go , under a bridge, then immediately back up on your right.
Do not follow the direction for Speirs Warf, as it will lead you into town.
After that you can't get lost, it's straight ahead until the Falkirk Wheel.
Till the wheel, the path is mainly smooth(ish) if slightly boring.
At the Wheel, take a sharp right up the Union Canal, it's clearly signposted, very easy to join.
From there, it's again straight on to Edinburgh, apart from:
a gazillion slippy, cobble stoned, blind corners with no safety railings under bridge passages, a mini ford, two aqueducts, one of them in a dark tunnel, the other one cobbled, with no railings, plus a precipice on the other side :smile:
Ah, I forgot to mention the stretch with the sharp red flinty stones (about 5 miles) and the mud fest after Linlithgow.
Enjoy ^_^
 

Slick

Guru
Hi @Tenkaykev.
I did Glasgow to Edinburgh on the canal once, Edinburgh to Glasgow once, Linlithgow to Edinburgh a few times too.
If you start from Bowling Basin you will have to go all the way to Maryhill then change paths.
The cut off is well signed "to Bishopbriggs/ the Falkirk Wheel" but in summer can be hidden by an overgrown bush.
Look out for a steep downhill exit on your right: careful there's a gate at the end, and it throws you onto a traffic calmed road.
You need to turn right, go , under a bridge, then immediately back up on your right.
Do not follow the direction for Speirs Warf, as it will lead you into town.
After that you can't get lost, it's straight ahead until the Falkirk Wheel.
Till the wheel, the path is mainly smooth(ish) if slightly boring.
At the Wheel, take a sharp right up the Union Canal, it's clearly signposted, very easy to join.
From there, it's again straight on to Edinburgh, apart from:
a gazillion slippy, cobble stoned, blind corners with no safety railings under bridge passages, a mini ford, two aqueducts, one of them in a dark tunnel, the other one cobbled, with no railings, plus a precipice on the other side :smile:
Ah, I forgot to mention the stretch with the sharp red flinty stones (about 5 miles) and the mud fest after Linlithgow.
Enjoy ^_^
Haha, you make it sound so magical Pat. :smile:
 
OP
Tenkaykev

Tenkaykev

Über Member
Location
Poole
Many thanks Pat, just the sort of info I need so I'm prepared for the challenge.
Wouldn't want it too straightforward or there'd be no sense of achievement
At least if I fall off the bike it'll be a soft, if wet landing!

EDIT
I've just noticed my profile picture was taken on the Canal, somewhere on the outskirts of Glasgow near a Screwfix? if I remember correctly.
 
Last edited:
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