8 miles,
12.8 km
Average time to complete:
2.5 hours
Route type:
Total elevation:
155 metres


Explore the historic town of Linlithgow, cross the Avon Aqueduct and connect with nature along the River Avon on this 8-mile walk.

Starting and finishing in Linlithgow, you will climb from the train station up to the Union Canal. Admire the views from Scotland’s biggest aqueduct before taking the steps down to the River Avon for a loop of Muiravonside Country Park.

Recrossing the Avon Aqueduct, another flight of steps will take you to the River Avon Heritage trail, also waymarked as the John Muir Way. This tranquil trail feels like it’s deep in the countryside despite its location close to Linlithgow.

Passing under the Avon Viaduct brings you to Linlithgow Bridge, from where you will follow the John Muir Way signs as far as Avalon Gardens, where a right turn onto the ‘Linlithgow Link’ path will return you to Linlithgow via the impressive Linlithgow Palace and loch.


This route follows canal towpath, footpaths and pavement. There are some gentle slopes and steps but on the whole it’s a fairly flat route, hence its grading as low difficulty. However care should be taken on the steps from the Avon Aqueduct down to the river below as they are steep and can be slippery.

Getting There

By rail: Linlithgow sits on the Edinburgh-Glasgow train line.

By bus: the X38 bus service links Linlithgow and Edinburgh.

By car: parking is limited in Linlithgow but there is paid parking in the centre beside the Burgh Halls and some free spaces are available beside the loch.


There’s plenty to see and do around Linlithgow as well as a good choice of places to eat and drink. A visit to the palace is a must but be prepared to pay for entry. You can also make your own variations of this route by adding a loop of Linlithgow Loch. See how many different bird species you can spot!

For a full listing of businesses and attractions on this route, view it on the Plan Your Trip page.

Points of interest

Linlithgow Palace and Loch

Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Its magnificent ruins are set in a park beside a loch which is rich in wildlife.
Open daily 10am-4pm

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Linlithgow Museum

Home to a restored statue of Mary Queen of Scots plus interactive exhibitions for all ages, the museum is open 6 days a week.

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River Avon Heritage Trail

The River Avon Heritage Trail takes in the disused Westfield Viaduct, Muiravonside Country Park and visitor centre, the Avon Aqueduct and the railway viaduct that carries the main Edinburgh to Glasgow line, where the trail ends.

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Linlithgow Canal Centre

Canal Cruises to Avon Aqueduct, Linlithgow Boat Trips, Tearoom, Canal Museum, Charters and Self-Drive Canal Boat Hire. Open from Easter until the end of September.

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Avon Aqueduct

Scotland's largest aqueduct carries the Union Canal over the River Avon. Enjoy the view from this 200-year-old engineering marvel.

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