10.5 miles,
16.8 km
Average time to complete:
3.5 hours
Route type:
Total elevation:
242 metres


Starting at the iconic Falkirk Wheel, this loop of the outskirts of Falkirk takes in peaceful forest trails, the Union Canal and the imperious Callendar House.

Climbing from the Wheel, follow the John Muir Way walking route, which meanders its way through woodland and down to the Union Canal. Briefly following back streets from the canal, Kemper Avenue will take you to Callendar Park.

After checking out the impressive Callendar House, skirt the lake before climbing through Callendar Woods towards the Union Canal again. Here you pick up the John Muir Way cycling route waymarkers past Glen Village and then winding your way to Canada Wood.

For a slightly different route back to the Wheel, when you reach the canal again, turn left and follow the towpath through Roughcastle Tunnel.


This route is almost entirely off road, following footpaths through woods, along canal towpath and through parks. There is a short section along pavement from the Union Canal to Callendar Park. Much of the route is flat but there are climbs from the Falkirk Wheel and Callendar House, although these are quite short. Surfaces are a mix of gravel, grassy tracks and tarmac, so a sturdy pair of shoes is recommended.

Getting There

By rail: Falkirk High station sits right on the trail by the Union Canal.

By bus: Falkirk is well served by a number of bus routes including the 35 service that runs between Falkirk and Kilsyth/Croy, while the X38 links Falkirk and Linlithgow on route to Stirling or Edinburgh.

By car: there are two huge car parks at the Falkirk Wheel and more options at Callendar House and in the town centre.


This is quite a long walk but there are chances to stop on the way. Callendar House has regular exhibitions and a tearoom, there’s a café in Canada Wood, and you can take a seat at the Falkirk Wheel on a boat trip or in the café. If you have the energy, a stroll around nearby Rough Castle on the Antonine Wall is worth adding.

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

Points of interest

Falkirk Wheel

Joining two canals across Scotland, the Falkirk Wheel is one of Scotland's top tourist destinations and attracts visitors from all across the world.

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Rough Castle

Walk through the Antonine Wall's best preserved Roman fort.

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Callendar Park and House

Dating from the 14th century and set in the historic Callendar Park, the house featured in the TV series Outlander. Visit the exhibitions, Georgian kitchen and tearoom. Closed on Tuesdays.

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Falkirk Tunnel

Created nearly 200 years ago, the 630-metre long, 19-feet high tunnel carries the Union Canal beneath Prospect Hill on the way to its terminus at the Falkirk Wheel.

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