48 miles,
76.8 km
Average time to complete:
6 hours
Route type:
Total elevation:
477 metres


Starting and finishing at Haymarket Station in Edinburgh, this 48-mile loop can be done as a long day ride but is ideally split in two with an overnight stop in Linlithgow or Bo’ness.

A great way to explore Edinburgh, West Lothian and Falkirk areas, while staying almost completely offroad, the route follows the Union Canal out of the city towards Linlithgow. There’s plenty of industrial heritage to discover along the canal.

On arrival in Linlithgow, take some time to wander around the palace and loch before continuing up the Fishers’ Brae climb and into the woods of Kinneil Estate. From Bo’ness you will hug the coast, following the John Muir Way, to Blackness with its impressive castle. It’s then on through Hopetoun Estate to the dramatic Forth Bridges at South Queensferry. After sampling the cafes and ice cream shops, continue around the coast towards Cramond before turning inland back to Edinburgh.


The majority of this route is off road, following cycle paths, canal towpath and a mixture of paved and unpaved surfaces. This makes it ideal for a gravel, mountain or hybrid bike. Gradients are generally gentle or flat with just a couple of fairly steep climbs in Edinburgh and north of Linlithgow.

Getting There

BY RAIL: The route starts and finishes at Haymarket Station in Edinburgh.
BY BUS: Edinburgh is well served by bus services – see Lothian Buses for more details.
BY CAR: Starting from the city centre will let you leave the car at home!


There are many more attractions, shops and galleries to visit on this route than those listed here, so there’s a real advantage to splitting this trip over two days.
You’ll find a selection of accommodation and places to eat out in Linlithgow and Bo’ness, in addition to the myriad options in Edinburgh. 

Points of interest

Kinneil House

Historic Home of the Dukes of Hamilton, the house dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It's open on selected days throughout the year and guides from The Friends of Kinneil take people through the House and tell its fascinating story. Check with Kinneil Museum for information on the next open days.

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Forth Bridges

Three impressive bridges spanning three centuries cross the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry, including the original rail Forth Bridge, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Blackness Castle

This imposing 15th century castle has hosted garrisons, prisoners and more recently many a film crew. Climb the towers for fantastic views of the Forth. Please note parking in the castle car park and external grounds is limited to paying customers only.
Open 10am-4pm daily

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Kinneil Local Nature Reserve

Great mixed woodland walks with an opportunity to visit Kinneil House, a 15th-century tower house.

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Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway

Take a step back in time with a ride on a steam train and learn all about the history of rail travel at the museum and visitor centre.

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Bo'ness Hippodrome

The Hippodrome is Scotland's oldest purpose-built cinema. Screening everything from blockbusters, to foreign cinema, indie gems, and classics, it also hosts the annual Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema in March each year.

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Hopetoun House

This magnificent house dates from the 17th century and sits in majestic grounds with nature trails and scenic walks. The Stables Tea-room serves lunches & refreshments.

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Water of Leith Visitor Centre and Cafe

Find out more about the Water of Leith & enjoy refreshments at the volunteer-run cafe, open 7 days, 10am-4pm.

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Eagle Rock, Cramond

A weather-worn carving of an eagle, thought to date to the Roman occupation of Cramond.

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Dalmeny House

Completed in 1817 and home to the 7th Earl and Countess of Rosebery, guided tours of the interior and art collections are available in June & July, Sun-Wed.

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Corstorphine Hill

Corstorphine Hill is only 531 feet high, but rising above the western suburbs of Edinburgh, it presents some great views of the city and the Firth of Forth.

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