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8.5 miles, 13.6 km
Average time to complete:
4 hours' walking, 1.5 hours' cycling


Falkirk is home to a bustling pedestrianised town centre and hosts the Falkirk Wheel and The Helix, two of Scotland’s most well-known tourist attractions.

Callendar Wood and Estate let you enjoy wooded walks and visit these permanent displays: The Story of Callendar House, a history covering the 11th to the 19th centuries; The Antonine Wall, Rome's Northern Frontier; and Falkirk: Crucible of Revolution 1750-1850, which tells how the local area was transformed during the first century of the industrial era. Further on, the route takes you through the outskirts of Linlithgow. The town centre is well worth a visit, as is Linlithgow Loch, which was probably in existence when the fairytale Linlithgow Palace was constructed in 1425. Today anglers and watersports enthusiasts enjoy the loch’s waters in summer, and wintering wildfowl take their shift in autumn when it’s quiet. Signs for the Linlithgow Link will lead you from the John Muir Way into the centre of Linlithgow and back out to re-join the Way. The Link route leaves the east-bound John Muir Way (i.e. heading towards Dunbar) near the Aqueduct, and the west-bound John Muir Way at Mill Road. It is signed Linlithgow Link east (LLe) and Linlithgow Link west (LLw) respectively.


One of the flatter route sections, leaving Falkirk via Callendar Park, the route has some gradual climbing through woodland before joining the flatter cycle alternative at the Union Canal. It is then level along the canal towpath until the walking route descends steps to join the River Avon Heritage Trail. The cycle alternative continues along the canal towards Linlithgow to avoid this narrow footpath.


The very low, narrow tunnel under the railway south of Callendar Park is impassable other than on foot, and likewise the steep steps down off the canal and boardwalks along the River Avon Heritage Trail. Apart from where the path narrows under bridges and along the narrow bumpy cobbled stretch over the Avon Aqueduct, the rest of this section along the canal towpath is fully accessible.

For detailed information about potential access restrictions along this section, see the Accessibility Storymap.

Getting There

By rail: Falkirk High station sits right on the trail by the Union Canal. Linlithgow station is on the same line.

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 is a huge car park at the Falkirk Wheel and more options in the town centre, including a small car park at Drossie Road beside the trail. Parking is more limited at Linlithgow but free spaces are available beside the loch.

Points of interest

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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Muiravonside Country Park

Muiravonside Country Park is two miles south of Grangemouth and covers 170 acres of woodland and parkland. It's free and open all-year-round. There's a lot to do with nature trails, picnic sites and play areas throughout the Park.

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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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Linlithgow Burgh Halls

A stunning building with a dedicated art gallery, offering a cafe with garden, visitor information, events and more.

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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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Linlithgow Town Centre

Discover the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. This idyllic town offers visitors the perfect blend of old and new with an array of wonderful sights, events, shopping and dining.

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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 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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Beecraigs Country Park

Large country park with fishery, walks, play area, animal attractions, restaurant, caravan and camping space, and best of all: free admission!

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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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