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Water of Leith & Union Canal: Balerno to Fountainbridge

Join me for a Friday afternoon walk from Balerno into town via the Water of Leith walkway and the Union Canal. Grade C+ whilst the terrain isn't challenging, we'll be walking at around 3mph, so a reasonable level of fitness is required and appropriate footwear for distance walking must be worn.  Bring water, a sandwich or snack, and depending on the weather forecast a waterproof jacket.

Walkers are responsible for their own safety, and no member or organizer from the group can be held responsible in case of any mishap.

By signing up for this walk you are understood to have agreed to these terms.

Walk Details

Distance: 15 km (8.5 miles)

Total Ascent: < 50 meters

Approximate total time, including breaks: 3.5 hours

This first part of our walk takes in the Water of Leith walkway which follows the line of the old railway beside the river from the village of Balerno. There are places on this stretch of the Water of Leith where it's easy to forget you're in a city. Not just on those parts which run next to Edinburgh's outlying suburban 'villages' of Balerno, Currie and Juniper Green either: the section from Colinton to Slateford also has a wonderful countryside feel.

Following a stop at Slateford we'll then walk on the towpath of the Union Canal.  Designed by Hugh Baird and built between 1818 and 1822, the Union canal was originally used for transporting coal before competition from the railways caused it to close to commercial use in the 1930s. We'll take the final section which leads into Edinburgh and ends at Lochrin Basin.

Getting there

Lothian bus 44 or 44A to Bridge Street, Balerno.  A single fare is £1.50.

Facilities & Dogs

There are public toilets at the visitor centre at Slateford, roughly half way through the walk.  I'll be taking a short stroll to The Hanging Bat, http://www.thehangingbat.com/ following the walk for a quick drink; you're most welcome to join me.

Dogs are welcome on this walk and in the pub, but must be kept under control at all times and on a short lead as required. Flexible and long leads are a trip hazard and therefore not permitted.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great walk and thanks sally and linda for tea and cake- very welcome! cheers

    July 25, 2013

  • Alison J.

    Thank you all for the warm welcome to my first walk with the group.

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Perfect day for a beautiful walk, great company as usual and a very pleasant ending socialising in Sally's garden and enjoying Linda's cakes. Thanks all.

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Me, Toby & Cilla had a lovely walk yesterday. I always enjoy a stroll along the Water of Leith.
    Thanks Allan!

    July 20, 2013

  • Amy

    A lovely shady walk. Thanks to Allan for organising, Linda for the delicious cake and Sally for the welcome cuppa and seat in the sun.
    Good to see everyone.

    July 20, 2013

  • Linda

    Thanks for the walk Allan and to Sally for letting us laze about in your garden :-)

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think Im quite near now...

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank Allan.. But I thought I was arriving but bus driver tells me thant it leaves more than my map says to me... Is balermo high school, ins't it? Where we meet at the beginning I mean! Thank u and sorry

    July 19, 2013

    • Allan

      Yes we're waiting at Balerno High

      July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank Allan.. But I thought I was arriving but bus driver tells me thant it leaves more than my map says to me... Is balermo high school, ins't it? Where we meet at the beginning I mean! Thank u and sorry

    July 19, 2013

  • Allan

    Will wait for you Julia

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am 44A bus and I m getting late too... I think I'll be there 2.10. I hope se some of you there if it's possible... I'll tell you more..

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Running late. No bus for another ten mins. Will intercept you all at Currie.

    July 19, 2013

  • Carolanne

    Am struggling to get away from
    Work its manic :-((( but gonna try as Ive done nothing but work overtime recently - will keep you post - really sorry was so looking forward to this - everything crossed

    July 19, 2013

  • mary

    Am really sorry i cant manage the walk today. Mary

    July 19, 2013

  • Alan

    I.m sorry that I won't make this one now. Enjoy the sunshine!

    July 19, 2013

  • Paula H

    Sorry, but think it's best if I don't do this walk now. Not feeling that great again today :( Hope you all enjoy a fab day !

    July 18, 2013

  • Paula H

    Sorry, but think it's best if I don't do this walk now. Not feeling that great again today :( Hope you all enjoy a fab day !

    July 18, 2013

  • Allan

    Looks like we can forget the waterproof jackets, but do bring sunscreen! Sections of dappled shade from Balerno to Slateford, but almost no shade for the hour or so walking on the tow path

    July 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Due to the current extreme weather conditions, I'm going to pull out of the route at Slateford. Five miles of walking in this heat will be long enough for Cilla & Toby.........

      July 18, 2013

  • Carolanne

    Yay I see Ive got a place - see you Friday :-)

    July 16, 2013

  • Carolanne

    Would love to get onto this one - fingers crossed as would be coming straight from work and not too far away :-)))

    July 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wanted to do this walk unfortunately just checked and would need to get 3 buses to get to Balerno from Penicuik and would be travelling for 2 hours at least to get there : (

    July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope the weather keeps up - looking gwd to it. Annie

    July 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be bringing Cilla; an 11 month old Pug.......
    Toby will be having a day of rest; prior to partaking in a dog show on Saturday morning.

    July 14, 2013

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