January 29, 2012 · 11:30 AM
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This circular walk route passes through attractive countryside whilst taking in the three main waterways within and around the historic town of Linlithgow.
The route starts in Linlithgow town centre and then picks up the footpath around Linlithgow Loch. Along the route, look out for interesting information about the local landscape, flora and fauna. From the far side of the loch, there are fantastic views of Linlithgow Palace, and also of St Michael’s Church with its bold, modern aluminium crown. Many types of birds can be seen swimming and feeding on the loch. We then leave the loch side and head for the start of the River Avon Heritage Trail. The trail winds its way through open countryside alongside the River Avon for 1-2 miles, gradually rising upwards to join the Union Canal towpath. We cross the impressive Avon aqueduct - at 26 metres high and 250 metres long, it is the longest and highest aqueduct in Scotland. We descend to the opposite side of the river via a long winding set of steps and boardwalks from where there are fine views of the aqueduct. After crossing through Muiravonside Country Park, we return to the canal and follow the towpath for about 3 miles back to Linlithgow town centre.
Distance - approx 8-9 miles
Height change – about 50m
Time - 3-4 hours including breaks
Meet at the Cross in Linlithgow High Street. There is the option to travel to and from the meeting point by either train or by bus. Trains to and from Linlithgow are frequent and fast - I would suggest catching the 11.00am Glasgow Queen Street train at Edinburgh Waverley which arrives at Linlithgow at 11.18am - see the Scotrail web site for train service information. The meeting point is about a 5-minute walk from the station. Alternatively, First Bus service no. 38 leaves half-hourly from Edinburgh Regent Road at 6 and 36 minutes past the hour – the journey time to Linlithgow Cross is 1 hour and the bus stop in Linlithgow is across the road from the meeting point. See the First Buses web site for detailed bus information. For those coming to the meeting point by car, there are several car parks in the town centre, however they do get busy even on Sundays so please allow for this.
Some useful info: There are public toilets in the town centre close to the meeting point if required (10p charge to use them though). The steps down from the aqueduct to the river side are in good condition, however the treads are rather narrow so care needs to be taken on the steps. Care should also be taken on the heritage trail itself as there are steeply-sloping sides close to the edge of the footpath at some points. Some of the footpaths can also be quite rough, stony, wet and muddy in places, so good waterproof hiking footwear is essential - gaiters might also be useful, if you have them. Crossing the aqueduct may be problematic for anyone who has difficulty with heights. Bring waterproofs and also a packed lunch - we will take a break mid-way during the walk. At the end of the walk, there are several cafes and bars in Linlithgow town centre, however it is not known which of them might be dog-friendly.
Walkers are responsible for their own safety and no member or organiser from the group can be held responsible in the case of any mishap. By signing up for this walk you are understood to have agreed to these terms. Please also make sure you have appropriate footwear for this walk.