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Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal

Also known as the Union Canal, the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal runs from the Forth & Clyde Canal at Falkirk to a terminus in Edinburgh. The waterway features the Falkirk Wheel Boat Lift.

Things to do nearby

Facts & Stats

32 miles


The length of the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal that is navigable.

2 locks

+ Boat lift


Year opened

From the Forth & Clyde Canal to Edinburgh

The Union Canal was opened in 1822 for the transport of coal to Edinburgh. The canal was abandoned in 1965 and restored as part of the Millennium Link project.

Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 70′ (21.3 metres)
  • Beam: 12′ (3.6 metres)
  • Height: 9′ (2.7 metres)
  • Draught: 3′ (0.9 metres)

Navigation authority

Scottish Canals

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.

Local activities