account arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right closecontact-us emailFacebookheart instagramjoin linkedin phonepinterestplaysearch twitteryoutube

Lochrin Basin, Union Canal

Accessible for local, portable and trailable craft

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit Lochrin Basin on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to encourage visitors to explore the far end of the Union Canal. A photo of your boat or canoe at Lochrin Basin in Edinburgh will be a good proof of your visit, or by Leamington Lift Bridge if access through the bridge is not available at the time of your visit.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.


About the Union Canal

The Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal, to give it its full name, runs from the Forth & Clyde Canal at Falkirk to a terminus in Edinburgh.  It opened in 1822 to improve the carriage of coal and other minerals into Edinburgh. The canal was 32 miles (51.2km) long with 11 locks climbing up the hill at Falkirk to the long contour summit level with several notable aqueducts. Traffic on the canal started to seriously decline after the closure in 1921 of the main basins in Edinburgh and the canal officially closed to traffic in 1933.

The Forth & Clyde and Union canals were restored to navigation in 2001 following National Lottery funding as a Millennium project.  The original locks at Falkirk had been built over and a landmark boat lift was a new part of the restoration. The Falkirk Wheel, now one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions, is the only rotating boat lift in the world. A single lock and the wheel raise boats up to a tunnel under the Roman Antoine Wall with a double staircase lock onto the summit level. The Union Canal now has 3 locks, the Falkirk wheel and is a mile shorter since the last portion in Edinburgh has been lost.

[Photo – The terminus of the Union Canal in Edinburgh  –  by Jonathan Mosse]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: EH11 1JQ

What3words ///

Boat Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Union Canal is:-

Length: 70′ 0″ (21.34m)
Beam: 12′ 0″ (3.66m)
Height: 9′ 0″ (2.13m)
Draught: 3′ 0″ (0.91m)

Canoeing, Hire Boats and Trip Boats

Canoeing is encouraged on Scottish Canals; since locks are not used a licence is not required.  There is a well mapped Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail.

Scottish Canals recommends that all paddlers register with them in advance.

Several boat hire companies have boats based at Falkirk.

Re-Union Canal Boats (part of Fountainbridge Canalside Community Trust) offer trips from Edinburgh Quay.


Challenge Location

Lochrin Basin

Union Canal

Discover more nearby

Related activities

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.