Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide


You can do this route from :
Falkirk Wharf.

Falkirk Wharf



Glasgow is one of Europe's most exciting destinations, combining the energy and sophistication of a great international city with some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery.

The marina is adjacent to the magnificent Falkirk Wheel visitor centre.
The Falkirk Wheel is one of Scotland's top tourist destinations and attracts visitors from all across the World.

The Scottish Lowland Canals are quite different from the canals typical of England and Wales.

The Forth & Clyde Canal is much wider than the average English canal. British Waterways staff currently operate all of the locks and bridges and boaters are not allowed to operate the locks themselves, although help is happily accepted. Between Falkirk and Glasgow there are 4 locks and 3 road bridges, with a further 18 locks and a number of pedestrian bridges between Glasgow and the Clyde at Bowling.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 7 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 8.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 33.00 hours

Total Distance : 64.00 miles

Number of Locks : 48

Number of Tunnels : 0

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.


Download the Cruising Notes

We also have the cruising notes available for download in PDF (acrobat Reader)

Download our cruising notes.





Cruising Notes

Cruising West:

If you are going west on the Forth and Clyde Canal, British Waterways staff will see you through Bonnybridge road lift bridge and locks 17 to 20. You therefore need to contact British Waterways (0845 676 6000) about a week before leaving home to let them know your plans. At lock 20 let the British Waterways staff know where you intend to stop for the night, what time you plan to leave the following morning and how far you intend to go that day.

The locks are well spaced out so boaters can enjoy some of the finest views on offer with sizable hills, moorland and woodland providing a very quiet backdrop to savour . You are then on the summit reach with no more locks between here and Glasgow, but there are two more bridges.

At Kirkintilloch it is an ideal place to stock up on provisions before the final section on the run toGlasgow, the canal passes directly through the centre of town which gives easy access to all its amenities.

The canal travels adjacent to the Possil Loch Nature Reserve as it keeps the sprawl of Glasgow to the south, and it is easy to relax and absorb the beauty of the surrounding lowlands and the profusion of nature within sight and earshot of the canal.

If you plan to go into Glasgow (which is the place to stop for the night, even if you are going down to Bowling the following day), you need to take the left fork when the canal splits at Stockingfield Junction.

Down the Glasgow branch you can either moor at British Waterways headquarters at Applecross Street or if you are going to arrive before 5.00pm you can go down to Spiers Wharf.
However, you need to have phoned 0845 676 6000 at least an hour in advance to get the Bascule Bridge opened for you at Applecross Street.
If you are going beyond Glasgow to Bowling you need to contact British Waterways (0845 6766000) the day before you plan to make this passage.

There is no shortage of ways to spend time in Glasgow, once Europe’s city of culture, a large amount of money has been spent redeveloping the city centre and old brownfield sites. There are numerous museums, parks, golf courses, shopping centres and restaurants in and around Glasgow and much of the city centre activities are within walking distance of moorings at Spiers Wharf.

After Glasgow go back up to the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Stockingfield Junction and turn towards Bowling, and soon you will be passing the substantial 400 foot long four arched Kelvin Aqueductand into the a set of locks to the high point of the canal .

Due to the renovation of the Forth and Clyde being so recent the locks on the canal tend to be easily operated and in good working order which is a definite plus point as so many appear in quite a short stretch through Glasgow, the most intensively locked section is around the Boghouse Locks.

The canal now heads through the outlying urban sprawl of Glasgow past Clydebank through the Clydebank shopping centre and the 2 pedestrian lift bridges that can have quite an audience as the boats pass through.

A little further on the canal arrives at Dalmuir Drop, it offers a somewhat unique experience by dropping the level of the canal to give 10 foot headroom for boats passing under the Dumbarton Road through what is effectively a 250 foot lock chamber before raising the water level on the other side back to the original level. The process can be somewhat lengthy taking about 30 minutes but as a cost saving exercise it is successful, the cost of raising the level of the bridge or re-installing the original swing bridge onto a road that is far too busy for that to be practical would be cost prohibitive.

Towards old Kilpatrick and Clydebank, the canal has glorious views of the Kilpatrick Hills giving us a feeling for the rolling beauty of Scotland’s low lying region that the canal cuts through. Kilpatrick is most closely associated with the 500 metre long Erskine Bridge which carries approximately 35,000 vehicles a day between West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire, thankfully due to its box girder design and grand height the considerable noise from this huge construction is cushioned somewhat to those who are nearby.

Soon the town of Bowling is reached with its two basins at the joining of the Clyde, during the period over which the canal was closed between 1963 and 2001 the basins were kept open for the mooring of craft using the River Clyde and as such were in a perpetual state of good repair. There is a narrow channel between the basins spanned by two bridges, one is a swing bridge for the now defunct Caledonian Railway. The town of Bowling offers opportunity to dine out or stock up on provisions in a pleasant environment.


NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.


The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)
Cactus Wren Canal Boat
Class : Wren
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Bay Wren Canal Boat
Class : Wren
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Sky Lark Canal Boat
Class : Lark
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Lochan Ora Canal Boat
Class : Spirit
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Atholl Brose Canal Boat
Class : Spirit
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Desert Lark Canal Boat
Class : Lark
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Green Sandpiper Canal Boat
Class : Sandpiper
(Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Sanderling Canal Boat
Class : Sanderling
(Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).

Scotch Mist Canal Boat
Class : Mist
(Sleeps a maximum of 8 People).


Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Pubs available on this canal route:-

  Pub Name Pub Address Distance from Falkirk More Info
The Wheelhouse Millennium Wheel Drive, Falkirk FK1 4AD 0.57 Miles Full Details
Goose 25 Upper Newmarket, Falkirk FK1 1JH 1.91 Miles Full Details
Carron Works Carron Works Bank Street, Falkirk FK1 1NB 1.98 Miles Full Details
Castlecary House Hotel Castlecary Road, Cumbernauld G68 0HD 4.57 Miles Full Details
The Boathouse Auchinstarry Marina G65 9SG 8.72 Miles Full Details
The Kirky Puffer 1 Townhead, Kirkintilloch G66 1NG 13.11 Miles Full Details
The Stables Glasgow Bridge, Kirkintilloch G66 1RH 14.50 Miles Full Details
The Counting House 2 St Vincent Place, Glasgow G1 2DH 18.83 Miles Full Details
The Curlers Rest 256 Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8SH 19.76 Miles Full Details
Lock 27 1100 Crow Road, Glasgow G13 1JT 20.18 Miles Full Details
The Glen Lusset 67 Dumbarton Road, Old Kilpatrick G60 5DA 24.71 Miles Full Details

NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.


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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.