Canals and Falkirk Wheel History
1790, the Forth and Clyde Canal opened
crossing central Scotland between the
Firth of Clyde at Bowling Harbour 12
miles west of Glasgow, and the Firth of
Forth 24 miles northwest of Edinburgh by
The Forth and Clyde Canal took 22
years to build.
This is the narrowest crossing in
Scotland at 36 miles in length. Map
1822, the Union Canal was completed
between Edinburgh & Falkirk, at 31
miles in length.
The two canals merge 2 miles west of
Falkirk centre, where the Falkirk Wheel
is now situated.
The Union Canal took only 4 years to
1842, the Edinburgh and Glasgow
Railway opened greatly reducing traffic
on the canals.
1921, the Eastern terminus of the
Union Canal is closed.
1933, the Western terminus of the
Union Canal is closed ending commercial
1963, Forth and Clyde Canal is
1965, the Union Canal is closed to all
2001, the Forth and Clyde Canal, and
Union Canal are re-opened, one of largest
canal restorations in Britain.
2002 24th May, Queen Elizabeth II
opened the Falkirk Wheel, connecting the
The Falkirk Wheel replaced 11 locks
that used to connect the two canals.
2014, The Kelpies, large equine
structures, are opened to the public in a
new park next to the Forth and Clyde
Canal, 4 miles east of the Falkirk Wheel,
close to where the canal merges with the
River and Firth of Forth.
The Kelpies were constructed in memory
of the heavy horses that worked along the
Area Attractions Click on
Helix & Kelpies Photo