Falkirk Wheel

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The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating structure for lifting boats where the Forth and Clyde, and Union Canals merge. This structure was completed in 2002 to replace the 11 locks needed before.

There are two tourist boats that offer trips on the wheel, and along the canal through a tunnel. Boats depart about every hour, with the trips lasting about 50 minutes.

There are also a number of water sports for children, and a bungee play area. There is also a Segway Centre for tours around the many pathways.

Other attractions in Falkirk are The Kelpies and Helix Park, and Callander House and Park.

Falkirk Wheel Road Map FK7 0LJ

Falkirk Information and Accommodation.

Large Images

Falkirk Wheel image

The image below is from the south showing a number of narrow boats stopping over during their journey along the canals. The Union Canal up there runs through a tunnel and on to Edinburgh 26 miles east. There is a popular bike path that runs beside the canal. Bike Information between the Falkirk Wheel and Edinburgh.

Falkirk Wheel Narrowboats image

The image below is looking towards the hills at Stirling 12 miles northwest. Stirling is popular for its Castle, Wallace Monument, and Bannockburn Battlefield.

The lock down to the Forth and Clyde Canal is at the far side leading down to that canal about 50 yards by the trees.

Falkirk Wheel view northwest image

The image below is of the water walking balls and bumper boats at the Falkirk Wheel. Children have to be a certain height before they can use these bumper boats.

Falkirk Wheel Water Walking Balls image

The image below is of the cafe / restaurant and visitor centre.

Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre image

The image below is of the Forth and Clyde Canal as it passes the Falkirk Wheel, looking towards Glasgow, 23 miles southwest. There is a path and cycle lane from here to Glasgow.
Cycle Information between the Falkirk Wheel and Glasgow

Bike Hire at the Falkirk Wheel

Forth and Clyde Canal image

The image below is at the Falkirk Wheel looking east along the Forth and Clyde Canal towards Falkirk town, just over 2 miles to the town centre. This section of the canal runs through Falkirk centre and joins the River Carron and Firth of Forth on the east side of Falkirk, 4 miles from here.

Just before the Canal joins the River Carron, there is a modern park with two large Equine Statues and Visitor Centre, known as The Helix & Kelpies, as can be seen in the image below top left. There is a path that follows the canal between the Falkirk Wheel and The Helix for walking or biking.

Forth and Clyde Canal east image

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 Falkirk.

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 build.

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 traffic.

1963, Forth and Clyde Canal is closed.

1965, the Union Canal is closed to all navigation.

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 two canals.

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 canals.

Falkirk Wheel Website

Area Attractions Click on Map

Helix & Kelpies Photo Tour

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