THE FALKIRK WHEEL: SCOTLAND’S HYDRAULIC MARVEL
Grab the unmissable occasion of visiting an imposing attraction - a rotating boat lift that fully incarnates the spirit of human engineering and creativity and that, as if by magic, takes us on a journey to discover Scotland’s engineering heritage.
What we will see
- Falkirk: Helix Park and Kelpies
- Falkirk Wheel and boat tour
- Coast north of Forth: Kincardine Bridge and Culross
- New Queensferry Crossing: Forth Rail Bridge (panoramic)
What we will do
- We leave South Queensferry behind us and venture into Scotland’s hinterland to reach the city of Falkirk.
- As we stroll through Helix Park, we reach the scenic Kelpies sculpture - two steel horse heads over 30 metres tall. Kelpies - the protagonists of many Celtic folk legends - are magical aquatic creatures that inhabit the Scottish lakes and rivers and often take the form of white horses.
- Our next stop is a spectacular combination of hydraulic engineering and human skill - completed in 2002, the Falkirk Wheel is a must-see for lovers of canals and elegant engineering designs. At the Visitor Centre, we learn more about its history and mechanism and are then ready to get on our boat designed specifically to experience how the lift works! We cross the basin as far as the Wheel and, once the boat is in position, the Wheel lifts us with a gentle movement and takes us to the Union Canal 35 metres above us. As we ascend, we have plenty of time to admire the breathtaking views of the enchanting Scottish countryside.
- Once we reach the Union Canal, we sail along the 180 metres of the Rough Castle Tunnel alongside the historic Roman fortification of the Antonine Wall. We finally return to the Wheel, which now takes us down towards the Visitor Centre.
- After some free time during which we remain enchanted by how the Wheel works, we continue our excursion.
- We proceed along the northern coast of the Forth estuary across Kincardine Bridge and the historic city of Culross, of which we admire its Dutch-style façades and 17th-century terraced houses.
- Before making our way back to South Queensferry, we drive across the new Queensferry Crossing, one of the country’s main roads offering breathtaking views over the Victorian Forth Rail Bridge - an engineering marvel from the Industrial age declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2015.
What you need to know
- The ascent/descent lasts approximately 15 minutes.