The Falkirk Wheel 

The Falkirk Wheel 

by Scottish Tourer September 10, 2019

The Falkirk Wheel 

What is it? 

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in simple terms. This structure is by no means simple and the fact is it’s the only one like it in the world.   This wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal which up until 2002 was simply not possible.  The wheel would not have been possible without the backing of the millennium project. This project announced in 1997 that they would support the link of the two canals. It was finally finished in 2002 after it took a team of 20 architects and engineers and a joint effort between the British Waterways Board, ARUP, butterley engineering and RMJM. 

What does it do?

The wheel raises boats by 24metres, however the union canal is 11 metres higher than this meaning that the boats then pass through a pair of locks between the top of the wheel and the Union canal. It is truly one of a kind and there’s no other like it in the world. It also meant that it was the first time since the 1930s that the two canals were linked and coast to coast travel was accessible again. 

Why visit? Some quick facts 


  • The wheel is 115ft tall and it requires the power of only 8 kettles to raise the boats and transfer them between the canals.  For such a huge structure this alone is quite spectacular. 
  • A feat of engineering once again for Scotland as it is the only of its kind in the world.  This coupled with the Kelpies nearby makes Falkirk a popular visitor attraction. 
  • Why not book in for a trip in the wheel? There is a 60 minute boat trip which allows visitors to experience the marvel of the structure and be raised between the two canals.  To truly understand the sheer effort and design in this structure it has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. 

Falkirk Wheel


  • Don’t forget to pay the visitors centre, splash zone, childrens play park, water zorbing, canoeing or boating a visit while you are there. This is sure to keep children and adults of all ages entertained whatever their preferences are. 
  • Visit the Segway centre and enjoy the parkland while learning a new skill.  This is a great way to take in some scenery and spend some time with those you love.

Segway Image result for the falkirk wheel
As you travel round Scotland in one of our motorhomes you will begin to see why Scotland is so popular. With having some of the best feats in recent engineering on Scottish Tourers doorstep you really have the gateway into Scotland. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, embrace the architecture, immerse yourself in the history and tuck into the local food on offer. 

Please visit this page to book a campervan for your next holiday. 

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