Admire the futuristic style of the world’s first rotating boat lift and watch it in action as it plucks vessels from a quaint canal.
The Falkirk Wheel is an impressive structure of space-age design that connects canals. The rotating boat lift is a marvel of modern engineering, raising vessels by 79 feet (24 meters) from the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal. Take a short boat trip and get lifted into the air with panoramic views of the picturesque Falkirk countryside.
From the peak of the wheel, snap photos of the canals and fields of the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Enter the visitor center on the eastern side of the lift to learn about the lift mechanism and take part in family activities.
Walk on water inside an inflatable ball and rent a Segway for a tour around the site. Bring the kids to the playground and small water park. Bikes, electric boats and canoes are available to rent at the visitor center. Hike through the scenic meadows and forests via one of the circular and linear paths.
Gaze up at the imposing structure, which consists of concrete rings and bending arms. Learn about the intricate system that is one of the few working boat lifts in the United Kingdom. Once raised to the aqueduct at the top of the wheel, boats must pass through another series of lifts to reach the Union Canal.
The wheel opened in 2002, connecting the two canals for the first time since the 1930s. Learn about the initial mechanism, which comprised 11 locks and took almost an entire day to complete passage. It now takes about 1 hour. Pay a fee for a boat trip, with discounts for kids.
The visitor center opens daily from morning until late afternoon. Plan your trip before or after the annual maintenance closure from mid-January until early February.
Find the Falkirk Wheel in the Forth and Clyde Canal west of the city. Take a bus from the center of Falkirk to the boat lift in less than 30 minutes. Camelon Railway Station is a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) walk northeast from the site. Use the parking lot with a small fee, a 5-minute walk from the lift.