The busy commercial centre of Falkirk was once the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire, and around its outskirts the remains of the Antonine Wall still stand. Kinneil Estate, meaning 'Wall's End', has the best-preserved sections of the wall along with the foundations of a fortlet. Other parts are visible at Callendar Park, Polmont Hill, Watling Lodge and at Tamfourhill, where the defensive ditch can be seen to its best advantage.
Falkirk also played a major role in Scotland's Industrial Revolution and was a vital hub linking the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals, which allowed goods to be transported by barge from one side of the Central Belt to the other. The canals fell into disuse during the 19th- and 20th centuries but have now been restored to working order, bringing to life a valuable part of the country's industrial heritage and also encouraging leisure activities, from walking or cycling along the towpaths to canal boat trips. Falkirk has once again become an important staging post on the canals, thanks to the remarkable Falkirk Wheel, the world's first revolving boatlift and arguably the most impressive engineering spectacle in Scotland since the building of the Forth Rail Bridge.
Another element of the area's impressive industrial heritage can be found at the fascinating Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway, which includes Scotlands largest collection of railway artefacts. You can savour the nostalgia and romance of a bygone age by travelling in a steam train on a 7-mile round trip along the southern shores of the Forth.
Clackmannanshire, known as Scotlands 'Wee County', the smallest in the land, was at the forefront of the thriving textile industry of the last century and today, you can still come across traces of the centuries-old woollen manufacturing traditions around the county.
Visitors can also enjoy the delights of walking in the majestic Ochil Hills overlooking the flat plains of the Forth Valley and affording splendid views across much of Central Scotland. Tucked up against their southern slopes are a series of small communities, each with their own identity, known as the Hillfoot villages - Blairlogie, Menstrie, Alva, Tillicoultry, Dollar and Muckhart. It's a walker's paradise here: the very active attempt the arduous round of the nine (with peaks all over 2,000 feet), but most are content with the winding paths leading through deep-cut, richly wooded glens with their cascading waterfalls.