Falkirk is a town in Scotland's central belt, located between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the Forth Valley.
Falkirk and the surrounding area is bursting with brilliant contrasts. The area boasts some outstanding attractions, including The Kelpies, The Helix, The Falkirk Wheel, Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, the Antonine Wall, and The John Muir Way to name but a few.
Looking for some inspiration? Why not check out this handy interactive map, packed full of ideas for day trips and longer stays in Falkirk and the surrounding area, or download the Falkirk Explored App to discover walking and cycling trails.
For an up to date list of what is open in the Falkirk area please see here.
The Falkirk Wheel, the world's first and only rotating boat lift is an engineering masterpiece which transports boats 115 ft between the different levels of the Union, and Forth & Clyde canals. You can ride on the wheel, and learn all about it at the visitor centre.
The town is also home to The Helix, a fantastic parkland providing activities such as cycling, walking, watersports and much more. Its star attractions are the Kelpies, the world's largest equine sculptures. At 30 metres high and made from 300 tonnes of steel, these incredible horse heads are monumental tributes to the horse power heritage that was vital to the early industries of central Scotland. Not only can you admire these amazing steel sculptures from afar, but visitors can get up close and even inside the structures with a Kelpies Experience Tour.
Falkirk is alive with history. The Antonine Wall, dating from the second century, marked the northern frontier of the Roman Empire and now has UNESCO World Heritage status. You can experience life in centuries gone by at the impressive mansion of Callendar House, which stands in the attractive Callendar Park.
The 15th century fortress Blackness Castle made the perfect setting for the film version of Hamlet, starring Mel Gibson, and has recently been used as a location for the hit TV series Outlander. In a real-life tragedy, the army of William Wallace fell to the English under Edward I at Falkirk in 1298 but in 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated the Hanoverians in the other battle of Falkirk. For more on the area's connections to the big and little screen, check out Film on Forth.
Travel on a steam train on a seven-mile round trip along the southern shore of the Forth at Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway, which boasts Scotland's largest railway museum. Look out for the unusual Dunmore Pineapple, or catch a film at the art deco Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness, the oldest of its kind in Scotland.
Top facilities and location
The town itself has all the amenities you would expect from a large town, including shops, shopping centres and a large number of award-winning independent boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as supermarkets and cinema. It also has a number of hidden heritage gems such as the Town Centre Heritage trail, the Fawkirk with the Tomb of Sir John de Graeme and of course The Steeple located right in the centre of the pedestrianised town centre,
The town is easily accessible by road and rail with frequent services to nearby cities such as Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh. You can also pick up an e-bike from Falkirk High Street. It is also home to Scotland's largest electric vehicle charging stage, located at Falkirk Stadium.
The Falkirk area is home to some amazing open spaces which makes it the perfect place to enjoy a few days exploring our many outdoor attractions, parks and activities.
With an extensive cycle and path network it is little wonder that the area was voted ‘Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood’ by Ramblers.
You will find flat canal side paths, a section of the John Muir Way which takes in some of our major attractions, a great choice cycling trails at Callendar Estate and much more.
If you haven’t cycled for a while then why not hire an e-bike which you will find at the Falkirk Wheel, The Helix Park, Falkirk Town Centre and Callendar Park, as well as Grangemouth, Bo’ness and Denny town centres.
The Active Travel Hub team provide expert knowledge on local active travel routes and networks from their base at 203 High Street, Falkirk.
Download the Falkirk Explored App to discover walking and cycling trails.
Whisky in Falkirk
Soon you will be able to visit the historic Rosebank distillery, which has been closed for 25 years. Ian Mcleod Distillers are re-investing to make this a world-class destination with the whisky well known to whisky connoisseurs as ‘The King of the Lowlands’.
Falkirk distillery has just started production of its own whisky. A family business, the distillery finally started production in 2020 after years of hard work by the Stewart family. Using water from the Artesian well on site – it will be a brand well worth the wait.
For more information, visit the VisitFalkirk website.