The Falkirk Wheel is a wonderful, mechanical marvel that raises vessels and connects the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Union Canal in central Scotland. It’s the only construction of its kind in the world!
It was once a vital form of transportation, but today the Falkirk Wheel is an iconic landmark that stands as a testament to the historical importance of Scotland’s waterways, as well as being an example of extraordinary engineering.
Climb onto a boat and soar gracefully 35m in the air before smoothly landing on the Union Canal, and visit the newly revamped visitor centre where you will learn about the workings of this mighty wheel. A boat trip takes 50 minutes and can be booked in advance.
Before The Falkirk Wheel was constructed, the canals were linked by a staircase of 11 locks, which took nearly a day to transit. They were dismantled in 1933, but it wasn’t until 1994 that other options were considered – including rolling eggs, tilting tanks, a giant see-saw and overhead monorails!
The final design is said to have been inspired by a Celtic double headed spear, a vast turning propeller of a Clydebank built ship, the ribcage of a whale and the spine of a fish.
Did you know? It only takes the power of about eight toasters for a full rotation!