I was invited by VisitFalkirk to explore the area and visit some of the tourist destinations that it has to offer. Falkirk is one area in Scotland I’ve never really explored before, but it’s so nearby Edinburgh! I was delighted to discover just how much Falkirk has to offer. We spent twelve hours adventuring around, and seeing everything from the Falkirk Wheel, to the Kelpies, to a cycling tour of the countryside. This is everything you need to know to plan a fantastic day trip to Falkirk.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not sponsored as part of our agreement, but I enjoyed myself so much I wanted to share the details.
Start your day with a boat tour at the Falkirk Wheel. The tour takes you up and around the wheel, down the canal, and then turns around and goes back down the wheel. While you ride, a tour guide tells you about the history of the Scottish Canals and the construction of the Falkirk Wheel. You’ll get gorgeous views of the canal and the surrounding countryside. But, make sure to show up around 10 minutes before your tour departs to get a front seat on the boat!
You can pre-book a tour of the Falkirk Wheel here: https://scottishcanals.ecr-aws.co.uk/ticket/detail/d8ee104c-712c-1364-8e0d-f6ef67fe4c63
The Kelpies and Helix Park
Helix Park is home to the famous Kelpies sculpture. The park is bigger than you’d think, and has a variety of fun family activities like nature paths, and play parks. There’s also a visitor centre within the park where you can visit a gift shop, use the toilets, and get lunch. Around the Kelpies there are food stands as well, serving everything from chips, to ice cream, to pizza! While you’re there, you can take a tour of the Kelpies which takes you into the belly of the beast. From inside, a tour guide will tell you all about why and how the Kelpies were built, a bit about the artist behind the work, and the models behind the horse heads. The Scottish Canals run right through the Kelpies, so it makes a good stop on a cycling tour.
You can book a tour of The Kelpies here: https://thehelix.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/4513?catID=4172&_ga=2.52716072.1426364696.1661797948-2143216126.1661797948
Falkirk is very cycle-friendly. There are rentable electric Forth Bikes at both the Falkirk Wheel and Helix Park. It’s a quick half hour cycle between the two, so you can easily do both in a day without needing a car! You can also cycle along the Scottish Canals, and explore the countryside around Falkirk. We cycled around the Skinflats and enjoyed some lovely views and met some farm animal friends. If you’re a confident cyclist, you could also cycle to many of the National Trust for Scotland sites within Falkirk.
You can rent a bike on the spot, you just need to make sure you can download the Forth Bikes app, and you have a credit card on you.
National Trust for Scotland sites in Falkirk
The Dunmore Pineapple will be the first stop on my next trip to Falkirk. The building is modelled after a pineapple, a very exotic fruit and symbol of luxury at the time the building was constructed. Callander House is also in Falkirk and makes a lovely day out. If you enjoy country walking or Roman architecture, you can explore sections of the Antonine Wall within Falkirk. And, if you’re lucky enough to have your own car, you can easily tour a number of these historic sites in a day!
Get a bite to eat in Falkirk proper
We finished our day with dinner at Behind the Wall in Falkirk. I’d never heard of the restaurant, but upon sharing details of our meal on Instagram I received a bunch of messages from people from Falkirk saying they love it there! After our meal, I can see why. I had the large nachos with a side of macaroni & cheese. Truly the best indulgent meal to have after a hard day of exploring! The menu is well varied, so there’s something for everyone.
You can book a table at BTW Falkirk here: https://behindthewall.co.uk/book-now/
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