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Scotland Winter Roadtrip | Engineering Excellence in Stirlingshire

Scotland Winter Roadtrip | Engineering Excellence in Stirlingshire

If you’re visiting in the summer months? Staying near Stirling/Falkirk and got an hour to spare?

Do you fancy sailing 35 metres into the air as you soar over the canal. Treated to an unparalleled view of the stunning wheel structure and the water below.

Sadly for us, we only managed a visit inside the visitors centre and a walk around the structure built as part of the Millennium Link project. But it was enough! The Falkirk Wheel truly is an amazing feat of engineering with it’s rotating boat lift connecting both the Union Canal and the Forth & Clyde.

It certainly offered our girls an excellent opportunity to develop our Design & Technology/Engineering Roadschooling from the Deutsche Museum (Germany) and Science Museum (Portugal). For a fairly reasonable £21, you can even grab the chance afterwards to build your own model with your kids too (click here)

Falkirk Wheel

If you’re interested in hearing more about the Archimedes principle that we first learnt about in Austria/Norway…then this video is well worth watching before any visit. In term’s of costings, the site has reasonable parking (£3) and an option to stay overnight in a motorhome too (£15). For those looking for a fairly brief overview, two caissons (containers) within the wheel, each holding 250,000 litres of water, carry boats up and down simultaneously between the two canals. A journey that takes 15 minutes. The whole project replaced a series of 11 locks descending over 100ft and cost around £17 million.
There’s plenty more to explore nearby too including long circular walks along the canals and even a chance to take a Segway tour….If like us you’re looking to combine visits to ensure you spend a day wisely in the area…. perhaps you’d leave a full day to enjoy a visit to one of Scotland’s most historic landmarks at Stirling Castle or a day trip to Aberfeldy via the ‘Little Glen’.

But if you’re visiting the ​ Falkirk region, don’t miss out on a chance to see the Kelpies at the Helix Arena (close to the football club stadium). Our girls were desperate to see the world’s largest equine sculptures up close and personal… Rising over 30m high above the well landscaped Helix Park, a Kelpie is the Scots name given to a shape-shifting water spirit that inhabits the lochs and pools of Scotland. It has usually been described as appearing as a horse, but is able to adopt human form.

But in the case of Duke & Baron (above), they also have a further link to the canals we’d seen earlier. As we’d spent the journey across Falkirk discussing how these huge barges would have been pulled… so both were interested to find out that these Kelpies were built to recognise the importance of the heavy horse to Scottish industry.. Pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges and coalships of yesteryear….you can almost imagine them straining to the weight behind them!!!!

Not only can you take more individual, tailored tours around them…. the actual park is well worth a visit. With easy parking again for a motorhome, it’s also perfect dog walking territory too….If you’re a motorhomer and looking to find a convenient, well priced (£20/night) pitch to explore this area…. then look no further than Carrs Hill.

​As befits a Caravan Club (CL) it has plenty of additional space to accomodate all sizes of motorhome. All in a relaxed rural location, it’s worth considering for anyone with dogs/children too. Yet it’s only minutes from the M9 and is easily accessed from north or south.

About The Author


Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

1 Comment

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    Great helpful blog post as usual from you guys and perfect timing for us as we are looking to head to see The Kelpies and Falkirk Wheel in April before we then head to mainland Europe in May to start our 12 month adventure. Safe travels in 2018. Andy


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