Falkirk’s national treasure

The Falkirk Wheel and neighbouring visitor centre are a spectacular sight
The Falkirk Wheel and neighbouring visitor centre are a spectacular sight
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It’s been featured on a recent episode of ‘Escape to the Country’ and an iconic advert for Irn-Bru.

Around half a million visitors flock there every year ... but have you paid a visit to The Falkirk Wheel?

The world’s only rotating boat lift will be a familiar site to everyone who lives or works in Falkirk district.

Many of us will even have charted its progress from an idea on a drawing board, to a building site and then the impressive structure that stands there today.

But until you’ve visited the site – and enjoyed the sensation of being lifted 35 metres into the air – then you will never realise how impressive The Falkirk Wheel is.

Built to join the Forth & Clyde with the Union Canal, it does the same job as the flight of 11 locks that linked the waterways until 1933 – but in a far more impressive way.

The Falkirk Wheel may be the height of eight double-decker buses, contain 1200 tonnes of steel and more than 14,000 bolts, but the energy used to turn it is the same as it would take to boil eight household kettles!

Displays in the visitor centre explain just how the unique structure works and you can also pick up some fantastic souvenirs in the gift shop.

The centre also houses a cafe, which offers both delicious healthy meals and tempting treats, and there’s also the opportunity to dine al fresco at the picnic spots dotted around the area.

Also outside are the popular children’s play area, which provides hours of fun for the younger members of the family, and water play park where you can learn and have fun at the same time with the new mini-canal. But be prepared for lots of splashing!

Continuing the theme, the water walkers are back by popular demand, allowing you to run, roll, flip and spin across the surface – this time without getting wet!

We’re looking for young-sters aged 15 and under to tell us why The Falkirk Wheel is such a great place to visit and all about the fun things to do.

The winner will be chosen at the end of July and will win a free weekend at The Falkirk Wheel for their family covering all the activities.

Send your entry to Wheel Stories, The Falkirk Herald, Unit 4A, Gateway Business Park, Beancross Road, Grangemouth FK3 8WX, along with a note of your name and address.