Tour chance to see the ‘inside story’ of the Falkirk Wheel

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The Falkirk Wheel is set to reveal its engineering secrets, with the first-ever public tour of the iconic structure’s internal workings.

The Wheel is an important focus for local tourism, but from next month people will be able to pay for a unique look at what’s going on inside.

Maintenance at The Falkirk Wheel.  Feb/March 2017

Maintenance at The Falkirk Wheel. Feb/March 2017

Tickets for a £58.95 “premium tour” are sold out, but places are still available for the standard tour at £14.95.

Since its opening in 2002 the Wheel has become one of Scotland’s busiest tourist attractions, drawing visitors from all over the world.

It combines modern engineering and technology with ancient principles set out by Archimedes more than 2,000 years ago to link the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal, 35 metres (115 feet) above.

Richard Millar, Director of Infrastructure at Scottish Canals, said: “We’re excited to offer this exclusive tour of The Falkirk Wheel, which has never been done before.

“The whole experience will be absolutely unique – the Wheel is the world’s only rotating boat lift, and it’s an incredible example of how design and technology can combine with art and sculpture to create a practical solution to an engineering challenge.

“The design solution integral to The Falkirk Wheel is so elegant, lifting boats 35 metres into the air in just a matter of minutes. “Setting foot inside the structure is like nothing else on the planet – from the hum of the generators to the eerie silence of the central spindle, it’s a magical experience.”

He added: “Whether you’re curious by nature or a keen engineering buff, this is a fantastic opportunity to be one of only a handful of people to step inside the heart of this remarkable moving sculpture and see its revolutionary engineering first-hand.”

These tours will include access to external areas not open to the public, with a walk to the end of the 110 metre aqueduct, then over the 150-metre-long Roughcastle Tunnel - “presenting an exclusive opportunity for an almost bird’s eye view of the sculpture”.

Tickets can be booked at www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk.