THE FALKIRK WHEEL & Canal Walk

Bill Reid

On Monday 13th of April 2009 while staying in Glasgow I had a visit to the Falkirk Wheel. I caught the Glasgow-Edinburgh train from Queen Street Station and got off
at Falkirk High station. As it turned out this was the closer of the two stations in Falkirk. The other station is Falkirk Grahamston.There is a 15 minute service between
Glasgow and Edinburgh.

However you can catch a bus from either station to the Wheel but as it was a Bank holiday and the station staff didn't know when the next bus would be I decided to
walk it. It is just over two miles and follows the Union canal all the way to the Lock that takes you below the railway and up to wheel site. It's quite a pleasant walk and
while it was'nt very bright it was dry and quite warm for April. The path leads from the south side of the station platform up to the start of the walk along the canal.

The Falkirk Wheel has a good 100ft drop from the Union Canal and with a further drop by another Lock to the Forth & Clyde Canal. It is also interesting that the
leading Lock allows a right angle turn from the Union Canal to the Forth & Clyde Canal.

 


A four car Class 170 diesel unut for Glasgow at Falkirk High

 


A commemorative cast iron statue on the Up platform.                             The direction post as you meet the Union Canal path


The Union Canal Tunnel leading back towards Edinburgh


The canal path overlooks Falkirk. View looking eastwards


The canal path overlooks Falkirk. View looking north westwards


An overbridge along the canal


In the Summer months canal cruises are run from this boat station


A splitting point on the canal


A canuist enjoys an early morning paddle


You follow the railway all the way. A Class 170 Unit has just left Falkirk High and is heading for Glasgow


While you are close to the outskirts of Falkirk it can feel very countrylike on the canal walk


Just when you think the walk will never end you suddenly come up to the final Lock before the short walk to the Wheel.


Quite large craft use the canal


"Black Grouse" A cruising barge


The lock still shows it's newness


The drop down to the holding pool where the canal does a right angle turn and goes under the railway on the right


A time jump! Taken from the visitor's boat during the short cruise


The tunnel under the railway


The canal tunnel below the railway. It is heavily lined with cement blasting. It holds up the railway and the
historical Antonine Wall


The first sighting of the Falkirk Wheel and the end of the Canal. It's hard to believe that a steel hydraulically controlled
wall is all that there is holding back all that water


Another time jump. On the return walk. A visitors boat exits the tunnel on the short cruise up to the Lock
and returning to the Wheel. The Antonine Walk is close by above the tunnel and also Roman Fort remains.
You can easily take these sites in during a visit to the Wheel.


The holding pool with the boat about to enter the Falkirk Wheel Gondola


The arches repeat the design of the Wheel as boats enter and exit the Gondola at the end of the Lock

5
The Falkirk Wheel at the end of the Canal . This gives you a good sense of scale and hight
with the visitor's building and boats below and  the Forth Valley stretching to the distance

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