The Lowland Canal Carnival is fast approaching and we’re excited to welcome a fantastic flotilla of steam boats, yachts, narrowboats, rowers and more onto the water of Scotland’s canals!

To help make sure the event runs as smoothly as possible – and everyone taking part has an incredible time – we’ve pulled together answers to some frequently asked questions below.

Take a gander and don’t forget to download and print your Flotilla Pack here for easy access to key info and contacts over the weekend.

We’ll see you on the water!


I haven’t registered my vessel yet; can I still take part?

Registration to take part in the flotilla will close end of day Monday 20th May. Call the Boat Movement Helpline on 07810 794 467 to register your vessel. You may be able to attend the event as a passenger on board one of the vessels taking part. Email Robin Fryer and he’ll get you on board!

Spaces for our weekend evening events are now SOLD OUT. If you still want to get involved in the Canal Carnival you can join a friends boat and celebrate from the water!


How do I book my transit?

Our team will be calling you to take your details but if they haven’t been in touch yet, you can contact them directly by calling 07810 794 467.

When you speak to the team, please give them:

  • Details of where and when you’re joining and leaving the flotilla so we can plan boat movements and staffing
  • Confirmation of your attendance at the evening events for Friday and/or Saturday nights
  • Confirmation of whether you plan to attend the photocall in Kirkintilloch on Sunday lunchtime
  • Confirmation of whether you plan to attend the Lowland Canal Carnival finale at The Kirky Puffer in Kirkintilloch on Sunday afternoon
  • Whether you prefer to leave The Falkirk Wheel early in the morning on Saturday or after lunch
  • Details of the size, composition and type of vessel
  • Any dietary requirements if you’re attending the evening events at The Falkirk Wheel and/or Auchinstarry


What’s planned for the weekend?

Feast your eyes on the fabulous floating festival we have planned below! You can also download a printable copy of this timetable in our Flotilla Pack .

What can I expect from the weekend’s evening events?

On Friday night, we’ll welcome everyone to The Falkirk Wheel where celebrations will begin with recognition for the volunteers whose ongoing contribution to the vibrancy of the canals over the years has been invaluable. As well as that, we’ll have some scrumptious food and excellent entertainment on offer into the wee hours!

Bar prices for Friday evening:

  • White, red, rose small bottles £3
  • Prosecco small bottle £4
  • Thistly Cross cider £4
  • Selection of beers from £3.75

On Saturday night, we’ll make our way to Auchinstarry Marina in Kilsyth for the chance to jig the night away at a canalside ceilidh; fuel up on a succulent hog roast; and cheer on the winners for our best-dressed and best-lit boat awards!

On Sunday, it’s on to Kirkintilloch, the ‘Canal Capital of Scotland,’ for the end of the carnival and a well-earned lunch in the Kirky Puffer pub! While we’ve reserved an area of the bar, this is an informal, pay-as-you go event.

How do I pay for the weekend’s evening events?

Please note, both the Friday and Saturday events are now sold out. We have reached our maximum capacity for both the Friday evening at The Falkirk Wheel, and the Saturday evening event at Auchinstarry. Only those who have purchased tickets in advance will be granted access due to licensing restrictions

Each evening is £10 per person and includes entertainment and food. We’ll also be offering an alcoholic drink at The Falkirk Wheel. For additional drinks, a cash bar is available at both events.

Please note that payment must be made in advance; payment for attending the events on the evening will not be possible.


What do I do if I have any food allergies?

You can tell our team when they call up to take your transit details. Alternatively, you can email putting ‘Flotilla Food Allergies’ in the subject line. While options will be limited, we’ll try to accommodate any requirements as best we can.

Please let us know of any requirements by 12 noon on Friday 17th May.


Is there parking available?

There is indeed. We’ll have free parking available at The Falkirk Wheel’s Friday evening event for those involved in the flotilla, and limited parking at Auchinstarry on Saturday evening, on a first come first served basis. Addresses for both car parks can be found below.

The Falkirk Wheel – Lime Road, Falkirk, FK1 4RS

Auchinstarry Marina – Kilsyth, G65 9SG

Please note normal payment charges will be in place at The Falkirk Wheel for family and friends attending the family fun day.

What about camping?

Camping is available at The Falkirk Wheel in the grassy area adjacent to the upper deck.
You can also camp at Auchinstarry on the grass area next to the boater’s facilities.
Toilets are available at both locations.


Are there any competitions or awards for boats taking part?

Of course! We’ll be handing out prizes at the Saturday event at Auchinstarry for:

  • Best-dressed boat
  • Best-lit boat
  • Furthest travelled by boat
  • Furthest travelled by land

So, plug in your fairy lights; ready your bunting; and start decorating – we want to see a flotilla that’s shining, twinkling, fluttering and utterly unforgettable!


Can we play music?

Yes! We want the flotilla to be as exciting for the ears as it is for the eyes. Hook up your sound systems and play your favourite tunes or invite some of your more musical friends aboard for a boat-borne jamming session. We’ll be giving extra points in the awards for the vessels pumping out the best entertainment so crank up the volume!


I don’t have any bunting…

If you’re looking to dress your vessel with bundles of bunting, we’ve got you covered – literally! Let us know at the time you confirm your transit, and we’ll make bunting available from the reception at The Falkirk Wheel from lunchtime on Monday 20th May.


What’s the weather going to be like?

Sunny. No, really – we’ve booked it.

In all seriousness, it’s Scotland in May so the weather over the weekend could range from tree-splitting sunshine to torrential rain – possibly in the same day. Please check the forecast ahead of time and prepare accordingly.