The world’s only rotating boat lift, The Falkirk Wheel links the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Union Canal 35 metres above, allowing vessels to sail through the sky thanks to a unique fusion of art and engineering – and the same power it would take to boil eight kettles.

Transforming the contaminated site of a former tar works, The Falkirk Wheel opened in 2002 and replaced a flight of 11 locks that once stepped the Union Canal down to the level of the Forth & Clyde, more than 100 feet below. Whereas weary travellers once had a day’s heavy work opening and closing 44 lock gates to complete the journey between the two canals, The Falkirk Wheel allows vessels to transit between the two waterways in just a few minutes.

Now one of Scotland’s busiest tourist attractions, The Falkirk Wheel attracts around 500,000 visitors each year. The Wheel has transformed Falkirk into a key tourism destination, with visitors traveling from all over the world to marvel at the working sculpture which combines modern engineering and technology with ancient principles set out by Archimedes more than 2000 years ago.

When one of the structure’s gondolas is lowered, the opposite one rises, keeping the vast, 1800 tonne boat lift in perfect balance as it carries canal barges 35 metres into the air in a matter of minutes. Incredibly, the structure uses just 1.5kWh for each rotation.

Book a boat trip

Enjoy the full experience of the recently upgraded Falkirk Wheel by sailing through the sky on our 60-minute boat trip! Click to find out more!

See all activities

Take a look at all the things you can do at The Falkirk Wheel

Further information

Opening Hours

13 – 28 February
10:00am – 3.30pm
1 – 26 March
10.00am – 4.00pm
27 March – 3 June
10.00am – 5.30pm
4 June – 12 September
10.00am – 6.00pm
13 September – 31 October
10.00am – 5.30pm

Winter season openings for 2023 will be updated later in the year.


Child (5-15yrs)
Child (under 5)
Registered Carers
Free **

*Anyone 60+, holding an Access Card, full time Student or Falkirk Council Tax Payer. We will ask to see proof of age or status. ** Please advise when booking.


Accessible access
Charging point
Dog friendly
Gift shop
Educational opportunities
Family friendly
Food and drink
Venue hire
Water equipment rental

Useful information

Frequently asked questions about visiting The Falkirk Wheel.

Useful information