Located in-between Glasgow and Edinburgh, Falkirk has so many fun activities to be had for the family and solo travellers. From the mythical Kelpies to the incredible engineering feat of the Falkirk Wheel, the history of the area in Callendar House and Mother Nature.
Helix Park should be your first port of call. The first car park here is free although if you carry on down to The Kelpies, you do have to pay to park.
Helix Park is the ultimate place for family fun in the Falkirk area. There are wetlands to explore and the Adventure and Splash Zone for the kids. While you're watching the kids in the playground, you can have a coffee at the cafe located next to the lake.
If you are walking to the Kelpies from here, it's easy. You can either walk alongside the canal enjoying the houseboats and wildlife that you see or on the other side of the road is through the wetlands and woods where you may find a surprise or two.
Walking or cycling is very easy here with 26 kilometres of paths to explore. There are plenty of signposts up to direct you around the area.
The Visitor Centre is a great place to start if it's your first time here. Inside is the cafe where you can not only get something to eat and drink but have great views of the Kelpies while you're doing it. There is also an exhibition centre with information on the Kelpies and the history of the area.
This Kelpie always gets me. It is as if he's looking deep into my soul and he's going to move any second
If you want to get up close with the Kelpies, then a guided tour is the way to go with kids being free. A 30-minute tour will take you inside a Kelpie and learn about the design and construction. Tickets are from the gift shop or, you can book online here.
After sunset, the Kelpies are lit up in changing colours every couple of minutes. Gates to the car park are closed at night, so it's best to check the times, so you don't get locked in. It was 10.00pm sharp when I was there.
The Falkirk Wheel is well worth the visit if only to see the wheel operating. You can walk between The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel along the canal although it is 4.3 miles and will take about an hour and a half. The Falkirk Wheel does have a large car-park although you have to pay to park.
Once on the grounds, you are free to roam. There are walkways up to the Union Canal and part of the Roman Antonine Wall. Don't forget to go to the visitor centre and the cafe where you can eat and drink, watching the wheel turn.
There are vantage points to watch the wheel operate all along here although maybe the best is back next to the canal at the visitor centre.
Your barge goes into the bottom, gets lifted anti-clockwise until it's at the top, Union Canal where the barge is now
The trip from bottom to the top takes less than 5 minutes, and you can also experience a ride on the wheel. If you would like to enjoy the 50-minute or so journey, you can go travel in a barge and go up to and along the Union Canal before returning to the visitor centre. Click here to find out more.
There is also a play area and water pool for all activities, especially on a hot summers day.
It's a great experience to see it working for big kids and small.
Callendar House and grounds is another excellent place for the whole family with plenty to keep the kids entertained.
There is a free museum inside the chateau showing exhibits on the history of the area which dates back to Roman times. Artefacts that have excavated from Roman times are in one of the rooms.
Opposite the chateau is part of the Antonine Wall, a ridge and ditch system about 3 metres high crossing the parkland. When the Roman's built the wall, it stretched from the Forth to the Clyde. Although there are many places along this stretch of the country, I think this one the best and most accessible for everyone.
There are 500 acres of grounds to wander around, with a pond and a playground for the kids to enjoy. You could enjoy a picnic to end your day exploring.
There are so many activities in Falkirk for the whole family to have fun. You could easily spend a couple of days exploring this area, keeping the kids entertained for hours.
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