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A Journey Through Time

Itinerary Overview

Embark on a captivating three-day journey through the Falkirk area, where history and heritage come alive. Blending grand historical sites spanning thousands of years, quirky country estate follies, and modern cultural treasures, it’s an unforgettable journey. This itinerary is the perfect mix of past treasures and modern marvels inspired by the area’s rich industrial heritage.

Jump To Day:

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2
3

Day 1

Exploring Falkirk’s Rich Heritage

Stop 1 – William Wallace and Falkirk Town Centre’s Historic Past

Start your trip in Falkirk Town Centre and follow the Falkirk Heritage Trail. Twenty-five historical sites are all marked by plaques detailing the history of each site. From the location of the original Irn Bru factory to the place where John Logie Baird first testing his world-changing invention – the television – there are many unexpected sites to see. Don’t miss the historic Falkirk Trinity Church next to the High Street. Here, you’ll find the final resting place of William Wallace’s trusted knight, Sir John De Graeme.

Stop 2 – Follow the Footsteps of Roman Legions and Mary Queen of Scots

From the town centre, take a short walk or cycle to Callendar House and Park. Dating back to the 14th century, Callendar House is steeped in history. Sitting in the picturesque grounds of Callendar Park, it is a site of national importance that includes part of the Antonine Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site. The house has also had some remarkable visitors, including Mary, Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Queen Victoria. Explore exhibitions offering insights into Falkirk’s pivotal role in shaping Scotland’s past.

Stop 3 – Bonnie Prince Charlie & the Battle of Falkirk Muir

From Callendar Park, head to The Falkirk Wheel. On your way, take time to visit the Battle of Falkirk Muir Monument. Commemorating a famous battle from the Jacobite uprising, visit the vantage point where Bonnie Prince Charlie surveyed his troops before fighting began. Fought in 1746, the ferocious battle was won against Government troops and was the last time the Jacobite army was victorious in battle.

Stop 4 – From a Modern Marvel to Ancient History

Your next stop is to one of the area’s biggest attractions, the Falkirk Wheel. The world’s only rotating boat lift, it links the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals. Take a boat trip with a difference, soaring through the air on the Falkirk Wheel as you travel to the nearby Union Canal. However, this modern marvel is next to an ancient site. Walk through beautiful woodland to nearby Rough Castle, part of the Roman Antonine Wall and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stop 5 – Pay Homage to Whisky Royalty

Your final stop of the day takes you to one of the Falkirk area’s newest attractions. Nestled against the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal and a short drive, walk or cycle from the town centre, you’ll find Rosebank Distillery. Founded in 1840 and known to whisky connoisseurs as the ‘King of the Lowlands’, the distillery has been restored and is now back to its former glory. Take a tour to find out more about this Lowland gem and its place in the rich whisky heritage of Scotland.

Day 2

Discovering Unique Landmarks and Hidden Gems

Stop 1 – The Most Bizarre Building in Scotland?

Start your day with a visit to the Dunmore Pineapple, sometimes called “the most bizarre building in Scotland”. Constructed in 1761 as a summer house for the 4th Earl of Dunmore, this eccentric 18th-century summer house takes its name from its pineapple shape. The summer house sits in the grounds of the beautiful Dunmore Estate. Paths will take you through beautiful rolling farmland, woodland tracks and to the ruins of Dunmore Park House.

Stop 2 – The Modern Majesty of the Kelpies

Your next stop takes you to a modern Scottish icon inspired by the Industrial past of central Scotland. No visit to the area is complete without a visit The Kelpies. Located at Helix Park, these majestic structures are the largest equine sculptures in the world. Stop for a selfie, or if you have the time, take a tour and marvel at these towering tributes to the area’s industrial past. Then pop into the nearby visitor centre for snacks or some souvenir shopping.

With over 26 km of smooth, wide cycle paths, the Helix Park and Kelpies is a great destination for cyclists of all levels to explore. The park is divided into four distinct zones, including the Adventure Zone play area for kids, a fun splash zone and a picturesque lagoon. Of course, no visit is complete without admiring the awe-inspiring Kelpies, the largest equine sculptures in the world. Standing at 30 meters tall, stop for a selfie and to marvel at these towering tributes to the area’s industrial past. Learn about their significance at the Visitor Centre, and recharge with refreshments at the coffee shop before continuing your journey.

The Kelpies – Zetland Park: 15min/2.4miles

Stop 3 – Maritime Innovation on The Charlotte Dundas Trail

From the Kelpies, take The Charlotte Dundas Trail, named after the world’s first practical steamboat. Commemorating William Symington’s engineering feat in 1803, it showcases the vessel’s impact on maritime history. Informative plaques along the trail highlight its significance and chart the early years of industry in Grangemouth. Whether you’re drawn to history or nature, this trail provides a captivating journey through the intersection of industrial innovation and natural beauty.

Stop 4 – A Victorian Gem at Zetland Park

Located in Grangemouth, you’ll find Zetland Park, a Victorian gem and local favourite. The park has undergone a makeover and now boasts a sensory garden, restored war memorial and scenic riverside path. Look out for the replica of the Charlotte Dundas as the centrepiece of the fantastic new play area. Whether you’re here to admire Victorian charm, enjoy the accessible amenities, or enjoy the beautiful gardens, Zetland Park is a real treat.

Stop 5 – Commemorating Grangemouth’s Wartime Spitfire Legacy

As you travel to your next stop at Falkirk Distillery, look out for a local landmark commemorating the area’s contribution to the war effort during World War II. The Grangemouth Spitfire commemorates the town’s vital role as a training centre for pilots. Wartime pilots from Britain, the Commonwealth, Poland, and the former Czechoslovakia learned Spitfire skills and perilous manoeuvres here.

Stop 6 – Whisky Tasting at Falkirk Distillery

End your day with a fascinating whisky adventure in this new, family-run distillery on the outskirts of Falkirk. With public tours coming soon, you can request your own behind-the-scenes tour of this impressive newcomer to the whisky world. Get a glimpse into the craft of whisky-making in the grand distillery building. With plans for public tours and tastings, and a café and shop opening soon, Falkirk Distillery promises to be a whisky-lover’s paradise.

Day 3

Two Thousand Years in One Day

Stop 1 – Indulge in Heritage Railway Romance

Start your final day with a trip on a steam train at Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway. There’s nothing like the roar of a mighty steam locomotive. Enjoy a scenic ten-mile round trip on one of the railways heritage diesel or steam trains. After your trip, take a short walk to the Museum of Scottish Railways. There you can try your hand at sorting the mail on a mail train or manning railway signals and explore its collection of historic steam engines and train carriages.

Stop 2 – Uncover Two thousand years of history at Kinneil Estate

The next stop takes you to Kinneil Estate. As you make your way along the Bo’ness Foreshore, look out for The Bo’ness Mining Memorial, a poignant tribute to over 900 years of coal mining in the area. Kinneil Estate is like stepping into a history book. Wander through two millennia of historical sites including a Roman fort, medieval ruins, and key moments in the industrial revolution. Kinneil House was also once home to the powerful Hamilton family. Here you can find out about their pivotal role in Scottish history. It’s a journey you won’t forget!

Stop 3 – A Dramatic Coastal Castle at Blackness

On your way to Blackness Castle, look out for the Bridgeness Slab, a replica distance marker for the Roman legions that once patrolled the area. Blackness Castle is dubbed ‘the ship that never sailed’ due to its distinctive shape and location. This imposing fifteenth century fortress juts out into the Firth of Forth. Formerly a royal castle, a prison, and a garrison, it’s now a popular filming location. Exploring its craggy interior and enjoy the spectacular views from its ramparts across the Firth of Forth towards South Queensferry and the three bridges crossing the water.

Front view of The Hippadrome Cinema in Bo'ness

Stop 4 – Retro Cinema at The Bo’ness Hippodrome

End your visit to the area in retro style with a visit to Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema, The Hippodrome. Opened in 1912 and restored to its former glory, it’s a beloved community hub. Winner of Best Cinema Experience in Scotland awards, it screens everything from modern blockbusters to classics and art house films. Host to the renowned Silent Film Festival held every year in March, The Hippodrome offers a charmingly different cinematic experience.

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