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Adventure Cycling

Itinerary Overview

The Falkirk area has so much to offer the experienced cyclist. From flat canal towpaths running across the Falkirk area as they travel coast-to-coast across Scotland, to purpose-built, red-grade mountain bike trails deep in the Scottish countryside, you’ll find plenty to challenge and excite even the keenest of cyclists. This three-day itinerary offers a variety of terrain to keep things interesting as well as visiting some of the area’s most famous attractions. We’ve estimated three-days to complete the route, but if you’re in a hurry, see if you can complete it in just two!

Jump To Day:

1
2
3

Day 1

From Falkirk’s Historic Heart to a Dramatic Coastal Castle

Stop 1 – Exploring Falkirk’s Historic Heart

Falkirk Town Centre is a great spot to start your visit to the area. Visit the pedestrianised High Street where you’ll find lots of cafes and bistros to fuel up with a spot of breakfast. The Falkirk Steeple is a local landmark marking the heart of the High Street and is open for visits. Take time to stop at the Faw Kirk too. Its ancient graveyard is steeped in Scottish history. Here, you’ll find the final resting place of Sir John De Graeme. One of William Wallace’s most trusted knights. 

Falkirk Town Centre – Falkirk Wheel: 14min

6.5km Total Distance

Nightime shot of The Falkirk Wheel showing the ochil hills in the distance

Stop 2 – Bike and Boat Rides at the Falkirk Wheel

Starting from Falkirk High Street, cycle out of the town centre to the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath. Along the way, you’ll pass Rosebank Distillery, renowned for producing one of the Lowlands’ finest malt whiskies. Look out for the gleaming copper stills in the giant windows as you cycle past. From the towpath, you’ll reach The Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift. It connects the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. Here, you can visit the café and watch the boats as they are lifted high into the air by the Wheel.

Falkirk Wheel – Callendar Estate: 10min

4.7km Total Distance

Stop 3 – Exploring Challenging Trails at Callendar Estate

A visit to Callendar Estate is a must if you love mountain biking. Just a short ride from the Falkirk Wheel, it offers trails for all abilities. Here, you’ll find challenging single-track trails, fascinating heritage routes, and gentle woodland paths. Look out for the Battle of Falkirk Muir Monument commemorating the 1746 battle as you ride by. At the activity centre, try the pump track, browse cycling accessories, and pick up a map of the cycle routes at Greenrig Cycles, or enjoy a spot of refreshments at The Café at Canada Wood.

Callendar Estate – Muiravonside Country Park: 45min

12.5km Total Distance

Battle Scenes from muiravonside Country Park - Outlander

Stop 4 – Spectacular Sights at Muiravonside Country Park

From The Café at Canada Wood, cross Lochgreen Road and ride through farmland to Slamannan Road. Enter Lionthorn Woods, follow the path to Glen Village, and join the Union Canal towpath in the direction of Linlithgow. Stay on the towpath to Muiravonside Country Park, crossing at Bridge 49 Café Bar & Bistro. The park spans 170 acres with nature trails and the River Avon Heritage Trail. Cycle past Newparks Farm, then rejoin the towpath, and enjoy spectacular views from the 26-metre-tall Avon Aqueduct.

Muiravonside Country Park – Blackness Castle: 56min

15km Total Distance

Stop 5 – Country Park to a Coastal Castle

After leaving Muiravonside Country Park, ride along the Union Canal through Linlithgow to Philpstoun. Follow the John Muir Way Short Loop (https://johnmuirway.org/day-trips/linlithgow-blackness-castle/ down) to Blackness Castle, stopping at Mannerstons Café & Farm Shop for ice cream. Blackness Castle, known as “the ship that never sailed,” is a fifteenth-century fortress with a rich history and a popular filming location. Explore the castle, enjoy views of the Firth of Forth, and end your day with a meal at The Lobster Pot at Blackness on Sea before cycling to Bo’ness.

Blackness Castle to Bo’ness: 20min

6.4km Total Distance

Day 2

Coastal Calm to Mountain Bike Thrills

Stop 1 – Coastal Charm at Historic Bo’ness

Start the second day at historic Bo’ness on the Forth. Once a major port, cycle along the foreshore, spotting the Bo’ness Mining Memorial and sculptures commemorating coal mining history. Nearby, the heritage Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, with Scotland’s largest railway museum, adds charm. Enjoy a meal at the cyclist-friendly Corbie Inn or a treat at McMoos Ice Cream Parlour near The Hippodrome, Scotland’s oldest cinema still in use.

Bo’ness Town – Kinneil Estate: 10mins

Total Distance 3.4km

Stop 2 – An Unexpected Adventure at Kinneil House, Museum and Estate

A short ride from Bo’ness town centre takes you to Kinneil House, Museum, and Estate. Cycle through Kinneil Local Nature Reserve to Kinneil House, showcasing 2,000 years of history. Explore the grounds with Roman Antonine Wall remnants, medieval church ruins, and industrial sights. Visit the museum to learn more about the area’s history. For adventure, enjoy mountain bike trails at Kinneil Woods, including a pump track and skills area.

Kinneil Estate – Helix Park: 42min

Total Distance 10km

Dusk Shot of Kelpies overlooking the Canal, Falkirk

Stop 3 – A Cycling Experience at the Kelpies

Your third stop is The Helix Park and the iconic Kelpies. Cycle 10km from Kinneil House through Grangemouth, passing the newly refurbished Zetland Park with its pump track and sensory gardens. Follow the Charlotte Dundas Trail along the River Carron to The Helix Park, where the 30-meter-tall Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures, dominate the landscape. Visit the Visitor Centre to learn more or stop at the coffee shop to refuel before continuing your journey.

Helix Park – Dunmore Pineapple: 40min

Total Distance 12.5km

Stop 4 – Eccentric sights at the Dunmore Pineapple

Leaving the Kelpies, ride 40 minutes through Skinflats to Airth. Pass the RSPB Nature Reserve and Powfoulis Manor Hotel, a Scottish Baronial manor house. Continue past Airth Castle to the Dunmore Pineapple, an eccentric 18th-century summer house in a large walled garden on Dunmore Estate. Explore paths through farmland, woodland tracks, and Dunmore Park House ruins. From here, cycle to your next stop at Torwood.

Dunmore Pineapple – Torwood: 40min

Total Distance 11km

Stop 5 – Biking to the Blue Pool

Head to Torwood Castle near Torwood village, nestled in rugged woodland. Follow the signposted track uphill to Denovan to explore the sixteenth-century ruins, once the seat of Clan Forrester. Cycle half a mile along farm tracks to find the intriguing Torwood Blue Pool, a remnant of coal mining history. Nearby, explore an ancient Iron Age broch before returning to Torwood. Enjoy a meal at Glenbervie House Hotel or Ciros Italian Restaurant at Glenbervie Golf Club. For a lighter bite, visit Blossom’s Bistro at Torwood Garden Centre in nearby Larbert, just a short cycle away.

Torwood – Carron Valley: 57min

Total Distance 17.7km

Stop 6 – Mountain Bike Thrills at Carron Valley

End your second day with a thrilling adventure at Carron Valley, a firm favourite of mountain bike enthusiasts. From Torwood, head to Fankerton, cycling along the River Carron. At Carron Valley, you’ll discover a vast reservoir amidst breathtaking scenery, offering a choice of challenging mountain bike tracks. Choose from routes like the 8-kilometre Red Route or opt for gentler tracks around the reservoir and its impressive dam. Don’t miss Duncarron Medieval Village nearby, showcasing traditional buildings from the past.

Carron Valley – Seabegs Wood: 50min

Total Distance 16km

Day 3

History and New Horizons

Stop 1 – Seabegs Wood: A Haven of Historical Significance

Start your day at Seabegs Wood on the edge of the town of Bonnybridge. It features a stretch of the Roman Antonine Wall, part of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ride from Carron Valley, past Kilsyth to pick up the Forth and Clyde towpath. You’ll find the ruins of the wall on your right just before you reach the town of Bonnybridge. Park your bike and follow in the footsteps of the Romans as you explore the well-preserved stretch of rampart and ditch and section of the Military Way.

Seabegs Wood – Callendar House & Park: 44min

Total Distance 11.5km

Stop 2 – Cycling Challenges at Callendar House & Park

Callendar House is a stunning French chateau-styled country house set in its own parklands. Its new Cycling Hub (coming soon) makes this location a great next stop on your ride. Wide paths lead to the Callendar House Trail uphill through historic woodland. You’ll also find mountain bike trails ranging in technical ability, from a Blue Grade Flow Trail to a challenging Jump Trail. There’s a handy water top-up station or you can get a snack at the Callendar House tearoom. At the Active Travel Hub, find details of local cycle routes to explore before you cycle to Falkirk Distillery.

Callendar House & Park – Falkirk Distillery: 12min

Total Distance 3.5km

Stop 3 – A New Landmark at Falkirk Distillery

Falkirk Distillery is a brand-new distillery on the edge of the town. Cycle from Callendar Park, through Laurieston and Polmont before taking a left turn down the hill and past the new, gleaming white distillery building on your right. The distillery is opening to visitors soon, but you can book private tours now. A coffee shop and gift shop are also coming soon. From the distillery, loop back to Falkirk Town Centre and the High Street to complete your tour. 

Falkirk Distillery – Falkirk town centre: 23min

Total Distance 6km

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