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Family-friendly Cycling

Itinerary Overview

The Falkirk area has something for cyclists of all ages and abilities. With miles upon miles of traffic-free paths and flat, easy cycling routes, there are so many places to go for a great family day out. Take in some of the most iconic sites in Scotland, while enjoying fantastic family-friendly attractions. Whether you are looking for fun play parks, the thrill of water sports or a ride on a roaring steam train, the Falkirk area is the perfect place for a family cycling adventure.

Jump To Day:

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Day 1

Pedal Through Falkirk

Stop 1 – Magical Beginnings in Falkirk Town Centre

Start your day in the pedestrian-friendly Falkirk Town Centre, where you’ll find a mix of magical shopping and Scottish medieval history. Indulge in retail therapy or take part in a spot of potion making at The Lonely Broomstick School of Witchcraft and Potions. Refuel at one of the many family-friendly cafes and restaurants in the town, then delve into Scottish history at the Faw Kirk. This ancient graveyard in the grounds of Trinity Church is on the site of Falkirk’s oldest church. Here, you’ll find the tombs of medieval knights dating back to the time of William Wallace and the Battle of Falkirk. Then, cycle on to the nearby Callendar House and Park for your next stop.

Distance: Falkirk town centre- Callendar House & Park: 6 min/0.9 miles

Stop 2 – Cycling Challenges at Callendar House & Park

A firm favourite with local families, many children have learned to ride their bikes at Callendar House & Park! It has something for everyone, whatever your age or cycling ability. Wide paths lead to the Callendar House Trail through woodland and to hidden treasures like the Forbes family mausoleum. A new Callendar Park Cycling Hub features mountain bike trails ranging in technical ability, from a Blue Grade Flow Trail to a challenging Jump Trail. Relax post-ride at the Callendar House tearoom or watch as your youngsters play in the Roman themed playpark or nearby Nature Play trail and zipwire. At the Active Travel Hub, find details of local cycle routes to explore before you cycle to Callendar Estate.

Callendar House & Park – Callendar Estate: 30min/4.8 miles

Stop 3 – Exploring the Countryside at Callendar Estate

End your day cycling through picturesque countryside at Callendar Estate. A short drive or cycle from Callendar Park, you’ll be able to hire bikes at Greenrig Cycles if you haven’t brought your own. Take a turn on a short pump track or take your pick from a network of single-track mountain bike trails, heritage trails and easy family-friendly routes through beautiful woodland. Each trail has been graded according to its level of difficulty to help you decide which way to go. You can also enjoy a drink and take in the views across the Forth Valley at The Café at Canada Wood or at the nearby Milk Barn Ice Cream Parlour before finishing your ride.

Day 2

Cycling Tour of Falkirk’s Iconic Sites

Little girls playing mini golf at the Falkirk Wheel Visitors Centre

Stop 1 – Playtime at The Falkirk Wheel

No family holiday to the area is complete without a trip to The Falkirk Wheel. A marvel of engineering, it is the world’s sole rotating boat lift, connecting the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. Youngsters will love the range of fun activities, including a playpark, Water Activity Zone, and crazy golf course. Landlubbers can explore woodland walks or venture to the nearby Roman Antonine Wall and Rough Castle on hired segways. For aquatic adventures, choose from boat trips, paddleboarding, or Water Zorbing. If you haven’t brought your own, hire bikes from Outdoor Trax for a leisurely ride to one of Scotland’s other must-see attractions – the Helix Park and Kelpies.

 Falkirk Wheel – The Kelpies: 20min/4.2 miles

Stop 2 – Ride to The Helix Park & Kelpies

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 – Pedal to Zetland Park

Your final ride of the day takes you to Zetland Park in the nearby town of Grangemouth. The route takes you along the Queen Elizabeth II Canal and the Charlotte Dundas Heritage Trail. This trail celebrates the world’s first practical steamboat which was made in Grangemouth. At Zetland Park, you’ll find a popular Victorian park with a fantastic play area, challenging pump track, sensory garden, restored war memorial and riverside path. There’s a Learn to Cycle track where children can learn how to cycle on miniature roads. The park also has a Bike Library offering free bike hire. Look out for the replica of the Charlotte Dundas as the centrepiece of the play area. 

Day 3

Exploring the Bo’ness area by Bike

Stop 1 –Cycling Through Centuries of History in Bo’ness!

Ride through 2,000 years of captivating history at Kinneil House and Estate. Nestled in the historic town of Bo’ness, the estate includes sites dating from the era of the Romans right through to the bustling industrial revolution. Bursting with wildlife, as you cycle around the estate keep a lookout for remnants of the Roman Antonine Wall and the ruins of James Watt’s cottage, where the famous pioneer of the industrial revolution worked on his steam engine invention. You’ll also find dedicated mountain bike trails in Kinneil Woods. Finally, take some time to explore Kinneil House and Museum to discover more the estate’s storied past before cycling to Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway.

Kinneil Estate – Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway: 10min/2.1miles

Event poster for Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway Diesel Gala

Stop 2 –Ride the Rails at Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway is a brilliant family-friendly destination. An easy bike ride from Kinneil House, Museum, and Estate, this heritage railway is home to vintage steam and diesel engines. Operated by volunteers, you can take a trip on the heritage railway from April to October. Look out for special events, including visits from Thomas the Tank Engine and Santa trains in December. Don’t forget to visit the Museum of Scottish Railways, the largest railway museum in Scotland. Here you can try your hand at sorting mail on the mail train, changing signals or watch old engines getting restored to their former glory. After refreshments at the Station Buffet, pedal along the Firth of Forth shore to Blackness Castle.

Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway – Blackness Castle: 21min/4 miles

Aerial Shot from above Blackness Castle showing the grounds and dock

 Stop 3 – Journey’s End: Exploring Blackness Castle and Savouring Seafood

The final stop of the day takes you to Blackness Castle, dubbed ‘the ship that never sailed’. 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 for Outlander and other major film and TV programmes. Have fun exploring its craggy interior before charging along the dramatic castle ramparts. From there, enjoy the spectacular views towards South Queensferry and the three bridges crossing the water. Treat the family to dinner at seafood specialist, The Lobster Pot, at Blackness on Sea. A local favourite, this cosy pub is a great place to relax after a busy day.

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