Halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow, you’ll find the Falkirk Wheel, which joins the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. Stay near this iconic landmark, as well as the Helix and the Kelpies, at one of these top hotels or apartments – bookable on Culture Trip.
The Falkirk Wheel is a seriously impressive sight. Long gone are the old canal lock gates. In 2002, they were replaced with the only rotating boat lift in the world, whisking vessels 115ft (35m) up from the Forth and Clyde Canal to join the Union Canal. Even if you’re not travelling on the water, it’s worth stopping by to see this remarkable feat of engineering in action and learn about the area’s industrial heritage. Discover our pick of the finest accommodation options nearby.
Macdonald Inchyra Hotel and Spa
Hotel, Spa Hotel
3.8/5 (499 Reviews)
Courtesy of Macdonald Inchyra Hotel and Spa / Expedia
This traditional Scottish manor house is now a large modern hotel and spa set within 44 acres (18ha), just a 30-minute drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Unwind from your journey with a dip in the hotel pool, or treat yourself to a full body massage in the spa. Large groups should look at booking the separate five-bedroom lodge. Don’t miss dinner at its AA Rosette steakhouse – the rib-eye with red wine jus is worth it alone.
Just 2mi (3km) from the Falkirk Wheel, you’ll find Garthill Lodge in an upmarket neighbourhood. This new build offers two apartments: a one-bedroom place that sleeps four and an annexe ground-floor studio. Expect little luxuries such as Egyptian cotton bed linen and Aromatherapy Associates toiletries included in your stay, as well as a full kitchen for whipping up meals. The studio also has a small outdoor deck area.
Fancy staying in a real Scottish castle? This 14th-century fortress, just a 15-minute drive from Falkirk, was once owned by the family of Robert the Bruce. Rooms range from standard doubles to family suites sleeping four. Book the castle four-poster suite for the ultimate stay. Perks include a gleaming wellness centre, complete with an indoor pool and a jacuzzi. Dine under the glass pyramid ceiling at the on-site Grill Room – the sticky toffee pudding is particularly good.
These deluxe one- and two-bedroom apartments are closer to the Kelpies than the Falkirk Wheel, but they still provide an upscale, convenient stay. Each kitchen includes a washing machine and an oven, ideal for an extended stay. A digital keypad entry makes check-in a breeze, although management is just a phone call away if needed. There’s a shared garden for all guests to use – not to mention Victoria Park across the road – and on-street parking.
This serviced apartment building is adjacent to Victoria Park in northern Falkirk and has a bit more character than most. It houses eight apartments, each with one or two bedrooms, including some ground-floor accessibility for people with mobility issues. King-size beds, unlimited wifi and Netflix come as standard, plus there’s a shared garden gazebo, primed for warm summer evenings. Pets are also welcome, with beds and bowls provided.
Family-run business Kelpies has a range of fully serviced apartments in the town centre. Its deluxe Newmarket Street studio is a great option, with a kitchenette and an ensuite. It’s a little snug, but the prime location makes a stay here worthwhile – especially if you’re off to see the Kelpies or the Falkirk Wheel, just an eight-minute drive away.
Courtesy of The Victoria Inn Blythswood Snug / Booking.com
Just north of Falkirk town centre, this “snug” is exactly what it says on the tin – a ground-floor, one-bedroom bolthole. Snuggle down in the double bedroom (which can be converted into a twin); those with kids or extra guests can also make use of the double sofa bed in the living area. Pop into the pub next door for a pint of Belhaven in the beer garden.
These recommendations were updated on September 21, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Rachel Mills