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.
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.
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.
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.
The best thing about this apartment is the balcony overlooking a lush lawn and the town’s waterway. Inside, you’ll find two bedrooms, sleeping five people in total. The decor is contemporary and minimalist – think wooden floors and neutral walls – and there’s a full kitchen, including a washing machine. Also, the Falkirk Wheel is just a seven-minute drive away – that is, if you can tear the kids away from the TV in the room with bunk beds.
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