The Main Points
The Falkirk Wheel is a marvel of modern engineering. The Wheel allows water craft to be lifted from the Clyde and Forth Canal to the Union Canal. This uniting the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh and effectively allowing navigation between the west and east coasts of Scotland. The chance to Stand Up Paddleboard on the Falkirk Wheel was too good to miss. Of course I immediately added to my SUP-it List. If it was possible to SUP it, I was in!
- Location – Falkirk Wheel – Falkirk
- SUP – Own Fatstick Inflatable 10’6″ Blue Lagoon I had to rent a Red Paddle 10’6″ due to mine being repaired.
- Cost – £10 per hour from
- Conditions – Canal
- Other users – Other SUP’ers, Canoes and Kayaks
- Entry Point – Canal Edge
- Surrounding amenities/Bathrooms- Falkirk Wheel visitor centre with car park, bathrooms and cafe.
Getting There – Follow the M80 out of Glasgow and the M9 out of Edinburgh towards Falkirk and follow the brown signs which will direct you to the Falkirk wheel. it will feel like you are going off into the back roads so it’s best if you have a GPS to follow if you are unfamiliar with the region.
A Wee Blether
Falkirk Wheel Lock and Paddle is an annual challenge, held towards the end of June. The goal is to see how many paddlers can fit on the Falkirk Wheel at the same time. At first I didn’t think it was possible but yes you get to go on the wheel as it turns!
If you are specifically wanting to SUP on the wheel it is probably best to wait until this event. Outside of this you will have to book passage with Scottish Canals. Other paddlers have mentioned this can be somewhat problematic. The main traffic on the wheel are canal boats. Paddlers are a little outside the comfort zone. While technically is is possible, there is a lot of red tape!!
Paddling in the surrounding area you can access the canal either side of the wheel. Above the wheel you can paddle back towards Linlithgow and onto Edinburgh. Below the wheel you can paddle towards Glasgow. For more information visit Scottish Canals Paddlers Guide which includes safety guidelines.
For more information about paddling along the Forth and Clyde Canal see our posts here.
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