Thursday, 7 May 2015

Wheels in motion

A couple of weeks ago we had to go up to Edinburgh to hand in and then collect the visas for our holiday later this month. So, we took the opportunity to spend a couple of days exploring whilst our passports were being scrutinised.

We started off our trip visiting my parents on the West Coast of Scotland

Then headed further North and East to Loch Lomond

We had absolutely glorious weather on our trip, although as you can just see it was still early enough in the year for there to be snow still on the hills.

After Loch Lomond we headed back over to Edinburgh via Falkirk to see the Falkirk Wheel. I have to confess that I hadn't heard of the Falkirk Wheel until recently when I watched a TV programme about canal boating that included a trip via the Wheel. To say that we were impressed is definitely an understatement, it is amazing!

The Falkirk Wheel joins the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. There is a difference of 115feet between the two canals, so the Wheel was designed as a rotating boat lift to move canal boats from one level to the other. It is apparently the world's first and only rotating boat lift!

Here's how it works - Canal boats sail into the basins at the top and bottom of the Wheel, which are then sealed.

The Wheel begins to rotate around the central point

And continues to rotate

Until the basins are realigned

and the boats can continue on their way :)

Amazingly the Wheel only needs 1.5KwH of energy to make each turn, which is apparently the equivalent of boiling 8 kettles! It is beautifully graceful in action, so I can definitely believe that.

If you ever get the chance to visit the Falkirk Wheel, do take it as it truly is a modern wonder. Equally stunning were the nearby Kelpies but they are the subject of another post :)

Linking up to

Live A Colorful Life


  1. Fab photos. They would make stunning postcards. Are you sure you don't work for the Scottish Tourist Board? I am looking forward to hearing about kelpies too. Are they like piskies and leprechauns?
    The wheel is amazing- beautiful engineering feat.

  2. that wheel is pretty amazing, and you were lucky to see it working, knowing my luck there would be no boats around when I was there!

  3. I've seen the wheel on TV, it's amazing! Brian says they weight the boats as they go in and add the right amount of water to bring the lighter one to the same weight as the heavier one

  4. I always enjoy it when blogs go slightly off piste and these pics are amazing. And what an inspirational piece of engineering. I know a little of the Kelpies -you may have left the best 'til last.....

  5. I'm with Catherine - your awesome photos would make great postcards.

  6. What a stunning day for an outing and to some beautiful locations too. I really must put the wheel on my to visit list if/when we get to visit Scotland with the boys. They saw it on Mr Bloom - a children's programme - which introduced me to it as of course they had to show Mummy this amazing wheel that they want to go on. Looking forward to reading about and seeing your shots of the Kelpies. They must have looked absolutely stunning on such a day.

  7. Lovely photos - I really must persuade my husband that we should try a holiday in Scotland again one year (he may have some reservations as the last time we had a holiday in Scotland in 2000 there was torrential rain which washed away some roads, I got a vomiting bug which I generously and promptly passed onto him and then there was the petrol strike ....!)

    I have a great aunt who took her canal boat through the Falkirk Wheel a few years ago - she said it was fantastic! It is a marvellous feat of engineering.

  8. I am geeky enough to love clever engineering for its own sake (heavy influence of engineer Dad) but it's even better when it's aesthetically pleasing too! I have a friend in Falkirk who I am hoping to visit when I go up to the Stitch Gathering so I might ask her to take me here - they look fab!

  9. I enjoy your travels as I am not sure I will ever get to Scotland. Thanks for sharing. Janita

  10. That is amazing, will have to try and see that next time we're in Scotland! I have been to Loch Lomond and it really is beautiful!

  11. What a beautiful patch you live in, and you photograph it so well. I'm interested to hear more about the kelpies now...

  12. Lovely series of photos.


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