Falkirk Narrowboat Base
Narrowboat Holidays Across Great Britain
Narrowboat Holidays Across Great Britain
Scottish Canal closure: updated 3 September
Due to a breach between Polmont and Muiravonside, which lies between our base at Falkirk and Edinburgh, the Grand Union Canal in Scotland is currently closed and most likely will not re-open for the rest of the 2020 season.
Holidays from our base at Falkirk are still available for cruising along the Forth & Clyde Canal as far as Stockingfield Junction on the outskirts of Glasgow. You can read more about those short break options below.
Short Break Holidays in Scotland 2020
If you wish to enjoy a 3 or 4 night narrowboat break in Scotland this autumn, then the following options are available to cruise:
Falkirk Wheel trip rotation. Approx. 2hrs
From the Forth & Clyde through Jubilee lock, onto the Falkirk Wheel, exit at the top cruise through a short tunnel and into the basin. Turn around and back down the wheel.
Falkirk – Kelpies (East on Forth & Clyde) approx. 4 hrs
Cruise down through the 15 locks to the Kelpies. All locks are manned and you need to book the crossing there and back – usual bookings are made for 9am or 1pm. Stay overnight at the base of the Kelpies and enjoy the stunning sights and scenery and then travel the same way back up to Falkirk.
Falkirk – Auchinstarry (West on F & C) Approx 4hrs
Cruise across the Bonnybridge Lift Bridge (approx. 30mins cruising from Falkirk, pre-booking required) continue through locks 17 – 20 (all manned) and up to Auchinstarry.
Falkirk – Kirkintilloch (West on F & C) Approx 6.5hrs
As above to Auchinstarry. Once past Auchinstarry continue through another 2 bridges (both manned) through Twechar and Hillhead to Kirkintilloch.
Guests wanting to visit Glasgow are advised to moor up at Kirkintilloch and get a train from Lenzie or to at Auchinstarry and get a train from Croy.
Holidays in Scotland 2021
You can choose to spend a relaxing week cruising between Falkirk and Glasgow, or alternatively you can explore Scotland in the opposite direction, heading east, on the Union Canal between Falkirk and Edinburgh. If you fancy a more strenuous short break you can reach one of these cities and return, or alternatively many guests enjoy a two week trip here to take in both of these sights.
One of the highlights of a canal boat holiday in Scotland is the Falkirk Wheel. This feat of modern engineering is quite breathtaking to see in action. It was created to rejoin the the Forth and Clyde and the Union canal which had been split following the demolition of an 11 lock flight. Standing at 115 feet high, the Wheel is the world’s first and only rotating boat lift and was opened by the Queen in May 2002.
If travelling from Falkirk a rover ticket will be charged by Scottish Canals for use of the canals. This will be a flat charge of £25 for any holiday over three nights. Use up to three days will be charged at £15. This ticket will be administered by Scottish Canals through their website and office. Payment will be taken on the first day of the holiday at the office in Falkirk.
Below are the canal boat types that are available to hire from Falkirk. When you start your Holiday Search all the boat options and dates that closely match your desired departure date and party number will be presented to you.
Based at the Falkirk Wheel, one of the most stunning backdrops anywhere on the canals, we are ideally sited half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Hiring a canal boat from Falkirk means that you can visit both of these historic cities in Scotland, time permitting.
Your canal boat holiday in Scotland can start by heading east to Edinburgh. Go up the Falkirk Wheel and the following three locks and then enjoy a relaxing cruise into Edinburgh on the long lock-free Union Canal.
The Falkirk Wheel is 115 feet high – the equivalent height of eight double decker buses and offers visitors a real treat.
Canal boat hire from Falkirk then permits you to travel west to Glasgow. You will cruise along the Forth and Clyde Canal through various locks and swing bridges, meandering through pretty villages such as Auchinstarry and Kirkintillock to Cadder Village before arriving at Glasgow.
All locks and swing bridges are operated by Scottish Canal staff, giving you a more relaxing cruise.