Falkirk Canal Corridor, Falkirk – A Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters Case Study

Submitted by: HarrisonStevens

Client: Scottish Canals

Enhancing the character and identity of the key tourist and active travel link between The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies along the Forth and Clyde Canal. Connections along the canal include links to the Union Canal. There are three main aims for the project implemented over several phases; environmental improvement; safety and attractiveness of the route for families; and clear and iconic wayfinding/place making interventions. The canal corridor can provide a high quality, green/blue and traffic free route linking two of Scotland’s premier visitor attractions.

Ten individual schemes along the corridor path were identified within distinct zones. The first phase focuses on 4 of these. The first is opposite the Falkirk Wheel, second at Rosebank Distillery, third at Lock 5 Graham’s Road, and the fourth at the Kelpies. These created resting, orientation and interpretation points along the towpath.

The interpretation and wayfinding concept developed upon the bottle making and distillery heritage of the canal and its importance to the industry of Scotland. Oversized weathered steel bottle forms were crafted by local blacksmiths and placed at key locations along the towpath. These quickly became part of the Falkirk Wheel to Kelpies Selfie Trail, promoted by Scottish Canals to raise the profile of the link between these two significant attractions.

The second phase of design proposals focused primarily on the opportunity to create a safe and attractive route for families while ensuring that opportunities for improving connectivity and active travel were fully realised. This stage identified six projects where there were specific challenges for the east to west connectivity along the towpath, due to bridges, railways or significant level changes.

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