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    7 Activities

    Road Trip to Falkirk: Castles, Palaces, and Kelpies

    Road Trip to Falkirk: Castles, Palaces, and Kelpies
    Starts from

    Edinburgh

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Activities

    7

    Duration

    11 hours

    Length

    50 mi

    Guide details

    Starts from

    Edinburgh

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Duration

    11 hours

    Length

    50 mi

    History and CultureUnusual Locations
    Map preview

    Created By:

    Heather Cole

    Heather Cole

    Travel Expert

    Highlights

    • Travel back in time at 15th-century Blackness Castle.
    • Walk in the footsteps of Royals at Linlithgow Palace.
    • Admire the giant Kelpie horse sculptures in Falkirk.
    This day trip from Edinburgh takes in some of Scotland’s most iconic sights, blending centuries of history with modern-day sculpture and engineering.
    You’ll begin by exploring Falkirk, where the enormous Kelpie horse statues and famous Falkirk Wheel boat lift are testaments to the marvels of 21st-century creativity. The route then meanders along to Linlithgow Palace, former stomping ground of the Stewart kings and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
    Next up is seeing James Bond cars at the Bo'ness Motor museum, before making your final stop of the day at Blackness Castle, which once served as a royal prison and a formidable military stronghold.

    Categories

    This day trip from Edinburgh takes in some of Scotland’s most iconic sights, blending centuries of history with modern-day sculpture and engineering.
    You’ll begin by exploring Falkirk, where the enormous Kelpie horse statues and famous Falkirk Wheel boat lift are testaments to the marvels of 21st-century creativity. The route then meanders along to Linlithgow Palace, former stomping ground of the Stewart kings and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
    Next up is seeing James Bond cars at the Bo'ness Motor museum, before making your final stop of the day at Blackness Castle, which once served as a royal prison and a formidable military stronghold.
    Heather Cole

    Heather Cole

    Travel Expert

    • Travel back in time at 15th-century Blackness Castle.
    • Walk in the footsteps of Royals at Linlithgow Palace.
    • Admire the giant Kelpie horse sculptures in Falkirk.

    Day Itinerary

    7 Activities
    Map preview

    Day 1

    50 mi

    Blackness Castle, Linlithgow, and the Falkirk Kelpies

    This journey is all about immersing yourself in Scottish lore, where tales from the past are brought to life at Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace. Enjoy the scenic countryside views as you follow the River Forth up to Falkirk, where the Kelpies are waiting to welcome you back to the present day.
    The Falkirk Wheel
    10:151 hr

    The Falkirk Wheel

    Outdoor Sculpture
    Open Details
    The Falkirk Wheel is one of the most remarkable feats of modern engineering in the UK, and is the world's only rotating boat lift. It connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, carrying boats 35 metres into the air, which is an incredible sight to see. You can take a ride on The Wheel and enjoy sweeping 360-degree views over the countryside from the top. There are plenty of other activities to enjoy, including boat trips, canoeing, cycling, woodland walks, and a children's play area, so you could spend several hours here if you choose.
    4.8 mi20 min
    The Kelpies
    11:3530 min

    The Kelpies

    Outdoor Sculpture
    Open Details
    Towering 30 metres into the sky, The Kelpies are the largest horse sculptures in the world. They are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Scotland, and make for iconic holiday photos. This remarkable installation pays tribute to the working horse heritage of Scotland, as well as the water spirits that roam the country's lochs and canals. It's free to admire The Kelpies from the ground, but for the full experience, take a tour inside the horse named "Duke".
    You'll find the Kelpies in Helix Park, just outside Falkirk. There are numerous walking trails if you want to linger a little longer, and there's a visitor centre with a shop and café for refreshments. You can book a 15-minute guided tour inside the Kelpies on the official website.
    7 mi20 min
    The Bridge Inn
    12:501 hr

    The Bridge Inn

    Restaurant
    Open Details
    This traditional 17th-century coaching inn is a welcoming place for laid-back lunches in a historic setting. Choose from light bites or hearty mains, and sit outside on a sunny day.
    1.4 mi10 min
    Linlithgow Palace
    14:0030 min

    Linlithgow Palace

    Castle
    Open Details
    Built in the 15th century, this former royal residence was once a magnificent palace and is renowned for being the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Today, the photogenic ruins are fun to explore and give a glimpse into the privileged lives of Stewart kings and queens. You can walk around the royal park and admire the turreted gatehouse too.
    Check for operational closures on the official website before your visit, as sometimes access to the building is restricted while important historical maintenance is carried out. You will still be able to visit the grounds and gatehouse, and parking is available on site.
    4.5 mi10 min
    Bo'ness Motor Museum
    14:4045 min

    Bo'ness Motor Museum

    Museum
    Open Details
    The Bo'ness Motor Museum is one of the best classic car collections in Scotland, with hundreds of exhibits and plenty of famous vehicles that have been used in the movies. You'll discover cars and TV props from films like James Bond, the 51st State, and of course Harry Potter during your visit. Don't miss the 'No Time to Die' 007 motorbike, or the 'Gunslinger', which was once the fastest car in Scotland.
    4.3 mi10 min
    Blackness Castle
    15:401 hr

    Blackness Castle

    Castle
    Open Details
    Your final stop is a 50-minute scenic drive from Edinburgh. Sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Firth of Forth, Blackness Castle is a formidable sight, with parts of its fortifications dating back to the 15th century. It was used primarily as a prison and later served as a munitions' depot. The castle survived an attack by Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War and remains a striking reminder of Scotland's unique heritage. You can climb the towers and battlements for views over the river towards the famous Forth Bridge.
    Blackness Castle was used as a filming location in the popular “Outlander” TV series, so it does get busy. To guarantee entry, it's best to purchase tickets in advance.
    27.8 mi40 min
    The Dungeon Restaurant
    19:002 hrs

    The Dungeon Restaurant

    Restaurant
    Open Details
    Journey back in time as you sit down to dinner in the dungeon restaurant at Dalhousie Castle, surrounded by suits of armour and flickering candles. Expect classic Scottish fare with a European twist, and bags of atmosphere!
    Book a table on the official website.
    Map preview
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