Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

As I have mentioned a few times, my parents are in the midst of a trip to Scotland.  During the trip, my parents have been acting as “roving reporters”.   Today’s post is an Aer Lingus Business Class review IAD-DUB, from Washington Dulles airport to Dublin.  For previous posts in the series, see

Today’s post talks about the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland; an marvel of modern engineering located near the central Scottish town of Falkirk.

Background on the Falkirk Wheel

The Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal are two canals that are part of the waterway that connects Glasgow and Edinburgh, 2 of Scotland’s major cities.  These 2 canals had not been linked since the 1930s, when it took 11 locks and the best part of a day to cross between the 2 canals.

In the late 1990s, they decided to build the Falkirk Wheel to go between the 2 canals, and it opened in 2002.  The Falkirk Wheel raises the boats by 24 meters but boats must still go an additional 11 meters to get to the level of the Union Canal – so they go through an additional 2 locks after going through the Falkirk Wheel

a sign on a bridge

The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland

Our first day here, we visited Falkirk, which is an engineering miracle. It connects two waterways which are over 100 feet apart in height. Normally it would take 11 locks to connect these so ships could go through. David took pictures at another set of locks and found that it took about 12 minutes per lock. It was one way traffic, so a set of boats would go one way for a few hours, then the process would be repeated for ships going the other way.

a man taking a picture of a large metal structure with Falkirk Wheel in the background Falkirk Wheel with multiple arches

The Falkirk wheel, which operates mostly by gravity (I think I read that it takes the energy of a steam kettle), can move boats both ways in 5 minutes. So what would take hours to move boats one way, then the other is way shortened. It looks like claws at the ends.

Featured image by Sean Kirk courtesy of CC BY 2.5

3 reasons to visit the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland - a world engineering marvel that lifts boats 79 feet in the water

Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers and that compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners and I do not include all card companies, or all available card offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers and other offers and benefits listed on this page. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them

User Generated Content Disclosure: Points With a Crew encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.