Falkirk Wheel on the Scottish Canals

The Falkirk Wheel and the Scottish canals

Windows Ten has a the feed of images that act as screen savers and provide new photographs that have been chosen for how engaging they are, a little pop-up asks if you like what you see? If you’re a Windows user you probably know it. This is how I first saw the Falkirk Wheel and beside the night time photo it asked; can you guess what this is?

Pardon my ignorance but I didn’t know about the canals of Scotland and never heard of a the Falkirk wheel, have you?

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The lift is named after Falkirk, the town in which it is located. It reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s. It opened in 2002 as part of the Millennium Link project.

The Falkirk Wheel

The plan to regenerate central Scotland‘s canals and reconnect Glasgow with Edinburgh was led by British Waterways with support and funding from seven local authorities, the Scottish Enterprise Network, the European Regional Development Fund, and the Millennium Commission. Planners decided early on to create a dramatic 21st-century landmark structure to reconnect the canals, instead of simply recreating the historic lock flight.

The wheel raises boats by 24 metres (79 ft), but the Union Canal is still 11 metres (36 ft) higher than the aqueduct which meets the wheel. Boats must also pass through a pair of locks between the top of the wheel and the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, and one of two working boat lifts in the United Kingdom, the other being the Anderton Boat Lift.

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