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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed by the trip leader(s) and NOT the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for payment details and instructions.

Scottish Canals: Falkirk to Glasgow

The Basics:
STATUS: Cancelled - Hide from Calendar
Event Type:Overnight
Event Location: Falkirk Wheel, Scotland
Date(s) & Time:Mon, Jun 12 2023  10:00 am >> Mon, Jun 19 2023 9:00 am
Registration Opens: Mon, Oct 31 2022 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Mon, Oct 31 2022 8:00 pm
Event Duration:6 Days 23 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate (Exploratory)
Trip Leader(s):
Richard A. Zalik
Email Trip Leader(s)
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Member Cost:$665.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:6
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 6 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


To participate in this event you must be an active member of the club. That means that you should be either a trip leader or, if not a trip leader, you must have participated in several hikes or backpacking trips during the last year and be recommended by a trip leader that we know well. This event is designed so that you will not be able to get directly into the list of participants. When registration opens you need to get into the waiting list. If you are not a trip leader you have two weeks from the time this event is posted to furnish the necessary recommendation, which must vouch for your physical fitness and your ability to get along with other people in a group setting. If we know you well enough we will tell you by email that you do not need a recommendation. After the two weeks are over, we will move to the list of participants all those that qualify, in the order in which they are ranked in the waiting list. We will continue moving to the list of participants qualified members  according to their ranking in the waiting list until the event is full.

Once you are moved to the list of participants, you must pay the event cost ASAP, but no later than March 15. If you do not pay in time we will move you to the end of the waiting list and move into the list of participants the first qualifying member in the waiting list. This person will have two weeks, from the moment we move her or him to the list of participants, to pay for the event. Payment must be sent to Richard Zalik by PayPal to Bear in mind that this is not a commercial transaction, so to avoid paying fees when using PayPal, select the option "send money to friends and family".

We contacted ABC Boat Hire and reserved a wide beam boat to sail along parts of the Union Canal and the Firth and Clyde Canal. The boat has sleeping quarters, kitchen and two bathrooms, and can carry six to eight passengers. There is a king size bed and four bunk beds. The dining area can be converted into two additional beds, if needed. We will moor at several points along the way and explore the countryside. We can eat aboard or at pubs or restaurants. Richard has rented from this company in the past and sailed this type of boat along the parts of itinerary. The speed limit on the canals is 4 or 5 mph. The channel depth at the Union Canal is 3.5 ft, and at the Forth and Clyde Canal is 6 ft. The boat we have booked is the Sanderling, described in the following URL: This URL  also has details of the conditions of lease and the kitchen utensils and bedding equipment provided. The boat has internet, but the connection is very slow. 

Day 1. We leave in the morning. From our starting point at Falkirk we head East on the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Falkirk Wheel, (, just a few yards away.  A masterpiece of engineering,  the Falkirk Wheel is the world’s first and only rotating Boat Lift. It was opened in 2002 to rebuild a link between the Union and Forth & Clyde Canals where an 11-lock flight used to be. The project cost £17.5 million and took over 1,000 craftsmen and over 1,200 tons of steel. How it works is remarkably simple - two gondolas are full of water, one at upper level, one at lower level, and when the upper gondola lowers boats to the basin below, the lower gondola simultaneously rises. The elementary physics of this process is based on Archimedes’ principle. When a boat enters a gondola, it spills an amount of water equal to its weight, and the remaining total mass of water, gondola and boat remains unchanged. Cogs and wheels give a smooth ride. The giant wheel stands 115ft tall yet uses a mouse-sized 1.5KWh of energy to turn. The canal above the Wheel heads into Roughcastle Tunnel under the railway and part of the Roman Antonine Wall, built in 142 CE, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After negotiating the Falkirk Wheel Staircase Locks we will reach the original Union Canal, a relaxing route now lock free the full 31 miles to Edinburgh. This canal, completed in 1822, was built to transport coal to Edinburgh. We may stop at Walkers Bridge, where a path leads to the site of the Battle of Falkirk II in 1746, in which the Jacobites were victorious (the site of the Battle of Falkirk I, when William Wallace was heavily defeated by the English in 1298, is slightly further east, just south of Callendar Wood). William Forbes, owner of Callendar House, refused to let the canal pass through his grounds so Falkirk Tunnel (690yds/631m long), a difficult tunnel hewn through rock, had to be built. There is only room for one-way traffic. Once in the tunnel, look out for stalactites on the roof, and be prepared for drips if it’s raining. We will moor for the night right after exiting the tunnel and crossing a bridge.

Day 2. We will visit nearby Callendar House and Callendar Wood, where there are 5 miles of trails  (, as well as a section of the Antonine Wall. The House was built in the style of a French chateau and, now cared for by Falkirk Community Trust, is one of Scotland’s finest baronial mansions. In the afternoon we will sail to Linlithgow, where we will moor for the night. Dinner in town.

Day 3. At Linlithgow, the Linlithgow Canal Centre offers refreshments and a canal museum to browse before exploring the town itself. In 2019,  Richard visited the dramatic ruins of Linlithgow Palace overlooking Linlithgow Loch and walked the trail around the loch. This palace is renowned as the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Due to ongoing maintenance work, the palace itself might be closed to visitors at the time we get there, but the grounds are certainly worth the visit. Dinner in town. 

Day 4. We return to Falkirk where we will have dinner and moor for the night.

Day 5. After going through a couple of locks we will moor at Auchinstarry Marina, where there is a restaurant.

Day 6. We sail to Glasgow and moor on Speirs wharf, a short distance from the Scottish Canals office. We can spend the afternoon and next moorning exploring the town.

Glasgow is a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland's western Lowlands. It's famed for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, a rich legacy of the city's 18th–20th-century prosperity due to trade and shipbuilding. Today it's a national cultural hub, home to institutions including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, as well as acclaimed museums and a thriving music scene.

Here is information on Speirs Wharf:

Day 7. You have to leave the boat around 10 am, to make room for the group that will sail back to Falkirk. Anderston Railway Station is 1.7 miles by car from the Scottish Canals building (Canal House, 1 Applecross ST., Glasgow G4 9SP); it is a 1.3 miles walk.





Required Items to Bring:

Clothes appropriate to the weather. In June it can be quite warm or freezing cold. It is usually very rainy, so bring rain gear. Don't forget your meds.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

There are regular rail services from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and Stirling to Falkirk stations. Visit for timetables and tickets.

The Falkirk Wheel is just a short bus ride away as the number 6 bus runs between The Falkirk Wheel and Falkirk town centre. For more information and timetables please visit

You can also find taxi ranks at Falkirk Grahamston, Camelon or Falkirk High Station train station, or visit for details of taxis available for hire at these locations


DISCLAIMER: The Trip Leaders for this event have elected either to personally collect the funds that event participants are required to pay, or to require participants to pay funds directly to a third party. No funds will be paid to the Atlanta Outdoor Club for this event, except the $25.00 administrative fee and, if there is a small surplus not exceeding $10.00 per participant this surplus will be transferred to the club as well. Therefore, by registering for this event, you acknowledge and agree to the following: (1) the monies paid by registrants will not be monitored, managed, or otherwise accounted for by the Atlanta Outdoor Club; (2) that the Atlanta Outdoor Club bears no financial responsibility for this event; and (3) you waive any and all claims against the Atlanta Outdoor Club, and hold the Atlanta Outdoor Club harmless for the loss of any monies you paid for this event.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any paying registrant may request directly from the Trip Leader, prior to the event, a breakdown of funds collected, estimated expenses, and deposits made in anticipation of the event. Following the event, the Trip Leader must complete his or her financial accounting for the event, with supporting documentation, within 30 days of the completion of the event, and a paid registrant may request a breakdown of funds collected, money spent and supporting documentation after that time. If you are unable to obtain requested documentation, please contact the Director of Paid Events.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Member Cost:$665.00/Person
Cost Includes:

* Boat rental, including taxes, for a total of 2,939.05 GBP.

* A 90 GPB fuel deposit.

* A 25 GPB Rover Ticket charged by Scottish Canals.

* A 15 USD administrative fee charged by AOC.

* A 3% credit card fee.

It does not include the cost of food, lodging outside the boat, additional fuel, or anything else.

In the event that there is a surplus in excess of $10.00 per person, it will be returned to the participants. Otherwise it will be transferred to AOC.

Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the AOC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

If you have already paid the cost of the event and wish to cancel your participation, we will move to the list of participants the first person on the waiting list, if any, and once that person pays for the event you will be reimbursed in full. However, around a month before the event date we will have to submit a full list of passengers. Once we do that we will need to ask for permission to make any passenger changes, but based on previous experience this should be a mere formality.