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Visit Falkirk: Wheelchair Accessible Things to do in Falkirk

Falkirk is a wonderful town to explore. Whether you are a local or a visitor, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So I was thrilled when Visit Falkirk invited me to spend the weekend exploring the wide range of accessible things to see and do in the Forth Valley town and beyond.

We spent one day in Falkirk and the nearby town of Bo’ness before spending two days visiting Loch Lomond, The Trossachs National Park and Stirling. It was a weekend full of fun, sun, good food and local tourism.

Follow our Access Forth Valley itinerary with some of the best accessible visitor attractions, walks and recommendations on where to stay and where to eat along the way.

I hope you’ll agree that Falkirk and the Forth Valley area is a fantastic accessible destination and one you must visit soon.

But First, Where is Falkirk?

Falkirk is a historic town in the heart of Scotland. Its central location between Edinburgh and Glasgow makes it a convenient place to both live and visit for day trips and weekend breaks due to the excellent motorway and rail links.

Falkirk has become a popular tourist destination steeped in history with top visitor attractions, great outdoor spaces and facilities.

One Day in Falkirk: Access Forth Valley Itinerary

Without further ado, here is my accessibility guide to visiting Falkirk covering the main attractions and some lesser-known gems in the town.

Of course, there are lots more to see and do in Falkirk if you are planning on spending more time in the area, but I hope this helps you plan your trip to Falkirk.

Callendar House & Park

The first stop of the day was a visit to Callendar House & Park. This beautiful 170 acre park is one of my favourite places in Falkirk to visit especially when the sun is shining.

Emma sat in her wheelchair with the stunning Callendar House behind her. Emma is smiling at the camera and the sun is shining.
Callendar House and Park, Falkirk

We arrived around 10 am and enjoyed a stroll around the grounds which are wheelchair accessible. The park also contains a part of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site dating back to 142AD.

Although we didn’t venture into the woodland trails throughout Callendar Park on this occasion, we have previously and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Emma driving her wheelchair in Callendar Park Falkirk. The sky is blue and Callendar House is behind Emma. A tree is framing the photograph. Emma is smiling.
Emma pictured from behind driving her wheelchair in Callendar Park Falkirk. Callendar House is in front of Emma as she drives towards the house.

It was then time for our self-guided tour of Callendar House. This stunning French-style chateau dates back to the 14th Century. And it’s completely free to visit.

Callendar House exterior on a sunny day.

The main entrance has steps but just follow the path on the left that leads to the wheelchair accessible entrance. There is an automatic push button to operate the door.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t working, but thankfully the door was open and we were able to enter. I believe there is also a portable ramp that staff can place down to access the main entrance and gift shop.

Emma sat in her wheelchair outside at the entrance of Callendar House.
Main entrance
Wheelchair accessible entrance of Callendar House. A 'press to open' button is positioned on the wall.
Wheelchair access entrance
Emma sat in her wheelchair outside at the entrance of Callendar House.
Wheelchair access entrance

Once inside we began ‘The Story of Callendar House’ tour. It was interesting to learn of its history dating back to 1345 when the Livingston family were granted the Callendar Estate by King David II.

There are displays about the history from the Roman era, the Jacobite era through to the present day.

Emma sat in her wheelchair wearing a face mask. She is next to a display of medieval people. The display reads "The Story of Callendar House".
The Story of Callendar House
Emma sat in her wheelchair inside Callendar Park. She is posing next to a model of a man from the Jacobite era
Emma sat in her wheelchair inside Callendar House. She is in the grand hallway with red walls, a gold chandelier and dark wood.

There is a lift to access the upper floors. Though it is a small lift, Allan and I were able to fit inside. Larger wheelchairs and mobility scooters may struggle.

An aerial shot of Emma sat in her wheelchair inside the lift at Callendar House. Emma is wearing a face mask and is looking up at the camera.
Emma and Allan inside the lift

Accessible toilets with automatic doors can be found on each floor inside Callendar House. Here are photos of two accessible toilets with different layouts.

Inside the accessible toilet at Callendar House
Emma sat in her power wheelchair inside the disabled toilet at Callendar House.
A white door with a ladies, gentleman and wheelchair sign. On the wall is a sensor operated door opening system.
Accessible toilets with automatic doors with a button to open/close.

Callendar Park has lush greenery, a large boating pond, a children’s playpark, mini-golf, a snacks kiosk, toilets and tree-lined paths and trails throughout.

It’s easy to spend anything from a couple of hours to most of the day wandering and relaxing in the park.

Emma sat in her wheelchair infront of Callendar House. Her wheelchair accessible vehicle is parked in the disabled parking space infront of Callendar House in Falkirk.
Callendar House and Park accessible parking

Accessibility Tip: There are two car parks at Callendar Park. One is close to Callendar House and the other is further away but close to the kid’s playpark. However, accessible parking spaces can be found right at the front of Callendar House (see above photo).

Georgian Kitchen at Callendar House

No visit to Callendar House is complete without visiting the Georgian kitchen. As we entered the kitchen we were greeted by the large roaring wood fire.

A friendly staff member dressed in a traditional maid costume welcomed us and told us stories of what life was like working in this kitchen.

Callander House Outlander kitchen
Georgian Kitchen at Callendar House

There are lots of interesting objects that were used back in the day. Plus recipes from the Georgian period.

Emma sat in her wheelchair in the Georgian kitchen at Callendar House. Emma is pictured side-on and she is looking off to the right.
Outlander kitchen Callendar House
Emma sat in her wheelchair in the Georgian kitchen at Callendar House. Emma is pictured side-on and she is looking off to the right.
Callendar House Outlander kitchen

And if you are an Outlander fan, then you will recognise the kitchen was used as a filming location in Outlander Season 2.

Two photographs of screens from the TV show Outlander which were filmed at Callendar House.
Callendar House Outlander location was the Duke of Sandringham’s kitchen

There are lots of Outlander filming locations in Falkirk and West Lothian along with many other TV and movies.

As a result, Falkirk Council and West Lothian Council worked together on the Film on Forth project and created four itineraries featuring local filming locations. Two of the itineraries are Outlander themed.

Callendar House Tea room

We couldn’t leave Callendar House without visiting the tearoom for tea and cake. We opted for a table with a view of the beautiful park. It was lovely.

Emma sat in her wheelchair at a table in the Callender House tearoom. The large ceiling to floor windows with a view out to the lush green park is behind Emma.
Callendar House Tearoom
Emma sat at the table smiling. Two tea pots, two tea cups and two plates with cakes are sat on the table in front of Emma.

Address: Callendar Rd, Falkirk FK1

Falkirk Town Centre – Heritage Tour

Next on the agenda was a Falkirk Town Centre Heritage Trail with Janice from Falkirk Delivers.

The starting point of the tour was in the heart of the town centre at Falkirk’s landmark ‘The Steeple’.

Falkirk Town Centre wheelchair access sign.
A view looking down at Emma's legs and wheelchair. A females hand is in shot holding an old photograph of Falkirk Steeple.
Falkirk Town Centre with the Steeple in the distance.
The Falkirk Steeple

Built in 1814, the 140 foot high structure dominates Falkirk High Street and was once the local jail with the two prison cells still there to this day.

Allan got to see inside the prison cell and snap a photo of Falkirk High Street from the top of The Steeple.

The Falkirk Steeple prison cell
The Falkirk Steeple old prison cell

There are cobblestones surrounding the Steeple and the old historic alleyways around the area with some of these little streets still in their original state.

Flesh Market Close in Falkirk Town
Emma driving her wheelchair down a old close in Falkirk Town Centre.
Wilson's Close in Falkirk Town Centre

The Falkirk Town Centre history and heritage tour covers many sites of interest including Trinity Church, Steeple, Cow Wynd, The Tattie Kirk and the historic closes.

Trinity Church in Falkirk
Emma at Trinity Church in Falkirk
The Tattie Kirk Falkirk graveyard
Falkirk Town Centre High Street
Falkirk Steeple bell in a display cabinet.

We found it incredibly fascinating to discover Falkirk town centre’s history thanks to Janice being a fantastic tour guide.

From visiting the old Barrs Iron Brew site, we learned that Falkirk was the birthplace of Scotland’s other national drink – Irn Bru. How cool is that?

A view looking down at Emma's legs and wheelchair. A females hand is in shot holding an a photograph of the old Barr's Iron Brew poster.
Falkirk Town old Irn Bru building
Barr’s works, Burnfoot Lane, Falkirk

Something else that shocked us was learning that Robert Burns stayed at the Cross Keys Inn on Falkirk High Street on the first night of his Highland tour on 25th August 1787.

During his stay, he etched a verse into the window of the inn. The windowpane is currently on display at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway.

Emma sat in her wheelchair with Janice her Falkirk Town Heritage trail tour guide standing next to her. They are looking at the Robert Burns plaque on the wall in Falkirk.
Former Cross Keys Inn building

There is now a plaque on the former Cross Keys Inn building which says “Robert Burns Poet slept here August 25th 1787”. Although some say the date is slightly off.

Robert Burns slept in Falkirk Town centre plaque
Robert Burns plaque

We also learned that in 1925 Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird gave an early demonstration of the television in Falkirk.

John Logie Baird TV demostration plague Falkirk. Text reads "John Logie Baird demonstrated television in this building in 1925".
John Logie Baird plaque displayed in Falkirk High Street

Other than the cobblestones in some areas, I found Falkirk town centre to be wheelchair accessible. The paths are fairly flat with lowered kerbs. There was a slightly steep slope up to Trinity Church but this was manageable in my power wheelchair.

Falkirk Town Heritage Trail has 25 sites of interest in and around the town. Each site of interest has a blue plaque detailing the location and its historical importance. Just keep a look out for the plaques while visiting Falkirk Town centre and prepare to be amazed by the local history.

Scroll through the photos below showing a selection of blue plaques in Falkirk Town centre.

  • Falkirk Town Heritage Trail plaques
  • Falkirk Town Heritage Trail plaques
  • Falkirk Town Heritage Trail plaques
  • Falkirk Town Heritage Trail plaques

Accessibility Tip: We found accessible parking next to the Abuzzmobility shop on Baxter’s Wynd and walked through the close and onto Falkirk High Street. The Steeple was a two minute walk from the car park.

Lunch in Arnotdale House & Cafe at Dollar Park

After a busy morning, it was now time for lunch. We made our way to Dollar Park where we had a table booked at Arnotdale House & Cafe.

A glass vase with pink and white flowers sat on a table next to a window with greenery outside. On the table is a blue menu for Arnotdale House and Cafe.
Tables and chairs in Arnotdale House & Cafe at Dollar Park. A selection of cakes are on display and hanging on the wall is a specials menu board. There are lots of low hanging ceiling light bulbs.
Arnotdale House & Cafe at Dollar Park

Dollar Park is a lovely little green space with beautiful gardens that we enjoy visiting from time to time. This time we were in for a real treat with our first visit inside Arnotdale House for lunch.

A glass vase with pink and white flowers sat on a table next to a window with greenery outside. On the table is a plate with sandwiches and a bowl of minestrone soup.
The best minestrone soup we’ve ever had.

We both had the minestrone soup which was delicious. So good in fact, Allan plans on making his own homemade minestrone soup. I also had a hummus and pepper sandwich which was equally lovely.

Of course, we couldn’t leave without having cakes. Yes, more cakes!

Two vegan cakes sat on plates on a wooden table.
Vegan cakes

There is accessible parking directly outside the building as well as a bright and welcoming step-free entrance and an accessible toilet.

Disabled blue badge parking bay outside Arnotdale House & Cafe at Dollar Park in Falkirk .
Accessible parking
Emma pictured from the back driving up a sloped path into Arnotdale House & Cafe at Dollar Park in Falkirk
Main entrance to Arnotdale House & Cafe
Emma sat in her power wheelchair inside the accessible toilet at Arnotdale House & Cafe Falkirk.
Accessible toilet

Not only is Arnotdale House & Cafe a great place to visit in Falkirk with delicious food and the most attentive and friendly staff, but it also plays a big part in the charitable work of Cyrenians.

Cyrenians is a charity that tackles the causes and consequences of homelessness in Scotland. Visiting the cafe is directly contributing to the charity work carried out by Cyrenians.

The cafe also has a lovely atmosphere. We are already looking forward to our next visit.

Before or after visiting Arnotdale House and Cafe, I highly recommend a stroll around the park and don’t miss the beautiful Walled Garden. The photo below is from a previous visit to Dollar Park and the Walled Garden. Just beautiful!

Emma driving her Permobil powerchair in the park. She is wearing a grey t-shirt, peach cardigan, blue jeans and black converse shoes. She is surrounded by lush shrubbery.
Dollar Park Walled Garden

Address: Arnotdale House and Cafe, Dollar Park, Camelon Rd, Falkirk FK1 5SQ

Kinneil Estate and Museum

With full bellies, we headed to the next stop on our Visit Falkirk itinerary to Kinneil Estate and Museum in Bo’ness.

Exterior of Kinneil Museum in Bo'ness showing wheelchair access ramp to enter the museum.
Kinneil Museum entrance with ramp access

The sun was still shining when we arrived at the beautiful estate for a museum tour with Robert. He was very passionate and full of local knowledge. We chatted to him for ages and learned so much.

Kinneil Museum is located in the 17th century stable building of Kinneil House. The ground floor exhibition and upper floor gallery tell the story of Bo’ness and the Kinneil Estate.

Emma sat in her wheelchair inside Kinneil Museum. She is looking at the information displays hanging on the wall.

The museum is small but I didn’t have any difficulty moving around between rooms downstairs. The upper floor is only accessed via stairs and therefore not wheelchair accessible.

Kinneil Museum in Bo'ness exhibition displays.
Kinneil Museum in Bo'ness exhibition displays.

If we had more time we would have loved to explore the grounds around Kinneil House as the park is lovely and packed with history.

There is part of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site and one of its fortlets, as well as James Watt’s workshop which was used to develop the improved steam engine, and it’s part of the John Muir Way.

Inside the accessible toilet at Kinneil Museum in Bo'ness.
Kinneil Museum accessible toilet

There is a wheelchair accessible ramp to enter the museum with cobblestones at the reception area and an accessible toilet. Admission is free of charge.

Address: Duchess Anne Cottages, Bo’ness EH51 0PR

Top Tip: Download ‘Falkirk Explored‘ app and discover places to visit, and walking trails along the Falkirk District. The app also has audio guides developed by locals who share stories of Falkirk. Plus 360 tours including a tour of Kinneil House.

Looking for more things to do in Bo’ness?

If you are looking to spend more time in Bo’ness there are plenty of things to see and do.

Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

Whether you are a trainspotter or not, a visit to Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway to see the steam trains is quite a cool experience. Thomas the Tank engine makes special appearances from time to time. It’s important to note that the railway museum is currently undergoing a revamp to improve its accessibility.

Bo’ness Motor Museum

Browse the private collection of classic cars and James Bond (007) vehicles and memorabilia at Bo’ness Motor Museum. The collection includes the Lotus Esprit SI from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and the BMW 750 from ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’.

The Hippodrome

Or catch a movie at The Hippodrome, Scotland’s oldest purpose-built picture house from 1912. This pre-art deco cinema screens a range of old movies and new releases. It is wheelchair accessible and has a number of autistic friendly viewings.

The Kelpies at The Helix

We left Bo’ness and headed back to Falkirk to visit The Helix. It was the perfect way to end a fun day exploring the Falkirk area.

The Helix is a large recreational parkland and visitor attraction with a range of activities, cycling and walking trails, a lagoon, wetlands and a kid’s play park.

The Helix Park is also The Home of the Kelpies – the largest equine sculptures in the world.

A full shot of Emma sat in her power wheelchair in front of the Kelpies in Falkirk. Emma is smiling at the camera.
The Kelpies at the Helix in Falkirk

Created by artist Andy Scott, these giant 30 metre high horse heads are now iconic and the main attraction at The Helix for the local community and tourists. They are named after the real-life models, Duke and Baron.

Emma pictured from behind driving her power wheelchair across a tarmac path. .She is heading toward The Kelpies, two giant horse head sculptures in Falkirk.
Accessible paths

The Kelpies dominate the landscape and can also be seen from the M9 motorway. They represent the horses of the Scottish industry that once pulled wagons, barges and coal ships.

It was very peaceful with far fewer people around when we arrived around 5pm. We enjoyed a stroll around the Helix park before stopping at The Kelpies for some photos.

A shot of Emma from the waist up with the giant Kelpies behind her. Emma is smiling and looking off to the side of the camera. It is a sunny day and the Kelpies are shining.
A full body side profile shot of Emma sat in her power wheelchair with the giant Kelpies behind her.
Emma and The Kelpies

The visitor centre at The Kelpies has a cafe, gift shop and toilets including an accessible toilet. You will even enjoy a fantastic view of the Kelpies from inside the visitor centre and cafe.

There are two car parks; one at The Helix and one located closer to The Kelpies.

However, there are also several disabled parking bays available directly outside the visitor centre as well (see photo below).

A grey Ford Tourneo Connect wheelchair accessible vehicle parked up in disabled parking. The Kelpies are behind the vehicle.
Accessible parking at The Kelpies
Emma driving her power wheelchair past the visitor centre at The Kelpies in Falkirk.
The Kelpies visitor centre

The visitor centre closes at 5pm, but there is a block of toilets located in the car park including a Changing Places toilet.

Changing Places toilet at The Helix Park in Falkirk
Changing Places toilet at The Helix and Kelpies
Emma sat in her wheelchair inside the Changing Places toilet at The Helix Park in Falkirk.
Emma inside the Changing Places toilet
Inside the Changing Places toilet at The Helix Park in Falkirk
The Helix and Kelpies Changing Places toilet

Address: The Helix, Falkirk, Grangemouth FK2 7ZT

Dinner at Christie’s Scottish Tapas

There are so many great Falkirk restaurants to choose from. But on this occasion, we went to one we’ve never been to before, Christie’s. Christie’s Scottish Tapas restaurant is located in Manor Street with a range of “Traditional Scottish food served TAPAS STYLE!”

They refer to tapa as “simply a braw wee plate of Scran” Scran is a Scottish slang word for food. They also cater for different dietary requirements including vegan and gluten-free.

The main restaurant is on the ground floor and there is an accessible toilet. The first floor of the restaurant is accessed via stairs.

Address: 104-108 Manor St, Falkirk FK1 1NU

Zetland Park

Zetland Park in Grangemouth is another great public park to visit when visiting the Falkirk area. The park has been going through redevelopment by the Zetland Park Regeneration Project for a few years now and the changes are incredible.

One of the most exciting changes is the newly built inclusive play park complete with a wheelchair (ability) swing. To use the ability swing a RADAR key is required to unlock the gate and access the wheelchair securement straps.

Kids play area with inclusive play equipment including ramps.
Zetland Park Play Area | Photo courtesy Zetland Park Project – Falkirk Council
Wheelchair swing at Zetland Park Play area
Zetland Park Play Area Wheelchair Swing | Photo courtesy Zetland Park Project – Falkirk Council
Kids play area with inclusive play equipment including wheelchair accessible roundabout.
Zetland Park Play Area | Photo courtesy Zetland Park Project – Falkirk Council
Zetland Park Play area
Zetland Park Play Area | Photo courtesy Zetland Park Project – Falkirk Council

It’s a lovely park to visit with kid’s activities including a bike track, mini-golf, cabin selling refreshments and during school holidays there are usually bouncy castles and lots more fun things to do.

There are also beautiful flower gardens and wheelchair accessible paths throughout the entire park.

Large grassy areas provide the perfect spot for picnics in the sun and tree-lined paths with benches for relaxing in the shade.

A Changing Places toilet is available in Grangemouth Sports complex, which is right next to Zetland Park.

Final Thoughts:

I would highly recommend a visit to Falkirk if you’re planning a trip to Scotland. It’s a fantastic town and one I’m very familiar with, but I was shocked by how much I learned about its history that I had no idea about. Truly fascinating.

Falkirk has so many wheelchair accessible things to see and do and a passion to continue improving accessibility to make it a wonderfully accessible place to visit in Scotland.

Remember to check out Access Forth Valley for more itineraries and accessibility information for your visit to the Forth Valley area. Everything from heritage, family, outdoor, transport and more at www.accessforthvalley.com

Also, be sure to read about our two days exploring Loch Lomond, The Trossachs National Park and Stirling.

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Disclaimer: This guide is in collaboration with Visit Falkirk, but as always, all words are my own and 100% honest.

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Meet Emma

Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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