Edinburgh: Scottish Innovation, Architecture & Design

Product ID: 72698

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Key Details
8 hours
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What You'll Do
  • Visit Linlithgow Palace and see some of the best Medieval architecture Scotland has to offer
  • See the Kelpies by artist Andy Scoot, standing 30 meters high and weighing in at 300 tonnes each
  • Learn about the engineering genius of the Falkirk Wheel, connecting 2 of Scotland’s biggest waterways
2016 is Scotland’s year to celebrate its achievements in Innovation, Architecture and Design. In the spirit of this celebration, a tour has been designed to showcase some of the achievements of the past and present.
What to Expect
Departing Edinburgh at 9:00, head out of the city towards the longest viaduct on the Glasgow to Edinburgh train line. Built in 1838, this is a perfect example of Victorian architecture and perfect for a photo opportunity. Continue your journey to the town of Linlithgow and visit the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, where you will be able to sample some of the best Medieval architecture Scotland has to offer. Linlithgow Palace was started in 1424 by James 1 and became a truly elegant palace. The highlight of this visit is the fountain that stands in the center of the grounds commissioned by James V in 1537. This is a magnificent example of the stonemason’s skills of the time and truly needs to be seen to be admired. From the palace, you will head to the newest site of the central belt, built and completed in 2014, the Kelpies, standing 30 meters high, are a sight to behold. They are the birth child of artist Andy Scott, weighing in at 300 tonnes each, they dominate the skyline in the town of Falkirk.

The name Kelpies reflects the mythologically transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 10 horses. The Kelpies represent the sheer power of the heavy horse of Scottish industry and economy, working the canals by pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges, and coal ships that graced Falkirk and the surrounding areas. Here, you can take a walk up to and around the Kelpies or take the official tour which takes you inside this magnificent structure giving you a view you just can’t get from the outside. Enjoy a relaxing coffee with this great view and have a rummage around the gift shop before you set off. After your visit to the Kelpies, stop for some lunch and have the chance to chat about what you have seen so far. You will then move on to your next site, the engineering genius of the Falkirk Wheel, which connects 2 of Scotland’s biggest waterways, the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal. Before this, the canals where linked with a series of 11 locks that took boats most of the day to pass through. The wheel raises boats 24 meters high but the union canal still sits 11 meters higher than the aqueduct which meets the wheel, so boats still have to pass through a pair of locks to get between the top of the wheel and the Union Canal. What makes the Falkirk Wheel so special is that it is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, and one of two boat lifts in the United Kingdom, the other being the Anderton boat lift.

Moving on and just when you thought there was nothing that could possible get any better, on your way back to Edinburgh, you will stop at Forth Bridges and the town of South Queens Ferry, where you can take some photos. Here, you can also enjoy the sights with a coffee sitting under the bridges. Both the Forth Rail Bridge and Road Bridge have an exciting story to tell. The Forth Rail Bridge was built and completed in 1890 and spans 8,296 feet. Construction of the bridge was started in 1883 until 1917 and the bridge was the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world and is still the world’s second longest single span. The Forth Road Bridge was opened in 1964 and replaced the century old ferry service that took cars across the forth from north to south Queensferry spelling the end of an era for this type of crossing. At a total length of 2,512 meters, it was the longest suspension bridge span outside the USA and the fourth longest span in the world (at the time of its construction). The bridge comprises 39,000 tonnes of steel and 115,000 cubic meters of concrete. The towers reach 156 meters above the mean water level. From here, you will head back to the beautiful city of Edinburgh in time to enjoy the city and choose one of the many great restaurants for dinner to top off an amazing day.
What's Included
  • Driver guide
  • Transportation
What's Not Included
  • Entrance fees
Cancellation Policy
Cancel up to 1 day in advance for a full refund
Meeting Point

Please arrive 15 minutes before the tour departure time to check-in. The bus tours depart from outside Café Nero next door to St. Giles Cathedral, (Royal Mile, EH1 1RE) at their scheduled time. (Open in Google Maps)

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Product ID: 72698