One of the things I enjoy most about being a Scottish Travel Blogger is getting the chance to explore the unexplored. It gives me the chance to delve into a side of cities and towns not usually delved into. Falkirk is one of Scotland’s most historical towns and is best known for two pretty impressive engineering masterpieces, The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel, but if you dig a little deeper you can unearth a whole array of historical battles, inventions, and even a famous drink or two.
Here are 5 ways that you can find out more about Falkirk’s fascinating heritage.
1. Take a stroll around Falkirk’s Town Heritage Trail
Pick up a leaflet from the Steeple on the High Street and take a self-guided tour around the 25 stops of interest in the City Centre. The walk is easy, with regular stops and accessible to all, look out for the blue signs to tell you more about each site. Some of the highlights include-
The Steeple itself marked the centre of town and was the meeting place for locals who congregated to watch all the lovely goings on, like hangings, brandings and floggings. Next to the Steeple is the Cross Well, gifted to the town by the Livingstons of Callendar in 1681 to give the locals clean drinking water. The nickname of the Falkirk “Bairns” is said to have came from the Earl of Callendar who toasted the first cup of water to the “wifes and bairns o’ Fa’kirk”
Barrs Irn Bru
Well, this one was a surprise! Who knew the Scottish go-to hangover cure was made right here in Falkirk? The story of the most famous (non-alcoholic) drink in Scotland began here in 1875. Robert Barr began his aerated water (as soft drinks were called in those days) business in Burnfoot Lane and it quickly gathered pace. Customers could enjoy safe drinks with an added boost – sugar. Horse drawn lorries brought crates of glass bottles to shops in and around Falkirk; the most famous of those horses was named Carnera. Standing at a mighty 6ft 6inches it was said he was the tallest working horse in the world.