The Kelpies, the Falkirk Wheel, and the tourism-based regeneration of Scottish canals

Andrew McKean, John Harris*, John Lennon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
887 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the transformation of the Scottish Canals network for the purposes of leisure visitation as an element of tourism. It focuses on 2 iconic developments, The Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel, which are considered in relation to their impact on destination awareness and tourism development in a particular locale. The key attraction sites illustrate successful brownfield regeneration, enduring visitation and the role of canals as multifaceted tourism assets in a specific region of Scotland. In addition, the paper provides a context for the decline and resurgence of canals in lowland Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736–745
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number6
Early online date25 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Falkirk Wheel
  • Scottish Canals
  • tourism development
  • The Kelpies
  • destination awareness
  • visitor attraction development
  • Scottish tourism
  • water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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