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The local area guide to living in Falkirk

Falkirk is a Scottish town located in between Glasgow and Edinburgh in the Central Lowlands. In the centre of town, there is a high clock tower called the Steeple, which was built in 1814, replacing an earlier version from the 17th century. It is 43 metres high and was once damaged by lightning in 1927. It also had a prison cell right up until 1984. The Falkirk Old Parish Church has been a fixture of Falkirk from as early as the 7th century, and it is said that the town was named directly after it. The church was rebuilt during the 19th century and is now categorised as an A listed building.

Another famed landmark is Callendar House, which was created in the 14th century. The mansion is situated in Callendar Park and has played host to such historical figures as Mary Queen of Scots, Oliver Cromwell and Queen Victoria. The Antonine Wall can be found here, which stretches for around 60 km along the Central Belt of Scotland.

The Falkirk Wheel is another attraction, being the world's one and only rotating boat lift that transports boats 35 metres between the different levels of canals. The Forth & Clyde and Union canals are a great place to try out narrowboat cruising, and attract many enthusiasts each year.

Information about the local residents

There are roughly 150,000 inhabitants in the Falkirk council area, a quarter of which reside in the town itself. The population is predominantly homogeneous, with only 1,500 hailing from abroad. Roughly 40% of the town are aged from 30-59 and 17% are in the 16-29 category, making it a reasonably young settlement.

The unemployment rate in Falkirk is considerably low at 4% and a large portion of the townsfolk work in manufacturing and in the public sector. There are also a range of petrochemical companies that employ residents, and the publishing industry has a considerable presence in the town, dating back to 1846 with the Johnston Press.

Nearby schools

There are a few different schools in and around Falkirk, such as Falkirk High School, which offers secondary education and is only 1.6 km away from the centre of town. There are currently 1,042 pupils enrolled at the school, and student achievement figures are on par with the national average. Roughly 55% of school leavers here gain five or more SQA accredited awards at SCQF level five or better.

For younger children, Comely Park Primary School is a well-respected school for students aged 5-11, and has been around since 1879. There are currently 407 pupils in attendance at the school. In terms of student performance, 90% of pupils have been recorded as performing well or very well in reading at the P7 level, while 66% of pupils have been recorded as performing well or very well in numeracy at the same level.

Getting around

Falkirk is only 37.5 km away from Edinburgh and 33 km away from Glasgow. The M9 and M896 allow for travel to both cities, and there are also direct railway routes and bus routes as an alternative. For those who wish to make the journey down to London, there are regular trains that head to Euston or King's Cross that take approximately 6 hours.

Local shops

There are a number of independent stores located in and around Falkirk to tailor to most needs, while the Howgate Shopping Centre is home to many recognisable shops such as Debenhams, Argos and Marks & Spencer. There is another shopping centre located in Callendar Square, with shops such as BHS, Iceland and Marie Brown.

You can find a nice selection of pubs and bars near the canal, which makes for a very quaint setting to have a drink or two. The Courtyard is a very reputable pub that serves great food and ales, and The Goose at Newmarket is another nice venue to unwind and enjoy the locally sourced food. For Italian food lovers, head on over to Amodo Mio, an award winning restaurant that prides itself on its fresh pastas, fish and pizza.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.