Those new to cycling or looking to get back into the activity can hire Forth Bike’s e-bikes which are stationed throughout the area with an easy-to-use app. Thrill-seekers can explore mountain biking and heritage trails through stunning Scottish scenery while our family-friendly routes are a fun way to discover the Falkirk area’s unique attractions. And Cycling Without Age Scotland’s accessible trishaw rides, operated and pedalled by local volunteers on traffic-free paths, are ideal for individuals with mobility issues who want to see the sights.
(Forth Bike e-bike station at Callendar Park)
Don’t just take our word for it; having cycled around the world, Markus Stitz and Guinness World Record holder Mark Beaumont explored Falkirk and three other Scottish council areas in their latest documentary, ‘Explore Your Boundaries’. Discussing their adventure, Mark Beaumont said: “Out of all the council boundary routes that we have created and explored so far, Falkirk is the one that has surprised me the most. The iconic landmarks like the Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel are well known, but it is the places in between that threw up some challenging and varied riding, which is what all adventures should be about – not knowing what is around the corner!”
Falkirk delivered a jam-packed summer campaign to promote the exciting range of cycling activities in the Falkirk area and the many places to visit and stay in the region.
The campaign was taken forward by creating a series of blogs centred around summer cycling activities in the Falkirk area as well as promoting cycling on our own Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. The Council also worked with journalists, bloggers and content creators across the UK, arranging trips tailored to their interests and cycling abilities.
Generating media traction
Our digital campaign on Visit Falkirk’s social media accounts reached over 3 million people and resulted in over 4 million impressions. As a result, more than half a million people engaged with our social media content and over 17,000 more people visited our website, curious to learn more about cycling around the Falkirk area.
Alongside our digital campaign, we invited influencers and journalists to document their cycling adventures in the Falkirk area as well as their visits to our must-see attractions. From blogs and newspaper articles to social media content on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok, our special guests did a fantastic job of celebrating Falkirk and encouraging their followers to visit.
Kathy from Watch Me See, a travel itinerary planning service, commented: “I have a client this week who I'm planning an itinerary for and they've specifically asked to stay in Falkirk after seeing my content about it. I can't wait to help them make that a reality!”
Bloggers, The Bimblers, praised Cycling Without Age Scotland’s accessible cycling options which we promoted throughout the campaign: “The trishaw meant that Bridget and I could have the same experience as we were sitting side by side for the first time on our travels. This was an unexpected benefit of the trishaw, one I hadn’t considered.”
Pedalling to local success
Within a few months, the positive impact of our campaign on the local area already began to emerge.
Christine Bell, Chief Executive Officer of Cycling Without Age Scotland, said: “As well as almost 14% more Trishaw and Wheelchair Transporter rides than we would have expected Cycling Without Age Scotland to provide in the Falkirk area this summer, there has been a substantial and really noticeable increase in enquiries about accessing rides. Judging by comments from the charity’s volunteers who receive the enquiries and deliver the rides, it’s the focus on accessibility in Falkirk Council’s “Visit Falkirk” cycling campaign that’s encouraged such enthusiastic interest. So many more people are now aware, not only of all the amazing visitor attractions that the area has to offer, but of the accessibility that is now possible through Cycling Without Age Scotland and the Council working together in this pioneering way.”
Cycling organisations weren’t the only ones to benefit from the campaign. Many local businesses are enjoying the increase in cyclists in the Falkirk area and the opportunities that they bring.
Sheena, owner of The Lobster Pot in Blackness commented on the influx of cycling groups at the restaurant, with a team of 16 arriving on one occasion. Sheena said: “I am always impressed by the advanced age of a large number of the people involved, some must be in their eighties. They are always a good natured lot and easy and pleasant to serve, and seem to derive great enjoyment from their sporting day out. So all in all, I think it has been a great success and a benefit to all. I hope this continues into the future.”
(The Lobster Pot, Blackness)
On track for the future
Our campaign has been important in shaping the future of the Falkirk area and the local community. Councillor Paul Garner, spokesperson for Economic Development said: “We always knew the campaign would be a success because the area has so much to offer visitors who love to cycle. The success of the 14-week marketing activity also highlights a growing number of people who want to travel in sustainable and responsible ways, even on holiday. Continuing to invest in our infrastructure to make it easier for people to choose greener ways to travel will not only benefit local communities but also attract more visitors to the area and help us reach our net-zero target.”
And with less than twelve months until the world’s biggest cycling event – the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships – in nearby Glasgow, Visit Falkirk’s cycling campaign marks a pivotal point for cycling in the central belt of Scotland. Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “The campaign has helped establish the Falkirk Council area as one of Scotland’s top cycling destinations, providing people of all ages and abilities with an opportunity to explore extensive cycle networks that take in vast greenspaces, bustling towns and iconic tourist attractions. With our profile now raised and our reputation cemented as a brilliant place to visit and explore on bike, the Falkirk area is perfectly positioned to benefit from the UCI Cycling World Championships that take place just a short journey away in Glasgow next year.”
By putting the Falkirk area on the international cycling map and spreading cycling fever ahead of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, we hope to welcome even more cyclists looking for unforgettable rides in Falkirk.
Click here to find out more about cycling in the Falkirk area, and check out the ready-made cycling itineraries.
We would like to thank Pagoda PR, Vass Media, Write Marketing, and Rod Natkiel at Cycling Without Age Scotland for their invaluable support in developing our cycling campaign.