Being huge equestrian enthusiasts we decided our Scottish road trip wouldn’t be complete without a slight de-tour on the way home via Falkirk to visit the magnificent Kelpies. They are 30 metre high horse head sculptures standing next to the Forth and Clyde canal.
Our Scottish trip did not coincide with Scottish half term which meant it was quiet when we visited and we were joined by a scattering of foreign visitors admiring the extraordinary sculptures. We parked in the car park nearest the road and walked down though the ponds and woods to reach the Kelpies. This area is rich with wildlife and we saw woodpeckers, ducks, swans and squirrels.
A little history
“The Kelpies name reflected the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 100 horses; a quality that is analogous with the transformational change of our landscapes, endurance of our inland waterways and the strength of our communities. ” – a beautiful explanation, taken from The Helix website, of the inspiration behind the complex architecture. The creator of this masterpiece, Andy Scott, had a vision for The Kelpies that followed the subject of the heavy horse industry that so dominated the area at one time. Andy has, without question, managed to create a beautiful piece of art, that emulates the strength, power and grace possessed by these work horses.
The site itself was clean and had a really modern feel. The children were in awe of the Kelpies, they are enormous and so full of character. I imagine they are even more mesmerising when lit up at night.
There was also a lovely ice cream stand with many delicious flavours, a visitor centre where you could find out exactly what went into creating these huge sculptures and also a large and very well equipped children’s playground. Petrol head A and Princess D virtually had the play area to themselves which was, apparently, very exciting.
A highly recommended part of your Scottish travels. While you are in the area, consider stopping off at the Glasgow Food Market.
Useful Info –
Tours Nov-Mar 10am-2pm, Wed-Fri, weekends 10am-3pm.
You can also visit the Kelpies without taking part in a tour
COST: Admission free. Tours £4.95 adults, £3 children, concessions available.