This is undoubtedly one of the most well-known structures in Scotland. The Kelpies attract visitors from all over the world. Standing between Falkirk and Grangemouth, this horse head sculpture is a monumental feat. Located in the Helix, it marks the connecting of different communities in Falkirk.
This equine structure has brought together people from all over the world. The story of the Kelpies is spread far and wide with each visitor. What is more, they are modeled after real-life Clydesdale horses. They stand to represent the Scottish industry, rife with its heavy horse lineage. Their role in the industry and economy shaped the geography of Falkirk today.
The Story of The Kelpies
The Kelpies come from mythological belief in these equine creatures’ ability. They are believed to possess the power and strength of a hundred horses. The structure is intended to reflect landscape transformation and community endurance. They are based on the old working horses of the waterways of Scotland. Yet they are entrenched in myth and legend.
In Scottish legend, Kelpies are mythical water horses. Along with possessing great strength, they have shape-changing abilities. This mythical belief is reflected in what this sculpture stands for today.
Explore the Helix
The Helix today stands as a connection between 16 communities. The eco-park idea started as part of the Falkirk Greenscape Initiative. Housing the Kelpies, the 27km network attracts millions of visitors each year.
The park itself is open to visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may have to follow schedules according to available parking. The Helix car park is open and available any time, all days of the week . However the Kelpies car park follows a schedule you should be aware of. It remains open from 8am-10 pm, though these timings are subject to change. Some charges for parking may also apply.
The Helix Park and the area around the Kelpies is free to visit any time. However, the only way to visit inside a Kelpie is through a tour. The tours give a great display of the architectural genius of these structures. Advanced booking is neither required nor available.
A ticket for an adult costs £5, with two children. Slightly different rates are available for group tours.
Eating at the Helix
You are offered every kind of amusement and relaxation you could want. The Helix offers various activities and sights to see suitable for all. Along with those, you have some excellent options for enjoying a meal.
The Plaza cafe
Overlooking the Lagoon sits the Plaza Café. A tour of the park as you head towards the Kelpies will take you straight to the café for a bite. It sits in the heart of the Helix, ready to offer you refreshments for the perfect day. Everything from cold and hot drinks, is available, and you can grab a light snack to munch on. Its operating hours extend from 10am-4pm.
The Visitor Centre cafe
The Visitor Centre at the Helix itself is open all week from 10 am – 4.30 pm. The Café offers a separate entrance for take-away and one for a sit-in meal. Given the current situation of the pandemic, you may be offered a limited menu. The café can afford you a relaxing time with great views of the Kelpies.
All food at the café is handmade and largely locally sourced. The café also boasts a minimal carbon footprint and healthy ingredients for foods. The Visitor Centre cafe is a great place to rest and refresh. You can also visit the gift shop for some fantastic memorabilia.
The Horsebox Cafe & Gift Shop
The Horsebox Café is located close to the Kelpies and offers a cool refreshment. While you can enjoy a variety of foods and snacks here, it is most well-known for its ice cream. Enjoying a view of the Kelpies with a soft serve can brighten up the experience.
The cafe serves artisan ice cream with the same touch as its range of hot drinks and homemade snacks. Locally sourced food is available, with compostable packaging. Along with food, the gift shop here features plenty of collection items. The Canals receive all proceeds from the cafe and gift shop as reinvestment.
While the Kelpies offer an amazing adventure, there’s a lot more you can do in the vicinity. There are plenty of other destinations you can visit while you’re at the Helix.
The Callendar House offers amazing strolls, great food and some tea and cakes. With free entry, you can visit this historic house and explore the exhibitions. This mansion boasts Scottish baronial architecture with a French Renaissance style. The Georgian Kitchen and the gift shop are both well worth a visit.
The first of its kind, the Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift in the world. The Forth and Clyde Canal are connected to the Union Canal through the Wheel. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Scotland and an amazing experience. It is located only a short walk from the Kelpies.
You can enjoy boat trips here, as well as play a round of mini golf. Paddleboarding, archery and waterzombing are a few of the other activities to enjoy. The Visitor Centre and Gift Shop offer more information and cool memorabilia.
Of great historical and architectural importance, Stirling Castle is a must-visit. Housing generations of Scottish monarchs over the centuries, it has much to offer. The Royal Palace, home to Mary, Queen of Scots, is open for tours. Its three main enclosures draw on a European Renaissance style. Costumed characters imitate life as it were in the royal Stewart Court.
The Chapel Royal and Argyll and Sutherland Highlander Regimental Museum are also open . The castle affords amazing views of the Royal Park. The vast grounds offer relaxing walks overlooking the southern Highlands. The Stirling Heads Gallery features some stunning art that you can enjoy.
How To Get to The Kelpies
The Kelpies are an amazing visitor spot, with plenty to see and enjoy. But the fun doesn’t have to start or end there. You can make your visit more memorable by arriving in style. A luxury chauffeur service can help make your trip more relaxing and enjoyable. A luxury chauffeured vehicle can make all the difference between a good trip and a great one. You can get in touch and start the process here.