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Scotland is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and captivating landmarks. One such iconic attraction that draws visitors from all over the world is the Kelpies. A day trip to Kelpies offers a unique opportunity to witness the majestic sculptures, immerse in Scottish folklore, and explore the surrounding picturesque countryside. In this article, we will delve into the wonders of the Kelpies, provide useful information for planning your day trip, and uncover the secrets of these mythical creatures.

The Mystique of the Kelpies

Unveiling the Legends

Legend has it that the kelpie are supernatural creatures that dwell in the lochs and rivers of Scotland. These magnificent creatures are said to possess the strength and beauty of ten horses combined, making them both awe-inspiring and fearsome. Their ability to shape-shift into horses enables them to lure unsuspecting travelers into the depths of the water, where they would be forever trapped.

The Sculptures Come to Life

In a remarkable fusion of artistry and engineering, the Kelpies were brought to life through the vision of renowned Scottish sculptor Andy Scott. Standing at an astounding 30 meters tall, these monumental structures pay homage to the working horses that once powered the nation's industries. Crafted from shimmering stainless steel, the Kelpies are a symbol of Scotland's industrial past and a testament to the enduring spirit of its people.

Planning Your Day Trip

Getting There

To begin your adventure, make your way to Falkirk, a vibrant town located in the heart of Scotland. Falkirk is conveniently located between Edinburgh and Glasgow, making it easily accessible by both car and public transportation. With excellent rail and bus connections, you can reach Falkirk within a short journey from major cities across Scotland.

Exploring the Kelpies

As you arrive at the Helix Park, the sprawling green landscape that houses the kelpie, prepare to be mesmerized by their grandeur. Start your visit at the state-of-the-art Visitor Center, where you can delve into the intriguing stories behind these iconic sculptures through interactive displays and multimedia presentations.

After gaining insights into the Kelpies' history, take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque canal towpaths that lead to the sculptures. As you approach, you'll be greeted by the sheer magnificence of these majestic equine forms. Marvel at the intricate details and the way the sunlight reflects off their steel surfaces, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Engaging Activities

The Helix Park offers an array of activities that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the Kelpies experience. Take a boat tour along the canal to appreciate the sculptures from a unique perspective and gain a deeper understanding of their significance. Alternatively, embark on a guided walking tour that unveils the secrets of Falkirk's industrial heritage...

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For those seeking a more adventurous experience, rent a bike and explore the vast parklands surrounding the Kelpies. Cycle along the scenic paths, breathe in the fresh Scottish air, and revel in the idyllic countryside views. The Helix Park also features well-maintained picnic areas, allowing you to savor a delightful outdoor lunch amidst nature's embrace.

Unveiling the Surrounding Treasures

The Falkirk Wheel: A Marvel of Engineering

While the kelpie are undeniably the main highlight, a visit to Falkirk wouldn't be complete without marveling at the Falkirk Wheel. This incredible feat of engineering is the world's first and only rotating boat lift, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. Witness this engineering marvel in action as boats gracefully ascend and descend between the two canals, seamlessly merging the past and the present.

What are the Kelpies?

The Kelpies are colossal horse-head sculptures that stand as a proud symbol of Scotland's industrial past and mythological folklore. These sculptures, designed by Scottish artist Andy Scott, depict kelpies, which are mythological water spirits that take the form of horses. Crafted from steel and standing at a remarkable 30 meters tall, the Kelpies have become an iconic attraction, captivating visitors from all around the world.

History and Significance of the Kelpies

The Kelpies pay homage to the rich history and heritage of Scotland, specifically its industrial and equine traditions. Scotland has a deep connection with horses, which were instrumental in powering the country's industries such as agriculture, mining, and transportation. The sculptures represent the spirit of these working horses and the legends of the kelpies that were believed to inhabit the lochs and rivers of Scotland.

How to Get to the Kelpies

Getting to the Kelpies is a breeze, thanks to its convenient location. Whether you're arriving by car, train, or bus, Falkirk is well-connected and easily accessible from major cities in Scotland.

By Car

If you prefer the freedom of driving, you can reach the Kelpies by car via the M9 motorway. There are ample parking spaces available, and you'll find clear signposting to guide you to the visitor center.

By Train

For those relying on public transportation, the train is a great option. Falkirk has two train stations: Falkirk High and Falkirk Grahamston. Both stations offer regular services from Glasgow and Edinburgh. From the train station, you can take a short taxi ride or a leisurely walk to the Kelpies.

By Bus

Another convenient option is to take a bus to Falkirk. Several bus companies operate routes to Falkirk from various cities in Scotland. Upon reaching the bus station, you can either take a taxi or enjoy a pleasant walk to the Kelpies.

Best Time to Visit the Kelpies

The Kelpies are a year-round attraction, and each season brings its own charm. However, the best time to visit depends on your personal preferences and the experience you're seeking

Spring (March to May)

Spring offers pleasant temperatures and blooming landscapes, providing a picturesque backdrop for your visit. You can enjoy the Kelpies surrounded by vibrant colors and fresh air.

Summer (June to August)

During summer, the days are longer, and the weather is generally warmer. This is an ideal time to visit if you want to explore the Kelpies and enjoy outdoor activities to the fullest.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn casts a magical spell on the surroundings, as the foliage takes on breathtaking hues of orange, red, and gold. The Kelpies, framed by the colorful scenery, make for a truly enchanting sight.

Winter (December to February)

While the temperatures may be colder, winter has its own allure. The Kelpies illuminated against the crisp winter sky create a captivating and ethereal atmosphere, perfect for photography enthusiasts.

Exploring the Kelpies: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Visitor Center

  • Start your journey at the Kelpies Visitor Center, where you'll find a wealth of information about the sculptures and their significance.
  • Explore the exhibition space to learn about the construction process and the mythical tales associated with the Kelpies.

2. Guided Tour

  • Join a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the Kelpies' history, architecture, and folklore.
  • Knowledgeable guides will accompany you and provide fascinating anecdotes and stories along the way.

3. Up-close Encounter

  • Walk along the designated pathways to approach the Kelpies and witness their sheer size and intricate details up close.
  • Take your time to appreciate the craftsmanship and the symbolism behind these magnificent sculptures.

4. Photo Opportunities

  • Don't forget to capture the magic of the Kelpies with your camera. Numerous vantage points and scenic spots offer excellent photo opportunities.
  • Experiment with different angles and perspectives to immortalize your visit.

5. Boat Ride

  • Enhance your Kelpies experience by taking a boat ride on the nearby canal. This allows you to view the sculptures from a unique and mesmerizing perspective.
  • Enjoy a leisurely cruise and take in the surrounding beauty while gliding through the water.

6. Souvenir Shop

  • Before concluding your visit, make sure to browse the souvenir shop at the visitor center.
  • Here, you can find an array of Kelpies-themed merchandise, including books, artworks, and keepsakes to commemorate your trip.

Things to Do Near the Kelpies

1. The Falkirk Wheel

  • Just a short distance from the Kelpies, you'll find the Falkirk Wheel, an engineering marvel that connects two canals.
  • Take a boat trip on the wheel and marvel at its unique design, which uses s only the power of water to operate.

2. Callendar House

  • Explore Callendar House, a stunning historical mansion with beautifully landscaped gardens.
  • Discover the rich heritage of the area through interactive exhibitions, art displays, and captivating stories.

3. The Helix Park

  • Adjacent to the Kelpies, the Helix Park offers vast green spaces and tranquil walking trails.
  • Enjoy a picnic, go for a jog, or simply soak in the serene ambiance of this picturesque park.

4. The Antonine Wall

  • History enthusiasts will delight in a visit to the Antonine Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Explore the remains of this ancient Roman fortification and learn about its historical significance.

Where to Eat Near the Kelpies

1. The Kelpies Cafe

  • Located within the visitor center, The Kelpies Cafe is a perfect spot for a quick bite or a relaxing meal.
  • Indulge in a selection of freshly prepared dishes, including Scottish specialties, and savor the delightful flavors.

2. The Wheelhouse

  • Situated near the Falkirk Wheel, The Wheelhouse offers a charming dining experience.
  • Feast on delicious cuisine while enjoying panoramic views of the wheel and the surrounding landscape.

3. The Boat House

  • Overlooking the canal, The Boat House is a popular restaurant offering a diverse menu and friendly service.
  • Unwind in the cozy atmosphere and treat yourself to a satisfying meal after your Kelpies adventure.

Accommodation Options in Falkirk

1. Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa

  • Located just a short drive from the Kelpies, the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa is a luxurious retreat.
  • Enjoy elegant rooms, top-notch amenities, and rejuvenating spa treatments during your stay.

2. Premier Inn Falkirk East

  • For a comfortable and affordable option, consider the Premier Inn Falkirk East.
  • The hotel provides cozy rooms, a welcoming atmosphere, and easy access to the Kelpies and other attractions.

3. Carmel Apartments

  • If you prefer self-catering accommodations, Carmel Apartments offer stylish and spacious living spaces.
  • These serviced apartments provide all the comforts of home and are conveniently located in the heart of Falkirk.

Unveiling the Myth

Legend has it that the Kelpies are mythical water spirits that manifest as horses, luring unsuspecting travelers into the depths of rivers and lochs. Their enchanting beauty and undeniable allure have been a subject of fascination for centuries. Today, the Kelpies stand tall and proud as monumental sculptures, captivating visitors with their striking presence.

Unraveling the Sculptures

The Kelpies sculptures, crafted by renowned artist Andy Scott, are colossal representations of horse heads. Standing at an impressive 30 meters in height, these magnificent structures are constructed entirely out of stainless steel. Their intricate details and fluid designs pay homage to the importance of horses in Scottish history, particularly in agriculture and industry.

Planning Your Day Trip

Getting There

If you're planning a day trip to the Kelpies, the nearest major city is Edinburgh, located approximately 30 miles to the southeast. From Edinburgh, you can easily reach the Kelpies by car, bus, or train. Several guided tours are also available, offering a hassle-free way to explore this mesmerizing destination.

Exploring the Kelpies

Upon arrival, you'll find ample parking spaces and a well-designed visitor center that serves as the starting point for your Kelpies adventure. The center provides insightful exhibits, interactive displays, and a gift shop where you can purchase unique souvenirs. Take your time to absorb the intriguing history and significance of these mystical creatures.

Sculpture Tour

Embark on a guided tour to fully appreciate the grandeur and intricacy of the Kelpies sculptures. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through the expansive parkland, sharing captivating stories and anecdotes along the way. As you gaze upon the colossal horse heads, you'll marvel at the artistic genius behind these remarkable creations.

Exploring the Surrounding Area

Falkirk Wheel

No day trip to the Kelpies would be complete without a visit to the Falkirk Wheel. This engineering marvel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, allowing boats to traverse the impressive height difference. Take a boat tour and experience the fascinating workings of this rotating boat lift firsthand.

Callendar House

Nestled in the heart of Falkirk, Callendar House is a historic mansion that offers a glimpse into Scotland's past. Explore the opulent interiors, stroll through the beautiful gardens, and learn about the prominent families who once called this place home. The house also hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year.

The Helix Park

Adjacent to the Kelpies lies the sprawling Helix Park, an outdoor haven brimming with recreational opportunities. Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic pathways, have a picnic amidst the lush greenery, or let your little ones enjoy the a dventure playground. The park also offers cycling trails and water sports activities for the more adventurous visitors.

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FAQs about the Kelpies

What is the significance of the Kelpies?

The Kelpies symbolize the role of horses in Scottish history and folklore. They pay homage to the hardworking horses that played a vital role in agriculture and industry, reflecting Scotland's rich equestrian heritage.

Can you go inside the Kelpies?

While visitors cannot enter the Kelpies themselves, the guided tours allow you to get up close and appreciate the intricate details of these magnificent sculptures.

Are the Kelpies illuminated at night?

Yes, the Kelpies are illuminated with a mesmerizing light display after sunset. This spectacle adds an enchanting touch to the already captivating sculptures.

Can I take photographs at the Kelpies?

Absolutely! Photography is encouraged at the Kelpies. Capture the grandeur of these iconic landmarks and create lasting memories of your visit.

Are there any entry fees for visiting the Kelpies?

No, admission to the Kelpies is completely free. However, there may be charges for certain activities and guided tours.

Are the Kelpies accessible for individuals with disabilities?

Yes, the Kelpies are accessible for individuals with disabilities. The visitor center and surrounding areas are designed to accommodate wheelchair users and offer accessible facilities.



A day trip to the Kelpies promises a truly unforgettable experience. From the awe-inspiring sculptures to the surrounding natural beauty, this Scottish landmark leaves an indelible mark on all who visit. Immerse yourself in the myth and marvel at the sheer brilliance of the Kelpies. Discover the enchantment of Scotland's folklore and witness the harmonious blend of art and history. Plan your day trip to the Kelpies today and embark on an adventure like no other.



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It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

John & Marian

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.