The Kelpies (and The Helix)

Akinwalere Olaleye
Feb 14, 2024 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Oct 07, 2021
The large silver horse head figures of The Kelpies (and The Helix).
Age: 0+
Read time: 4.3 Min

  • Visit The Kelpies, to learn more about Scottish folklore, heritage and art, as well as connecting with nature.
  • Check out the nature and parkland surrounding the Kelpies to get the full Kelpie experience and wander at the heritage of these heavy steel horses.
  • Don't miss out on the play areas and splash play for the best experience at the Kelpies.

The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, are these colossal stainless steel Horse Head Sculptures that tower 30 metres above the Forth and Clyde Canal, form a dramatic gateway to the canal entrance on the East Coast of Scotland. These equine sculptures were created masterfully by Andy Scott, Scotland's leading sculptor. The Kelpies are a symbolic monument to horse powered heritage that exists across Central Scotland, not far from Edinburgh and Glasgow, easily accessible.

In a monumental feat of engineering, the equine sculptures known as The Kelpies were constructed from the ground up in just a quick 90 days, in late 2013. The Kelpies are located in the epicentre of Helix Park, the 350 hectares of stunning recreational green land complete with Visitor Centre which includes a gift shop, cafe and exhibition space, plus adventure play park, splash play fountains for the kids, and lagoon and miles of cycle paths for nature lovers looking to connect with nature in Scotland.  For more great Scotland days out, check out Blackness Castle, a 15th-century fortress, near the village of Blackness, with a rich history as as a garrison fortress and state prison.

Beginning life as an eco-park in 2003, nowadays The Helix connects 16 local communities through the immense path networks that extend 26km. Around 18,000 individual pieces are contained within each structure, plus there is over 1.5 miles of stainless steel in each of the Kelpie structures. Each of the horses weighs over 300 tonnes and they sit on 1,200 tonne foundations, each stainless steel structure having 464 steel plates. The impressive engineering is a testament to the area's history industry past, as well as the sheer strength of the material used to manufacture these superb structures.

Your little ones will love getting up close and personal with the world's largest equine sculptures as they marvel at this Scottish landmark, it's especially fun to visit The Kelpies at night. Why not book a Kelpies Experience Tour? From inside the stainless steel horses you can experience this amazing design work on a 30 minute guided tour.

When you're feeling adventurous, make your way down to the Lagoon in Helix Park, Falkirk, where your kids will be delighted to find the amazing Adventure Zone play park. There is great play equipment for kids age 2 and up, plus the little ones will have a blast of a time in the stunning timber play park. Plus, what's great about the adventure play area is that it has accessible play covered to suit all abilities. Home to a sensory area that is complete with flat rubber mat flooring, wind chimes, ball tumbles, as well as a wheelchair friendly roundabout and see saw, so everyone can get involved in the fun! Along with all this at the Kelpies is the the splash play area that is by the Adventure Zone and this offers a blast of a time for kids of all ages to run through and have a splash.

Get active or just enjoy the fresh Scottish air at the Helix: home of the Kelpies, and discover what the local area has to offer. Check out The Helix path network which offers you and your family a gorgeous backdrop for a range of activities like walking trails, running and even cycling. You'll find that there are two different National Cycle Routes connected to the site, which will take you around the surrounding areas of Scottish countryside.

For more Falkirk days out, check out Callendar House and Park, mansion set within the grounds of Callendar Park, offering the family a working Georgian kitchen with an interactive experience, an afternoon tea room and fantastic kids play park.

What to know before you go

  • The Kelpies opening times are from 9.30am–5pm.
  • When you're feeling peckish, head to the Plaza Cafe for a selection of light bites, snacks and hot drinks. Plus, the Cafe is dog friendly!
  • There are toilets, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
  • The site is wheelchair and pushchair accessible, although some paths and weather may affect navigability.
  • Plus, two children with every paying adult go free!

Getting there

  • If you're travelling by public transport to the Kelpies, you can reach it via 2 main train stations in Falkirk near to the Helix, which are Falkirk High and Falkirk Grahamston, along with other stations nearby.
  • If you're travelling via car to the Kelpies, follow the brown tourist signs, and take the Junction 5 exit from the M9 if travelling from Edinburgh, or the M80 then M9 from Glasgow.
  • The Kelpies and the Helix Car Park is small with 78 space car park. Parking is free although there is a charge of £5 for overnight parking from March to October. Both car parks fill up early in the morning during nice weather and holidays, so to avoid long delays we recommend you park at Falkirk Stadium and enjoy the walk through The Helix to The Kelpies. There is parking for visitors with disabilities outside the entrance to the Kelpies Visitor Centre.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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