Kelpies call

By | Category: Travel news
The Kelpies

The Kelpies

It’s only a few days until The Kelpies is officially opened. What is it? The Kelpies is an art installation in Falkirk that will may well become one of the largest tourist attractions in Scotland.

Kelpies are water horses of Celtic folklore, which when transformed into beautiful women, lured men into traps. What would happen is that men would ride he horses but as they galloped they would become stuck to these water horses and be dragged into the depths of rivers and – in the case of Scottish mythology – lochs and be drowned.

Now two, 100 feet tall statues which are to be found just off the A9 are just about ready to be opened to the public. At that height they will be as visible as the Angel of the North and local tourist officials are hoping that about 350,000 people a year will visit them.

I can’t remember for how long, I have been receiving press releases about the planning, the site excavation and the construction of these future Falkirk icons conceived from the imagination of artist, Andy Scott. And now, on the 17th and 18th if you can get to Falkirk in the evening there will be lighting tests and a pyrotechnic launch before us ordinary mortals can view them on the 20th. But be aware, some tickets for set times have already sold outas have parking tickets as well.

The kelpies are part of a larger tourism project called Helix which is centred on the Falkirk and Grangemouth areas and will consist of a regeneration project on the old West Mains Industrial Estate. Here there will be open spaces, wildlife areas, a lagoon with a shingle beach and over twenty miles of cycling, walking, running, skating or riding opportunities.

But why the mythological kelpies? This area of Scotland used to be an industrial powerhouse and horsepower is what drives industry so the kelpies are nods to Scotland’s industrial heritage as well as mythology.  And nearby is the Falkirk Wheel, the modern major engineering attraction which allows boats to connect between two canals.

It may not be long before Falkirk is considered a tourist attraction rather than an industrial town.

 

To see more images of The Kelpies, click here.

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