Ike visits the Kelpies

With lockdown being eased in Scotland, Ike and GC fan Jane ventured out of South Lanarkshire to visit the Kelpies, the Falkirk Wheel and the Antonine Wall. After the short train journey to Falkirk, Ike and Jane cycled to the Kelpies. Although it was late April it was very chill, but it was not raining, fortunately.

The last time Jane had cycled to the Kelpies she had taken the cycle path and got completely lost so this time Ike and Jane travelled by road. The roads were very quiet as it was early on Saturday morning, but on arrival at the Kelpies they were both surprised how busy it was. Ike and Jane stopped to look at a wicker unicorn, which is the national animal of Scotland. They walked around the area taking photographs and stopped for a warming cup of tea.

The Kelpies are located in Helix Park and are the largest equine sculptures in the world. They were originally planned as a visitor attraction for the people of Falkirk, but they attract an estimated 50 million visitors from all over Scotland and the wider world in any usual year. They were designed by sculptor Andy Scott and completed in October 2013. They are a monument to the horse-powered heritage of Scotland. They are 30 metres high and weigh 300 tonnes each. There are also two sets of marquettes at a scale of 1:10 which have been displayed locally and nationally.

The marquette figures in the foreground, the full size sculptures to the rear

The name “Kelpies” refers to mythical horse-shaped spirits who inhabit Scottish lochs, however the artist intended the sculptures to honour the heavy horses who used to work the canals.

After spending a while looking around, Ike and Jane headed along the canal path to the Falkirk Wheel. The sun had started to shine, but it was still cold. The canal path runs alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal and is a pleasant way to travel between the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel. On the way Ike and Jane passed three iron statues of famous men from the area – Dr Harold Lyon, Reginald Adams MBE, and Robert Barr. Dr Lyon was a consultant at Falkirk Royal Infirmary and a pioneer of palliative care. Reginald Adams was a qualified swimming official who devoted 50 years to the sport, and Robert Barr was a member of the famous Barr soft drinks family which makes Scotland’s other national drink, Irn Bru.

Ike’s adventure continues soon with some fabulous shots of the Falkirk Wheel. Be sure to check back soon!

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