Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Falkirk Kelpies

En route to the TGO Challengers reunion in Crianlarich, Sue and I chose to visit the impressive sculptures of two Celtic Water Horses that guard the Forth and Clyde Canal.

The 30 metre high steel plated sculptures are intended to resemble mythical Celtic water horses called Kelpies.

According to the guide book the imaginary creatures are rumoured to have once frequented Scotland's lochs and rivers. They may also be a reminder of the era of canal towpath working horses. Or they could be the reincarnation of reputedly the world's largest horse - a 1930's Clydesdale which delivered wagon loads of Irn-Bru around the streets of Falkirk. 

The twin hollow heads each comprise 500 separate squares of steel plate. They create two semi-translucent skins which tower either side of a new lock, providing a dramatic gateway into the Forth and Clyde from the River Carron.

The area, which is home to a football stadium and many other leisure facilities, is a 6 km stroll from the more established Falkirk Wheel, the world's first rotating boat lift.

These two iconic structures, the Boat Lift and the Kelpies,  provide a good reason to break one's journey north. We just enjoyed a flying visit, but you could spend a fruitful day here.

5 comments:

AlanR said...

They are stunning at night too.

afootinthehills said...

Glad you enjoyed them Martin. Enjoy the reunion.

Sir Hugh said...

The horses look magnificent, and If I'm in that area again I would certainly divert to have a look.

I walked many miles, east to west on the Union Canal on my LEJOG walk and never saw a pleasure boat, then arrived at the Falkirk Wheel which lifts boats up into that canal. Whilst the wheel is a great piece of engineering and an interesting thing to see I wondered how much practical use it gets in relation to what must have been vast expense in its construction.

afootinthehills said...

Many canal boats now use the Falkirk Wheel Conrad but more importantly perhaps the Wheel and The Kelpies are part of The Helix, a programme which is regenerating around 300 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth. Google 'The Helix'

The Kelpies are only a 20 mile drive away from us so one winter's night we will pop over to see them lit up.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks everyone - a nighttime visit looks like a good idea - a night hike from the wheel and back?