Cycling Travel Article [The Kelpies]

IMG_20150903_143148Article – The Kelpies

The world’s largest equine sculptures – The fresh breeze in the air cooled me down, as I cycled under the by-pass, and when I emerged from the other side, I got my first glimpse of the kelpies in the distance. I could smell the salt in the air, which was reminiscent of arriving at the sea side as a child. As I neared my destination, the breeze changed to a head-on whirl, coming off the sea lock.

Excitedly, I changed gear, as I struggled against the wind, until I reached the first sign post, which read – ‘you are now in the Kelpie Hub!’ I could feel the chill coming off the water as I trundled over the wooden arched bridge. Impressed by the awesome site in front of me, I eagerly parked my bike up.

First I ventured round those magnificent metallic horses heads, encircled by their own moats. Seeing coins glistening in the water, I smiled, and dropped a penny in – ‘plonk.’ I made a wish on an ever decreasing circle, as my coin sank to the bottom…

Next I wandered round the landscape gardens, mostly low maintenance ferns and young birch, floored with bark chips. Very pleasing to the eye, especially with the marvellous art work in the background. Written in stone, the words – ‘Stretch up your long necks to face the sun,’ – and – ‘Bow down your strong heads to taste the water.’ I felt emotionally inspired.

 The Kelpies Tour – The kelpies are the brain child of [artist] Andrew Scott, who takes you on a historic journey involving the local history, history of the canals and the story of the working horses of the area. The best way to enable visitors to explore the complex and internal structure of the Kelpies is to experience a 45-minute guided walking tour.

Ticket Prices:

  • Adult [16+yrs] – £6.95
  • Child [under 5] – Free
  • Child [Aged 5-15] – £4.00
  • Concessions – £6.00
  • Family [2 Adults, 2 Children] – £21.00

Tour Booking – Tickets are sold on the day from the Visitor Centre at The Helix. Alternatively, pre-book your tickets online at http://www.thehelix.co.uk, or contact The visitor centre on 01324 590600 for further information. The visitor centre is now open 10:00am to 5:00pm, 7 days a week. Tours run every 30 minutes from 10:30am to 4:30pm [except noon] – Address: The Helix, Falkirk. FK2 7ZT.

 How to Get There:

  • By Car if you are driving on the M9 [sign posted] close to Grangemouth and Falkirk, you can see the Kelpies from the motorway.
  • By Train from Edinburgh to Falkirk Grahamston [45 minutes] – from Glasgow Queen Street to Falkirk Grahamston [50 minutes] – from Stirling to Falkirk Grahamston [25 minutes].
  • By Bicycle from Falkirk Grahamston to the Helix [10 minutes] turn left onto Grahams road and follow [0.3 miles] – turn right onto Bankside, go through 1 roundabout and follow [0.6 miles] – slight right at Abbots road then slight left [0.4 miles] – turn right onto A9 [0.2 miles] – at the roundabout take the 1st exit, destination will be on the right.

Where to Eat:

  • The Plaza Café [The Helix] is open seven days from March to October 10:00am-5:00pm, and serves a selection of sandwiches, snacks, hot and cold drinks, and ice cream for warmer days.
  • Jambo Grill and Restaurant. Address: 142 Grahams Road, First Floor, Falkirk FK2 7BZ. Contact the restaurant on 01324 612493 or visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk.

Where to Stay:

  • The Premier Inn, Average price from £35.00. Address: Main Street, Camelon, Falkirk FK1 4DS. Contact the hotel on 0871 527 8388 for further information.
  • The Graham Hotel, Average price from £25.00. Address: 40 Grahams Road, Falkirk, FK1 1HR. Contact the hotel on 01324 628576 for further information.

 Find Out More:

  • Falkirk: Through Time by [author] Jack Gillon. Using old images juxtaposed with modern photography, author Jack Gillon explores how the town has changed and developed over the years. Amberley Publishing 2015, RRP £14.99.
  • The Life and Times of Falkirk by [author] Ian Scott. [No Review]. Ian Scott was until 1995 the Assistant Principal at Falkirk College where he taught history for a number of years. Edinburgh John Donald 1994, RRP £11.85.
  • Falkirk: A History and Celebration [author] David Elliot. Featuring the stories and events that make up the town’s fascinating history, learn about the personalities, past and present. The Francis Frith Collection 2012, RRP £18.00.

Prices can vary, for further information visit http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Falkirk

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