Thursday, 26 June 2014

Go Local - The Kelpies, Helix Park, Falkirk

The Kelpies are monuments to the heavy-horse heritage of the industrial central belt of Scotland.  Modelled by master sculptor Andy Scott using two Clydesdale horses as models, they stand on a loch basin of the Clyde and Forth Canal at The Helix, Falkirk.  Each horse head is 30metres high and weighs 300 tonnes.  The plates are made of highly polished stainless steel which means that they reflect whatever light falls on them.  Click on the links to learn more about these sculptures which have only recently been open to the public.

I visited for the first time tonight.  The official car park closes at 8:30pm and a barrier is lowered over the access road at this time so if your not out be 8:30pm then your car is in for the night.  There are alternatives to parking in the official car park but they involve lengthy walks.  I found a parking area on the main A905 road near the bridge over the River Carron and accessed the loch basin via the towpath along the new section of canal that has been cut parallel to the river and which goes under the motorway.  The M9 hems in the site on its eastern side but it also means that passing motorists get an incredible view of the Kelpies. More of an issue is the electricity power supply pylons and cables to the west which, for some photographers, will distract from the clean aesthetics of the sculptures.  Notwithstanding this the sculptures are mighty impressive and from any angle the definition and detail that the artist has captured in the heads is incredible.  The sky was developing nicely when I left home but by sunset the cloud cover was too extensive over to the north-west where the sun sets at this time of the year.  In contrast the clouds moved away after sunset leaving a clear sky.  Being only 12 miles from home, I'll be back.

With The Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift that lifts boats between the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Union Canal, Falkirk now has two of the most iconic canal visitor attractions anywhere in the world.

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