Today we went to The Helix in Falkirk to see the Kelpies. You should too!
This is how you get there
- From Edinburgh – take the M9 towards Stirling, exit at Junction 5 for Falkirk/Grangemouth and take the first roundabout exit; follow the A9 to Etna Road Roundabout, where you will see the entrance to Helix Park
- From Glasgow – take the M80 towards Stirling, exit at Junction 8 for M876 and join M9 , exit at Junction 6 for Falkirk/Grangemouth. Follow the signs to the A9. Turn right at Westfield roundabout to Etna Road roundabout and the entrance to Helix Park.
- From Carlisle and the South – M74, M73, M80, M876,M9, and follow the signs for Falkirk as above.
- From Perth and the North – A9, M9 towards Edinburgh, exit at Junction 6 for Falkirk as above
We went into the first car park we saw and managed to get a space quite easily but it was a cold, grey day and we arrived around 12.30. If it had been sunny or a tad warmer I think we would have been struggling. By the time we left people were queuing for spaces and with kids, dogs and ferrets (yes we saw a ferret on a lead!) running around it didn’t feel like a safe place.
It was a short walk to where the Kelpies were and as we walked we noticed it was an ideal place for bikes, scooters, skates and buggies as the paths were all smooth and wide. A lot of the grounds are newly planted so it is still a little sparse just now but you can see the potential and how great it is going to be in 6 months. The bonus of the freshly sown grass is seeing signs that say “I Want To Be A Lawn so don’t stand on me”
When you see the Kelpies for the first time you just can’t believe your eyes. Yes they really are that amazing. Two 30 metre high steel constructions of the malevolent water-spirits that are reputed to inhabit the lochs and pools of Scotland.
Once you’ve drunk in the vision you then spend the next hour trying to take the most perfect photo of them but of course you can’t but it doesn’t stop you and every other single person around you trying.
There are plans for a visitor centre but in the meantime, next to the immense structures, there are 2 outlets where you can get things like venison burgers, fancy cakes and other refreshments. I think because they have added the word ‘gourmet’ it allows them to charge extortionate prices or maybe I’m just a typical Scot and hate paying over the odds for what ultimately is a
burger from a van. I mean, £2 for a paper cup of hot water with a teabag in it? Mind you, the park is free to get in and there were plenty of people who had come prepared with picnics so next time I will definitely have a flask. And there will be a next time! I’m going to give the plants a chance to grow and then I shall return just so I can take the perfect photograph.
One thing I’d recommend before you go is to have a good look at the website to see the layout of the park and other places you may want to go. The one thing I felt was missing today was leaflets with maps or a big sign showing the walks and cycle paths, which would have been really handy.