You may not realize it, but you’ve heard of the Kelpies, probably without realizing it. Or at least one of them. The Loch Ness monster is the world’s most famous Kelpie. But there are two others which are rapidly gaining recognition. More than once I drove west from Edinburgh to Stirling and saw the massive statues off the highway. These 30-meter tall steel Clydesdale horses happen to be the largest equestrian sculptures in the world, and are one of Scotland’s most interesting attractions.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to Travel Massive‘s “Edinburgh Goes Exploring” Event on May 12th, 2016. We all met at Haggis Adventures on the Royal Mile, and then were bused out to the Helix Park where we were treated to a delicious buffet, followed by a full briefing about the Helix by the Team Leader. We then had our wonderful tour guide (nicknamed Santa) bring us all around the grounds, tell us about the Kelpies themselves and then took us into the exclusive tour within the sculptures.
I don’t want to spoil them for you, but that would be hard since they really can’t be fully appreciated without a personal visit. Andy Scott is the architect of these and many more sculptures around Scotland. Originally conceived of in 2006, the Helix Project receives a £25 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund for the sculptures. Construction began early 2013 and by the end of the year they were open to the public. 45-minute tours run daily from 10 am to 5 pm for £7. Tickets can be purchased at the park, or online here to avoid sold-out times, especially in the summer. After all, the park was originally designed to see 300,000 visitors, yet in 2015 over 1 million made their way to these wonderful works of art.
As to the mythology behind the Kelpies, well, like I said, I’m not going to spoil the tour. You’ll just have to go find out for yourself.