Situated between the towns of Falkirk and Grangemouth in Scotland, the Kelpies are an art installation by Andy Scott, an artist of renown famous for his other installations around the UK. This installation is of two “kelpies”.
The myth behind the Falkirk Kelpies
A kelpie is a mythical creature said to be like a seahorse but horse-sized and with the top half of an actual horse. It rides in and under the waves of the Lochs in Scotland. These kelpies would offer humans a way to travel the Lochs quickly: on their back. However once halfway across a Loch, they would drown their riders. In other words if a kelpie offers you a ride, do not accept! Apparently they also bewitched riders so that they could not move once they were on.
Not just a myth
The Kelpies here actually serve as a memorial as well, due to where Falkirk is located. Falkirk is located on two important canals in Scotland that hosted a lot of boat traffic for nearly 200 years. As part of this traffic, heavy horses would pull canal boats from Glasgow to Edinburgh and Andy Scott’s installation reflects this as well. The Kelpies statue is of two horse heads (down to just before the shoulders). One horse is failing his head back as it obviously is putting in a lot of effort pulling something (e.g. a canal boat). The other looks down on viewers, ears slightly perked in a curious expression.
My opinion of the Falkirk Kelpies
I really enjoyed seeing the Kelpies, which was a surprise to me. Usually my name and “art installations” do not have much in common but I enjoyed this one. I think it is because of the clean lines and prowess of the horses used. They did not “speak to me” as people often describe these types of installations but I could see the beauty.
How to get there and more
The Kelpies are located within Helix Park, which is part of a project to restore and rejuvenate this area. The park is located off the M9 and A9 in Falkirk and is easily accessed from both roads. There are also public transport links within Falkirk. It uses the same stop as the Falkirk Stadium, after which you can walk through the park to see the Kelpies.
If you are interested in seeing more of Andy’s work, I would recommend going to Aberdeen, where a giant cat sits among the skyline. Belfast hosts his Beacon of Hope Statue (also known as Nuala with the Hula).
Do you want more adventure? Explore my Travelling the World interactive map.