Well today was another typically wild and windy Scottish spring day but we braved the wind and headed to Helix Park in Falkirk, home of the two 30 metre high steel Kelpie’s constructed in 2013. I have a soft spot for Kelpies after being enthralled by Frances Mary Hendry’s – Quest for a Kelpie at primary school (if you haven’t read it, do so now.)
On arrival you have the choice of parking for free at the entrance car park or paying £2 to park nearer the Kelpies. We chose to pay as it was a windy day and Mr B’s elderly father was accompanying us, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
The Kelpies themselves are stunning works of art and engineering and the surrounding canal is a lovely setting. The visitor centre and cafe are not yet open but there are plenty of ice cream and coffee vans to get refreshments from and most importantly for those with young kids or middle aged women, toilets!
Although the visitor centre is not yet open I had hoped to see some information on display about the history and construction of the Kelpies, so was a little disappointed to find nothing was yet available. To be fair we didn’t visit the gift shopped as it was packed out, there may have been a bit more information to be found in there. For everyone else here is Rachel’s explanation of the mythical Kelpie (complete with her little brother trying but failing to put her off!)
The walk from the Kelpies to the Adventure Zone park takes you through a lovely marsh land walk (don’t worry a decking walkway prevents any wet feet), complete with reeds, plantlife and wildlife including swans.
The Adventure Zone play area is fantastic for kids and is separated into two areas for older and younger children. Loads of climbing and swinging activities are available to keep the kids amused and seating areas for the worn out adults. For the hotter weather there is a splash zone complete with water jets and mist sprays, unfortunately there may not be many days when Scottish weather allows you to make the most of this. There are also loads of pathways surrounding the park ideal for cycling, walking or jogging (if you really must.)
Again there are plenty of vans to buy refreshments from, but if you fancy something a bit more sheltered there are plenty great eating places nearby. Like Beancross or Cooks Bar & Kitchen where I am advised the mini fish suppers and mini burger and chips are definitely worth trying.
It was great to see the Kelpies up close and the Adventure Zone is definitely worth a visit but I might suggest holding on till the planned visitor centre, cafe and water sports are up an running to get the full benefit of a visit to Helix Park.