The Kelpies canter to Crinan

Scale models of The Kelpies, the world’s largest pair of equine sculptures, have arrived at Ardrishaig on the Crinan Canal in time for Easter.

The 1/10th scale maquettes will be stabled in Ardrishaig Harbour on their first venture to ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’. The three-metre-tall Kelpie Maquettes, which have toured the world helping to promote Scotland and the Falkirk area as a visitor destination, have previously appeared at major events including New York’s Scotland Week, the Grand National and the Ryder Cup.

The maquettes have made a timely arrival for locals and tourists alike to make a visit during their Easter break. They will be situated next to the Steamer Terminal at Ardrishaig Harbour, a brand new tourism hub and café located on the edge of the Crinan Canal, until the end of the summer.

“We are delighted to be able to bring The Kelpies Maquettes to Ardrishaig for the first time. The full size monuments in Falkirk are a tribute to the horse-powered heritage, which once helped Queen Victoria pass through the Royal Route.”

“I’m sure the maquettes will prove popular with both our visitors and the people of Ardrishaig and the surrounding area. There will be plenty of opportunity to take Kelpie Selfies and learn more about the steel structures. They have arrived just in time to celebrate Easter, and will be with us to mark the opening of our new community hub, The Egg Shed, in the summer.”

Cara Baillie, Senior Destinations Development Manager at Scottish Canals

The colossal, 30-metre-tall Kelpies, which tower over a new section of the historic Forth & Clyde Canal, are the centrepieces of the £43m Helix project. The scheme, driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals and supported by an award of £25m from the Big Lottery Fund, has transformed 350 hectares of underused land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a vibrant parkland, visitor attraction and marine hub with the canal and The Kelpies at its heart.

More than three million visitors from all over the world have stood in the shadow of the sculptures since their unveiling in April 2014, bringing renewed vibrancy and income to the area and boosting the local economy by an estimated £1.5m per year. The site is now co-managed by Falkirk Community Trust and Scottish Canals.

A colossal engineering endeavour, inspiration for The Kelpies came from the heavy horses that pulled boats and cargo along the towpaths of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals in their heyday. The transport arteries of the Industrial Revolution, the canals and the horses that walked them played a huge role in the development of the area. The sculptures’ name derived from the mythical Celtic water horses which could transform their shape and which were reputed to have the strength of 10 horses and the endurance of many more.

Originally envisioned as a moving boat lift, during the early design process the notion of The Kelpies changed to monumental sculptures symbolising the industrial past of both the canal and the communities that line its banks. Glasgow-based artist Andy Scott – one of Scotland’s best-known sculptors – transformed The Kelpies from idea to reality, imagining a colossal gateway towering either side of the canal to welcome weary sailors and visitors to the nation’s hospitable shores.

Notes to Editors

About Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of the Union, Monkland, Forth & Clyde, Crinan and Caledonian Canals. As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for 251 bridges, 212 buildings, 256 locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and 19 water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, Scotland’s canals are now recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year.

For more information, visit www.scottishcanals.co.uk or follow @ScottishCanals on Twitter

About the Steamer Terminal

The Steamer Terminal in Ardrishaig is an exciting new destination hub at the gateway to the Crinan Canal. Perched on Ardrishaig’s timber pier, The Steamer Terminal offers up breakfast, lunch and beyond, using the very best of Argyll’s natural larder. The Steamer Terminal also benefits from a private room which is available to hire for meetings or parties. It is ideally placed as the perfect spot to start or end a journey along the Crinan Canal.

For more information, visit: https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/destinations/ardrishaig/steamer-terminal/

About The Kelpies

The Kelpies is a 30 metre (100ft) high, 300 tonne public artwork in the Falkirk area. The steel structures in the shape of horses heads form the world’s largest equine sculpture.

The Kelpies is the dramatic centrepiece of The Helix, a £43million regeneration project across 350 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth.

The Helix project has been funded via a partnership between The Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals.

The Kelpies creates a gateway into The Helix and the Forth & Clyde canal and is the result of a unique collaboration between the partners and Glasgow-based artist, Andy Scott.

The Kelpies pays homage to the tradition of the working horses of Scotland which used to pull barges along Scotland’s canals and worked in the fields in the area where they now stand.

Since its completion in April 2014, The Kelpies has attracted over three million visitors.

The Kelpies features in a specially created timelapse film celebrating Falkirk on the VisitFalkirk.com website www.vimeo.com/visitfalkirk/kineticfalkirk

The Kelpies Maquettes

The Kelpies Maquettes are 3 metre high (10ft) horses heads sculptures hand crafted by renowned Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, which were made as models to create the world’s largest equine sculpture, The Kelpies.

The Maquettes are 1/10th the size of The Kelpies

The Maquettes tour the world helping to promote Scotland and the Falkirk area as a visitor destination, having previously appeared at major events including MPIM Cannes 2019, New York’s Scotland Week, the 2014 Ryder Cup, the Grand National, the Scottish Cup Final 2015 plus the Edinburgh Festival, the West End Festival plus lots more.

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