Day Trips, Travel

The Kelpies, Falkirk

the kelpies
the kelpies

If you live in Scotland, or are planning on visiting Scotland this summer then I heartily recommend a trip to see The Kelpies, in Falkirk.  We headed over to The Kelpies at the start of this year, and I’ve been meaning to share some photos from the trip ever since!

What Are The Kelpies?

The Kelpies are giant horse head statues. They stand at an impressive 30 metres high and are such a thing of beauty.  

We visited on a sunny afternoon in late winter but you can also visit at night when they’re bathed in coloured light.  You can even book a tour and go up inside the Kelpies. We were with our three year old and didn’t think she’d be too into that, but it’s definitely something I’d like to do!

the kelpies falkirk

Where in Scotland Is The Kelpies?

The Kelpies are situated in Falkirk’s Helix Park, on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal. Here you can stroll along the canal and enjoy the views, and there’s a network of footpaths and cycleways connecting the Kelpies to other parts of Helix Park.

forth and clyde canal
wendy graham moral fibres

(ps: my Orla Kiely tea dress is from People Tree)

What Can You Do There?

As well as marveling at the statues, and perhaps having a cup of coffee or a pizza from one of the nearby cafe, there are lots of things to do at the Kelpies. Once you’ve had your fill of the Kelpies you can walk from the Kelpies Hub through the rest of Helix Park.  If you’re with kids, then there’s a fantastic playground for kids age two and up that we had a blast in, playing with our nipper. There is also a splash park in Helix Park for cooling off on hot days, which is a lot of fun.

The Park also has some lovely nature walks along the lakes and marsh lands, which we also really enjoyed.

swan frozen lake

You can tell how early on in the year we went because the lake is frozen over!

Are The Kelpies Free?

Yes, it’s free to get into the Kelpies and to Helix Park, which is an added bonus!

How Do You Get There?

If you’re travelling there by public transport, then from Glasgow or Edinburgh then you can easily get a train from either Queen Street Station in Glasgow, or Waverley or Haymarket Station in Edinburgh to Falkirk High Station.  From the station, there’s a frequent bus service that serves all the attractions in Falkirk, including the Falkirk Wheel.

Don’t make the same mistake we did – we assumed the Falkirk Wheel was next to the Kelpies, and in actual fact it’s over 2 miles away.  We didn’t factor in enough time to visit the Falkirk Wheel, but that’s for our next trip!

PS: other places to visit in Scotland – Burntisland and Falkland, and the Kinghorn Earthship.

Children, Day Trips, Families, Travel

You Can Visit The Teacup Travels House – Here’s How!

teacup travels house
teacup travels house

Have you ever wished you could visit the Teacups Travels house? Now you can – here’s where it is!

If you’ve got small children then chances are you’ve heard of the CBeebies programme Teacup Travels.  My three-year-old is hooked – she shouts “Great Aunt Lizzie” every time it’s on!

We were watching the first episode of Teacup Travels together. As we did, I immediately recognised the location of Great Aunt Lizzie’s house as being in Edinburgh.  And last week my daughter and I were running errands in Edinburgh. So, as a treat, I popped over to the house with her.  She was so excited, bless her, and hasn’t stopped talking about it ever since!

Where Is The Teacups Travel House?

If you live near Edinburgh, or are planning a trip to Edinburgh any time soon, then your kid will adore a visit to Teacup Travels house!  The house couldn’t be easier to find. It’s in Princes Street Gardens, just below Princes Street. This is the main street in Edinburgh.

teacup travels

To access the Teacups Travels house, go down the steps that lead into the garden from The Mound. This is opposite the Scottish National Gallery.  You’ll go past the big floral cuckoo clock. When this is all planted up, is always fun to look at with kids!  The house is then tucked in the bottom corner of the garden closest to the steps that you just came down (you can see the steps in the top photo). You can’t miss it!

If you’ve got a buggy or pram you’ll have to go down quite a steep ramp that is accessed from Princes Street, opposite the Frederick Street junction.  Just look for a large statue of a horse-mounted soldier (the Royal Scots Greys statue) and you’ll find the ramp!

Does Anyone Live In the House?

You can’t actually get inside the Teacup Travels House (also known as the Gingerbread House, or officially the West Gardener’s Cottage). Sadly no-one lives in. Instead, it appears to be some sort of office. However, just being able to look at the house and peer into the gardens proved pretty exciting for my little girl!

Once you’re in the Gardens it’s a fun place to spot squirrels, have a picnic, or visit the play park at the opposite end of the the Gardens.  There you can get a cup of coffee, some lunch or some ice-cream and your little ones can run around the play park!  We spend a lot of time there!

And spending some time in Edinburgh? Do check out my Edinburgh Ethical Shopping guide. It’s packed full of the best ethical spots in the city.