The Kelpies? You mean glorious armoured horses

The Kelpies have proved a major tourist attraction. Picture: Michael Gillen
The Kelpies have proved a major tourist attraction. Picture: Michael Gillen
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They’re officially known as the Kelpies and by a few locals as the nodding donkeys.

But the famous equine sculptures in Falkirk’s Helix Park have been given another name to make them more attractive to Chinese tourists.

VisitBritain, which markets the UK abroad, has dubbed them ‘Kai Po Ju Ma’ in promotional literature in China - which translates as “glorious armoured giant horses”.

It follows the results of a £1.6 million ‘Great Names for Great Britain’ campaign, which builds on the existing trend of giving relatable Mandarin names to favourite celebrities, places and foods.

New Mandarin names for 23 iconic Scottish attractions have been announced in total, including Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and Glencoe.

The campaign reached nearly 300 million Chinese prospective visitors to the UK through VisitBritain’s influential Weibo and WeChat social media platforms across China. Over two million people visited the campaign pages and nearly 30 million Chinese people watched the launch video, with 13,000 new names suggested throughout the ten week-long voting period.

Andy Scott, the artist responsible for the Kelpies, said: “I’m delighted that The Kelpies have reached out to a new audience and that they have been recognised with such an evocative and dynamic Mandarin name.

“It’s a real accolade for me as the artist and the whole team involved in The Kelpies that they have been adopted for the VisitBritain campaign and been so well received in China.

I hope the campaign brings even more visitors to our ‘glorious giants’ in Falkirk.”