Kelpies and Karting success

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Two of the Falkirk area’s top visitor attractions have earned the official status which reflects their high level of popularity.

Helix Park, home of the Kelpies, and Larbert’s Xtreme Karting have both received the coveted five star rating from VisitScotland.

It’s the eighth straight year the go-karting business, based in Lochlands Business Park, has achieved five star status – it was the first karting centre in Scotland to earn the rating back in 2009.

After a visit from an undercover VisitScotland operative, the business scored a fantastic 100 per cent in the hospitality and friendliness section of the assessment.

Barrie Henderson, Xtreme Karting managing director, said: “We are delighted to retain the VisitScotland five star award for an eighth consecutive year, recognising the extensive effort put into staff training and team building to ensure a five star experience for visitors.”

The Helix, meanwhile, received five stars from the national tourism organisation’s Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme in recognition of its exceptional standards.

In the last few years The Helix has transformed 350 hectares of unused land into a unique outdoor greenspace which connects 16 communities through its extensive path networks. Run by Falkirk Community Trust, the landmark opened in 2013 and has been a huge success with great community engagement and 850,000 visitors per year.

The park’s most visible attraction, the Kelpies – two 30 metre high stainless steel monuments – are a true feat of engineering that represent the transformational and sustainably enduring qualities The Helix stands for.

The Helix also offers a kilometre of new canal, multiple community projects, several high profile events throughout the year such as Fire and Light and a 16-mile cycle route which connects The Kelpies, The Falkirk Wheel and Callendar House.

Falkirk Community Trust chief executive Maureen Campbell said: “We are thrilled to receive this five-star grading from VisitScotland. It is a true testament to the huge effort put in by the team.

“The Helix Project continues to grow from strength to strength and this achievement represents another special moment in its development.”

Visit www.thehelix.co.uk and www.xtremekarting.co.uk.