Falkirk’s Kelpies named the UK’s top landmark

Are The Kelpies calling out?
Are The Kelpies calling out?

Those iconic horse heads have been in the news yet again - voted the landmark of the year at the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards.

The stunning equine sculptures which watch over the River Carron and the M9 motorway near Grangemouth have become a big hit with visitors to the area since they were unveiled a year ago.

Fighting off stiff competition from four other major UK attractions, Llanddwyn Island Lighthouse in Anglesey, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust at Stratford-upon-Avon, the historic Dark Hedges avenue of beech trees in Country Antrim and Harewood House near Leeds.

Andy Scott, Kelpies sculptor, said: “I am absolutely delighted with this achievement for The Kelpies. When I was doing those first little sketches all those years ago, I could only have dreamt they would have been so well received.

“I am pleased to say my greatest hopes have been met, and this award from BBC Countryfile Magazine confirms their pride of place in the Falkirk area. It’s a great reward for the hard work of a huge amount of people in bringing The Kelpies to reality.

“Thank you to all the readers of BBC Countryfile Magazine.”

The BBC Countryfile Magazine Award is the latest in a host of official accolades captured by the Kelpies - they have also won the UK National Structural Steel Award and the Saltire Award for Civil Engineering.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s spokesman for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “The sculptures have dramatically boosted visitors to the Falkirk area, with lots of people opting to go on tours inside these stunning structures.

“This autumn will see the opening of the new Kelpies visitor centre and I’m hopeful that neighbouring attractions will also see real-spin offs as people continue to flock to the wonderful, and award-winning, Kelpies.”