BARON and Duke have to be Scotland’s two best-known horses. They are, of course, better known collectively as The Kelpies – the vaulting 30m-high equestrian steel sculptures unique not just to Scotland but to the world, as the largest equine sculptures.

The Kelpies have just celebrated their 10th birthday in serious style and are galloping onwards as a Falkirk bucket list attraction we can all be proud of. And thoroughly enjoy.

The National: Clydesdale horses took part in the celebrations on Saturday (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ten years seems like a long time, but is it really? The Kelpies have made such an impression on us all that many people I ask presume they’ve been around for longer. There is just no underestimating their impact. Yes, people come from Camelon to see them, but Canada and China too. No journey along the M9 would be the same without our equestrian friends – they have become part of our national psyche.

I was at The Helix Park – the sprawling green oasis that is their spectacular home – for the big birthday party at the end of last month. During the day, ceilidh bands, breakdancers and food stalls brought eclectic entertainment with the lumbering star of the show the volley of Clydesdale horses descending on The Kelpies in celebration of the working horses that were as much an inspiration as the mythological Scottish creatures.

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The stage for the first-ever concert at The Kelpies rose high behind Duke – the Kelpie nodding down and not to be mistaken for Baron, the one looking up. A screening of Walid Salhab’s anniversary film The Kelpies kicked things off. Hearing the tale of the original vision of Scottish Canals, then the shocked contractor who was asked for the mass of steel required to fashion these hulking sculptures, revealed just how special The Kelpies are. The interviewees are candid – there were moments when it seemed like the whole project would collapse. Can you imagine a Scotland with no Kelpies?

The Kelpies were the brainchild of the canal organisation, which had the vision to do something special. They hired luminary Scottish artist Andy Scott – a figurative sculptor and Honours graduate of the renowned Glasgow School of Art with an interest in larger works – to fashion icons that tied into the heritage of the area. Woven around industrial tradition was the Scottish mythology of the artist’s Kelpies.

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The Kelpies need little introduction visually – you just cannot ignore Scott’s creation. They vault 30m above Falkirk and can be seen for miles around. Each remarkably weighs over 300 tonnes. I thoroughly recommend not just admiring them and checking out the visitor centre, but also taking a guided tour inside, where the intricacy of the Kelpies’ steel plate construction becomes even more apparent. Information boards take a deep dive into their evolution too.

I asked Scott what he thinks is so special about his creations: “It’s their scale, their presence on the landscape and their successful adoption by the people of Falkirk.

"The way they sit in the beautifully designed canal basin beside the M9 motorway, with the Ochil Hills in the background, is pretty special, and mother nature regularly helps with amazing skies and Scottish weather conditions.”

“They reflect the area’s rural and industrial past and of course symbolise the importance of the Forth and Clyde Canal,” Scott continued.

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“With their setting within The Helix park, they’ve helped transform a previously overlooked area of landscape into a very successful green space that is hugely beneficial to the well-being of the area.”

They certainly have been very beneficial, attracting more than seven million visitors from all around the world over the last 10 years.

An independent report commissioned by Scottish Canals and Falkirk Council has just revealed that over the last decade, The Kelpies and The Helix have generated £81 million and created 110 new full-time equivalent jobs (contributing £47m in wages). Almost a third of total visitors to The Kelpies hail from outside the Falkirk area too.

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If you’ve never been to The Kelpies – nigh a crime in Scotland – or have not been in a while, I thoroughly recommend it. You can just pop by for a selfie at The Kelpies, but why not linger longer in the Green Gold award-winning Helix for local produce in the café in the excellent visitor centre?

There is the whole Helix Park to explore too with its trails, splash play water fountains and canal towpaths. Free parking and e-bike charging encourage locals and visitors alike to spend longer. Falkirk Council set out to make this a massive green oasis that promotes wellbeing and mental health – they’ve succeeded in that and continue to develop it. And wherever you go, there are the Kelpies rearing into view.

It’s hard to disagree with Scott that The Kelpies – now one of Scotland’s top 10 visitor attractions – have a bright future: “I really hope they become a proud cultural landmark for the area in years to come and enhance the town’s position as a great place to live and work.

“They’ve achieved some very inspiring figures in terms of visitor numbers and investment in the area in their first 10 years and I hope this continues well into the future.”

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