If like me you are a fan of The Kelpies then you should really visit the numerous other public sculptures designed by Andy Scott that are dotted around Central Scotland.
I was lucky enough to attend the opening night of The Kelpies and it really brought these magnificent creatures to life with fire, light and sound. Ever since I have made it my mission to visit and photograph his other works of art.
In common with The Kelpies they all capture the history and mythology of the area they represent. One of the best ways to view six of his sculptures and some lovely Scottish scenery is by following the The Andy Scott Sculpture Trail through Clackmannanshire.
You will need a car and the Visit Scotland guide provides a logical route which I suggest you follow as it would be difficult to find them all otherwise (although read my note at the end for one correction!)
This is my photoblog of my tour along the trail, for more info on the meaning of the sculptures I have added the appropriate links. Unfortunately I had mixed weather for taking photographs but that's Scotland for you!
First stop is 'This Journey's End' which is situated on Marywood roundabout on the approach to Clackmannan and Alloa. It celebrates the opening of the Clackmannanshire Bridge and represents crossing and meeting.
As with many of the sculptures it is in the middle of a roundabout but you can park nearby and walk along the adjacent footpath for a closer look.
As you drive into Alloa and near to Asda the next sculpture 'Lifeline' is on the Shillinghill roundabout. It is a tribute to the role of emergency services and armed forces and is the largest sculpture on the trail.
This is a very busy roundabout but there are places to park nearby within a 5 minute walk.
Just by Asda you can turn in and park at the railway station and you will find the next piece of artwork entitled 'I Can see for Miles' representing the past and future regeneration of the town.
The railway car park can be busy and is pay and display but you can also park in the Asda car park and use that as a base to walk to this and the previous Lifeline sculpture.
As you leave Alloa you drive into beautiful landscape where you find the next sculpture 'River Spirit'. The female figure is holding a profile of the River Forth as she gazes towards the hills. This was the first piece installed in the area in 2007.
Again this is situated on a roundabout and there is no easy parking I could see, I basically pulled on to a dirt track at the side of the road!
'Stride' (also known as Air Spirit) is a short distance away on Muirside roundabout in Tullibody and represents the surrounding landscape with the male figure striding with purpose towards the Ochil Hills.
You can stop at the public area of the police office car park which is just next to the roundabout. I really loved this piece as it looks as if it is mid stride and about to take another thunderous step forward at any moment. The backdrop of the hills just add to the mystical aura of this enigmatic man spirit. If you just have time to see one sculpture while you're in the area I would recommend this one.
The final sculpture on the trail 'Fox Boy' is in Mentsrie's Midtown Gardens and is probably the most unique piece. It features a boy with fox features wearing a hoodie and trainers and represents past and modern village life.
There is plenty of on street parking and the sculpture is on the park just next to the road. This is the end of the trail but why not end the day with a memorable visit to The Kelpies themselves which are an approx 30 minute drive away.
This short Scottish road trip is an ideal way to drive through some lovely landscapes while admiring the work of one of Scotland's best known sculptors.
The route is only about 6 miles long and could take you as little as 15 minutes to drive through if you didn't want to stop. Realistically I would allow 1 - 2 hours to stop and view them properly. It is very near Stirling so an easy and worthwhile detour if you are sightseeing in the area.
The Visit Scotland route is mostly correct apart from not mentioning that Lifeline is on the roundabout before I Can See for Miles.
If you do stop then be sure to look at the back of the sculptures too as there is great detail all the way round.
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