Kelpies move to summer pastures in Ardrishaig

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Drivers were visibly doing a ‘double-take’ driving through Ardrishaig.

More used to seeing serried ranks of Sitka spruce piled at the harbour ready for loading on to cargo ships, motorists were instead treated to the majestic sight of two mini-Kelpies glimmering in the pierhead sunshine.

A smaller-scale version of the iconic 30-metre high Kelpies sculpture which sit beside the Forth and Clyde Canal near Falkirk, the 10-metre-tall ‘maquettes’ were in fact used as a basis for the world-famous sculpture.

The mini Kelpies arrived on the afternoon of Thursday March 28 in early spring sunshine for their first visit to the Loch Fyne-side village.

Arriving just in time for Easter, they will be situated next to the Steamer Terminal at Ardrishaig Harbour – a brand new tourism hub and café located on the edge of the Crinan Canal – until the end of the summer.

Cara Baillie, senior destinations development manager at Scottish Canals, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to bring the Kelpies maquettes to Ardrishaig for the first time. The full size monuments in Falkirk are a tribute to the horse-powered heritage, which once helped Queen Victoria pass through the Royal Route.

‘I’m sure the maquettes will prove popular with both our visitors and the people of Ardrishaig and the surrounding area. There will be plenty of opportunity to take Kelpie selfies and learn more about the steel structures. They have arrived just in time to celebrate Easter, and will be with us to mark the opening of our new community hub, The Egg Shed, in the summer.’

The Kelpie sculptures are inspired by ancient Celtic mythology surrounding water spirits which inhabited every loch and waterway, with these occasionally taking the form of a horse.