After the first week of the ‘summer’ holidays here, it became apparent that the sun was not shining. I had an epic list of things we really wanted to do but the grey skies were just off putting. Giving in to this really just meant a lot of staying home and this really was not working. So rain or shine – we’ve been off on adventures. Edinburgh has some great family days out – so thankfully, we have some brilliant options on our doorstep.
I’ve driven past the Kelpies so many times over the years to various work events in Stirling, and we had always said we’d visit but somehow we had never made it there. Even though the skies were decidedly filled with rain clouds and drops were falling here and there – I’m very glad we managed to tick it off our list.
Helix Park – home to the Kelpies – is actually only about 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh. The road there is good and luckily Thomas napped on route only waking up on arrival.
There are two car parks conveniently placed within the park but the one nearer the Kelpies has a small fee. Given we knew we’d be spending more time in the play park we were quite happy to be in the free one – and the walk to the Kelpies was really very nice.
A raised boardwalk extends through the wetlands with an array of reeds and rushes creating a corridor either side. The kids were happy looking at the various wildlife, with Thomas quacking loudly at the ducks and swans.
As we rounded the corner the Kelpies arose peeking over the embankment. Even from this distance you could really appreciate how large they are. The metal was shining despite the lack of sun and they were just unbelievably striking.
I was surprised how everything was so spread out in the park – the walk between the play park and the Kelpies really was some distance. But there was plenty to look at as we meandered along the canal edge. Katie was soon asking about the variety of boats and of course, what the canal lock was for.
We stopped in the café by the Kelpies for a quick pick me up as despite being wrapped up in his pushchair, Thomas’ teeth really were chattering. They had a variety of sandwiches on offer and the soup seemed very popular with other customers. The ‘childrens’ meal’ deal was really very reasonable with 5 items for £4 so I simply grabbed some crisps and juice boxes for the kids – and a packet of crisps for Mike as well!
Despite fear of the impending rain we headed for the kids play park whilst judiciously avoiding the pedalos. Unbelievably some people were braving it but admittedly no one was running between the various fountains in the waterpark. I imagine that on a hot and sunny day, the park must be absolutely overrun. It’s such a great local resource and the kids had a super time playing. There was a great selection of play equipment that could definitely be counted as adventurous. Although obviously safe, some of the slides were properly high.
Nice weather or not, I really would recommend it as a day out. With food being so reasonably priced (£2 for a coffee in the shop by the park) – it really is a budget friendly day out.