Top choice in Central Scotland

The Kelpies, the stunning equine statues gracing the eastern entrance to the Forth & Clyde Canal, are named after mythical Scottish water-horses. The two 30m-tall horse's heads are fashioned out of stainless steel, and are a tribute to the working horses that once hauled barges along the canal. You can view them for free (indeed, they are clearly visible from the M9 motorway between Edinburgh and Stirling), but the 45-minute guided tour takes you inside the sculptures.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Central Scotland attractions

1. Falkirk Wheel

3.56 MILES

Completed in 2002, the Falkirk Wheel is a modern engineering marvel, a rotating boat lift that raises vessels 115ft from the Forth & Clyde Canal to the…

2. Culross Palace

5.45 MILES

More large house than palace, the 17th-century residence of local laird Sir George Bruce features an interior largely unchanged since his time. The…

3. Culross Abbey

5.81 MILES

Ruined Culross Abbey, founded by the Cistercians in 1217, sits atop a hill in a lovely peaceful spot with vistas of the firth. The choir was converted…

4. St Michael's Parish Church

6.64 MILES

Built between the 1420s and the 1530s, this Gothic church is topped by a controversial aluminium spire added in 1964, representing a crown of thorns. The…

5. Linlithgow Palace

6.64 MILES

This magnificent loch-side palace was begun by James I in 1424, and became a favourite royal residence – James V was born here in 1512, as was his…

6. Linlithgow Canal Centre

6.83 MILES

Lying 200m south of the town centre is the Union Canal and this pretty one-room museum documenting its 200-year history. The centre runs 2½-hour canal…

7. Bannockburn Heritage Centre


Robert the Bruce's defeat of the English army on 24 June 1314 at Bannockburn established Scotland as a separate nation. The Bannockburn Heritage Centre…

8. Blackness Castle


Built in the 1440s by the Lord High Admiral of Scotland, this imposing castle juts like the prow of a ship into the Firth of Forth at Blackness, 4 miles…