Daily Archives: January 9, 2014

The Kelpies


Bryant Park, in New York City, will welcome two 15 ft tall scale models of Glasgow-born artist Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ sculptures from March 19th to April 22nd next year, in the lead up to the internationally acclaimed week of Scottish celebrations in the city.

December 18, 2013 (see the original release on PRWEB)

One of the world’s highest profile public spaces is to showcase a major new arts project which is set to transform Scotland’s tourism map. Bryant Park in New York City, will welcome two 15 ft tall scale models of Glasgow-born artist Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ sculptures from March 19th to April 22nd next year. 

Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, pictured with Duke and Baron, the Clydesdale horses that were the inspiration for The Kelpies.

The Kelpies – two 100ft steel horses heads which are the largest equine sculptures in the world – are the centre piece of the £43 million Helix land transformational project between Falkirk and Grangemouth in central Scotland and are expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors a year to Falkirk – a town just 30 minutes’ drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh.

They will also boost the central Scotland economy by around £1.5 million per annum and provide the area with its second ‘top ten’ UK tourist attraction.

The Helix will transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban green space. Once complete, it will be an outdoor recreational area open to all, offering easy access to picturesque woodland, a central park with a lagoon, linked walking paths and cycleways.

Thanks to terrific support from The City of New York Parks and Recreation, Bryant Park Corporation, and the American-Scottish Foundation®, the scale models (known as the Maquettes) will be seen by more than 250,000 people a day during the period they are on display next spring.

In addition, a program of lunchtime concerts is being planned around the sculptures on Bryant Park’s Fountain Terrace as part of next year’s celebration of Scottish arts and culture in the heart of Manhattan.

Andy Scott, the Scottish sculptor who created The Kelpies, said:
“The Kelpies pay homage to Scotland’s heavy horses which played a vital role in agriculture and industry in Scotland. They exemplify the best of creativity, engineering and project management and are soon to be the largest public artworks in the country, and the largest equine sculptures in the world – they have been almost eight years in the making.

“It is a huge privilege to be invited to display the Maquettes at Bryant Park, and I am confident they will help to put Scotland, and the Helix project, firmly on the map – not only for resident New Yorkers, but for international visitors to the city.”

The Maquettes have previously been showcased in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, as well as Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh.

Dan Biederman, President of Bryant Park Corporation, said:
“It is a great pleasure to work with the American Scottish Foundation and Scotland to host these sculptures and the ‘Tartan Week’ performances in Bryant Park. The park is one of the busiest public spaces in the world and a perfect location for showcasing arts and culture.”

The Helix development is being driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals and the construction phase for the 100 ft. tall Kelpies was completed in November 2013. Work on the site’s visitor and parking facilities is currently underway and the development will officially open to the public in the summer of 2014.

A spokesman for The Helix team said the unique agreement with the Bryant Park Corporation was a major development for The Kelpies and for Scotland.
He said: “New York City is said by many to be the cultural capital of the world, and so this unique opportunity to position The Kelpies as an International sculptural landmark and visitor destination represents fantastic recognition for the project, raising awareness of the beneficial impact it will have on the local area and on the whole of Scotland.

“It is a huge gesture of approval for The Kelpies to be chosen for this venue and a true accolade for the sculptures and The Helix. I hope that some of the thousands of people who see these sculptures on display in Bryant Park will take time in the future to visit The Helix if they come to Scotland.

“Bryant Park is within a few blocks of Times Square, the Empire State building and the New York City Library, and has a daily footfall in excess of 30,000 people per day and over 200,000 people pass by the park each day.”

The Maquettes have previously been showcased in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, as well as Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh.

The Kelpies’ arrival in Bryant Park is a partnership between the Helix Project, The City of New York Parks and Recreation, Bryant Park Corporation, and the American-Scottish Foundation.

Bryant Park is a 9,603 acre public park, privately managed by the non-profit Bryant Park Corporation, located in the New York borough of Manhattan. It is located between 5th and 6th Avenue and between 40th and 42nd streets in mid-town Manhattan.

For the Helix, Andy Scott and The Kelpies:
Charles Mann, Associate Director, 3×1
Tel. +00 44 141 221 0707 or +00 44 7825 153 599.
E-mail: cmann(at)3×1(dot)com

Nicola Macnaughton, Account Manager, 3×1
Tel. +00 44 141 221 0707 or +00 44 7725 638 246.
E-mail: nmacnaughton(at)3×1(dot)com

For the American-Scottish Foundation:
Camilla Hellman, Executive Director
Tel: 212 605 0338 x 4
Email: asfevents(at)wwbcny(dot)com

Video courtesy of The Helix

Video courtesy of ITN


THE HELIX: The Helix is a £43 million land transformation project being driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals. It will transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban green space. Once complete, the Helix will be an outdoor recreational area open to all, offering easy access to picturesque woodland, a central park with a lagoon, linked walking paths and cycleways. The Helix will also open up Scotland’s canal network by installing a new full-length canal link and a canal hub featuring the Kelpies http://www.thehelix.co.uk/

ANDY SCOTT: Andy Scott is a world renowned Scottish figurative sculptor, specialising in public artworks. He graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a BA Hons in Fine Art Sculpture in 1986. In addition to The Kelpies, his portfolio now extends to over 70 projects across the UK and internationally including several monumental landmark sculptures. A selection of his portfolio can be seen at http://www.scottsculptures.co.uk/

FALKIRK COUNCIL: Falkirk Council is a unitary authority which provides all local government services for the Falkirk Council area. Covering 112 square miles, it has a population of 151,570 and extends from Banknock in the west of the region to Blackness in the east and from South Alloa in the North as far as Limerigg in the south. The area contains varied countryside, including areas of considerable landscape quality. It also contains the port of Grangemouth and depends for its prosperity on a broad industrial base which includes sizeable industrial areas in Falkirk and Grangemouth http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/

SCOTTISH CANALS: Scottish Canals is the public body responsible for looking after all of Scotland’s canals. It conserves the waterways as part of Scotland’s heritage, ensuring they play a vital role in the way the country operates. The environment and heritage of the canal network is integral to the work of Scottish Canals, and the organisation ensures the canals are managed in such a way to ensure maximum enjoyment for all http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/

THE AMERICAN-SCOTTISH FOUNDATION®: The American-Scottish Foundation is an international not-for- profit organization. Its aim is to establish links and strengthen ties between Scotland and the United States, through the pursuit of contemporary social, cultural, educational, and business activities http://americanscottishfoundation.com/

BRYANT PARK CORPORATION: Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park, one of the busiest public spaces in the world, without government or philanthropic funding. In addition to providing security and sanitation services, and tending the lawn and seasonal gardens, BPC creates amenities and activities in Bryant Park for over 5 million visitors each year. BPC’s website http://www.bryantpark.org/ has more detailed information plus a complete schedule of the upcoming wide range of free events.

THE NEW YORK TARTAN DAY PARADE: The New York Tartan Day Parade will take place on SaturdayApril 5th, stepping off at 44th and Sixth Avenue, two blocks north of Bryant Park and The Kelpies.

In 1998 the U.S. Senate declared April 6 to be National Tartan Day to recognize the contributions made by Scottish-Americans to the United States. In 1999, two pipe bands and a small but enthusiastic group of Scottish Americans marched from the British Consulate to the UN—our first Parade! Since then, it has grown to include hundreds of pipers, thousands of marchers and many more thousands cheering from the sidelines.

Website for Parade details: http://nyctartanweek.org/tartan-day/

Further historical information of National Tartan Day is available at http://www.tartanday.org/history

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Travel in Scotland

Scotland is one of the most amazing countries in the world to visit, where ancient history and unique culture meets stunning scenery and vibrant city experiences. Famed the world over for their hospitality, the Scots are a very welcoming people and the country is geared up to looking after you, the visitor, to their shores.

Ben Nevis

There are many aspects to Scotland, and just as many ways to see and enjoy your visit there; whether you’re relaxing amid breathtaking landscapes, golfing on a famous course, or enjoying a few whiskies at a traditional distillery. You can plan your own trip with your own personal guide, join a tour group or drive around at your leisure. You can stay in a Bed and Breakfast, hotel, self-catering cottage or maybe you’d prefer a castle? The options are limitless and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, or how to get the very best experience. This is where we come in. The American Scottish Foundation has great working relationships with travel providers, hotels and tourism professionals, so let us help you plan the perfect vacation. Here are some ideas for you, to start your adventure off.

Whisky Tours

Famed the world over, Scotch Whisky is very much part of the fabric of Scotland’s heritage; and we can design some great whisky tours, or include some distilleries in an overall vacation. So blend wonderful countryside, a rich history and a few drams.

Family History – Clan Heritage Tours

We can create a travel plan for you that allows you to either walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and see the world through their eyes; or we can put together a trip to the clan homelands of your forefathers. It is a journey of discovery and it’s time you came home.

City Breaks

As well as the stunning scenery of the Highlands, Scotland’s cities have a lot to offer from unique architecture and wonderful history to top attractions and vibrant nightlife. Whether it’s Edinburgh or Glasgow, we can weave the city stay into a longer Scottish trip.

Personalised Vacation Packages

One of the best ways to enjoy what Scotland can offer is to plan a custom built tour, with your own personal guide to show you all the hidden gems and bring the stories to life. This is your tour, and we design the itinerary to fit your interests, budget and time. We will also give you lots of ideas and put you in capable hands from start to finish.

Golf Breaks

As well as whisky and heritage, Scotland is well known for its fantastic golf courses. We can put together an itinerary that gives you a chance to play a range of types and difficulties. So from Championship courses to well kept secrets, this is your place to tee off.

Self Drive Holidays

Sometimes you just like to take things at your own pace, and more independently and the self-drive option is tailored to provide this kind of holiday. We’ll design the itinerary, give you options of things to see and do each day, arrange the car hire and book your accommodation. The rest is up to you.

Unique Experiences

Scotland has a lot to offer in the way of unique experiences and something just that little bit special. So, from adventure holidays to living like a lord in a fancy castle we can plan a vacation package that lies somewhat out of the box – so, come to an amazing country for an amazing experience – all courtesy of our experts.

Dunottar Castle

15 Recommended Castles

Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh
Eilean Donan Castle – Lochalsh
Blair Castle – Highland Perthshire
Castle Campbell – Dollar
Dunottar Castle – Stonehaven
Caerlaverock Castle – Dumfries
Threave Castle – Castle Douglas
Tantallon Castle – Dunbar
Floors Castle – Kelso
Kilchurn Castle – Argyll
Duart Castle – Mull
Glamis Castle – Angus
Balmoral Castle – Royal Deeside
Drum Castle – Aberdeenshire
Brodick Castle – Arran

15 Great Places to Visit and See

Culloden Battlefield – Inverness
Fairy Glen and the Quiraing – Skye
Mull of Oa – Islay
Torridon and Loch Maree
Loch an Eilein – Aviemore
Glen Nevis and Steall Falls – Fort William
St Magnus Cathedral – Kirkwall
Skara Brae, Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and Maes Howe – Orkney
Calanais, Dun Charlabhaigh and Na Gearrannan village – Lewis
Glen Etive and Glencoe
Glenaffric and Plodda Falls
New Lanark and Falls of Clyde – Lanark
Glen Doll and the Corrie of Fee – Angus
Applecross and Bealach na Ba
Beaches of West Harris – Western Isles

10 Fantastic Things to Do in Scotland

Dolphin Watching in the Moray Firth – Inverness
Boat trip to St Kilda – Western Isles
Walk across the Corrieshalloch Gorge – Ullapool
Whisky Tasting at an Islay Distillery – Islay
Boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk – Skye
Ghost Walk on the Royal Mile – Edinburgh
White Water Rafting on the River Tay – Highland Perthshire
Play a Round of Golf at St Andrews – Fife
Visit the Kelvingrove Museum – Glasgow
Hillwalking Tour in the Highlands

10 Amazing Towns and Villages to Visit

Dunkeld – Highland Perthshire
St Andrews – Fife
Melrose – Borders
Culross – Fife
Oban – Argyll
Kirkwall – Orkney
Portree – Skye
Pennan – Aberdeenshire
Pittenweem – Fife
Tobermory – Mull

Travel information and advice

It has never been easier to travel to Scotland from the US, or from London as part of a wider British vacation. There are direct flights from several US and Canadian cities, including New York (Newark and JFK); or with one connection through Heathrow, Paris or Amsterdam. From London you have the option to fly (approx 1 hour flight to Edinburgh/Glasgow), or you can take the train from King’s Cross (East Coast) to Edinburgh and from Euston (Virgin) to Glasgow (journey time – 4 to 5 hours).

Travelling around Scotland is easiest if you have a car (there are several good rental companies); and the roads are good, especially the highways between the main cities (although in parts of the Highlands and Islands some of the roads are only one lane, but two way). Public transport within and between the cities is excellent, and on the whole very economical. There is a train service between Edinburgh and Glasgow every 15 minutes during the day (although the trains are not 24 hours). In rural Scotland (especially the Highlands) public transport is patchy and infrequent, but with some perseverance you can pretty much travel to any town or village. Accommodation across the board is of a high standard; with the famous Guest-House bed and breakfast network one of the best in the world. Scotland is a county geared for tourism, so the signposting, information service, attractions and facilities are world class. Here are some more tips for visitors to Scotland:

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, and so:

• The time zone is GMT (+1 hour in the summer) / +5 hours of EST
• The international dialling code is 011 44 (from the US). Calling the US from the UK the code is 001
• The currency is Pounds Sterling (£) – NOT the Euro
• English is the language spoken (even if it doesn’t sound like it); although you may hear Gaelic spoken on the islands (esp. Lewis, the Uists and Skye)

Bealach Cuithraing

Scotland is often considered a wet country where it always rains, this is not actually the case; although some areas do receive more than others:

• Edinburgh receives around 26 inches of rain a year (less than Rome or London). Glasgow gets around 50 inches per year (same as New York)
• Snow can fall at low levels from October through to April, especially in the Highlands
• Scotland’s weather is unpredictable, so bring a range of clothes
• In June the sun sets around 10.30pm / in December around 4.00pm

And finally . . .

• Tipping is not as much part of the culture as it is in the US, but for good service it is appreciated
• It is recommended that you take out travel insurance
• Plan your trip in advance – although Scotland is a small country it can seem to take longer than you’d expect to go from A to B on a map
• All road signs are in miles (not kilometres)
• You should expect to pay around £40 per person per night for a Bed and Breakfast; £2.80 for a pint in the pub; around £5.80 per Gallon (British Gallon) of gas (approx. $9.20); and £8 – £12 for a decent pub meal