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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Scotland - Edinburgh; Population - Scotland - 5.2 million; Currency - Pound Sterling MORE UK - WALES

Falkirk is only a few minutes train ride from Stirling, and has two outstanding attractions - May 2016.


ScotlandnoteScottish banks issue their own versions of the Pound - this is the Bank of Scotland's version










scotland924The Kelpies are absolutely stunning and in my opinion a must see - Falkirk


scotland926Situated in the north east of Falkirk, The Kelpies rise majestically from a parkland project called The Helix


scotland930The steel structures were completed in 2013 and opened to the public the following year, a gateway to an extension of the Forth and Clyde Canal - Falkirk













scotland941Sculptor Andy Scott's inspiration for The Kelpies comes from the mythological shapeshifting water-horses (aka kelpies), combined with the role horses played in canal transport in years gone by - Falkirk




















scotland957Booking a 45min tour allows you a peek inside - Falkirk


scotland947The Kelpies are modelled on real-life Clydesdale horses Duke and Baron, though I've forgotten which one's which! Falkirk


scotland954Considering their size and made of steel, they're amazingly life like - Falkirk















scotland898Falkirk's other big draw is the Falkirk Wheel, the world's first (and only?) rotating boat lift, which links the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal


scotland902The Wheel raises boats 24metres from the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal above, replacing a staircase of 11 locks - Falkirk


scotland893Boats enter what's described as a huge bath tub of water, which is sealed before the rotation begins. The 'bath tub' remains level due to rotating wheels within the ring - Falkirk













scotland892The Falkirk Wheel was opened in 2002 by the Queen. Go on a 1hr boat trip and experience it for yourself - Falkirk














scotland914Our boat cruises the Union Canal back to the arches of the Wheel, ready for the descent - Falkirk


scotland961When in Falkirk I read that Andy Scott had other sculptures in the nearby city of Alloa. This is 'I Can See For Miles', immediately outside the train station
















scotland963A couple of hundred metres to the station's left in the centre of a roundabout, is 'Lifeline' - Alloa














scotland965On the east coast of Scotland a couple of hours from Edinburgh is the university town of St Andrews


scotland966The University of St Andrews boasts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (in other words William and Kate) as former students - St Andrews


scotland967 It's also Scotland's oldest university, founded in the 15th century; St Salvator's Chapel is pictured - St Andrews













scotland975 The 13th century ruins of St Andrews Castle stand over the North Sea - St Andrews














scotland978Go underground to the mine and counter mine, a series of siege tunnels built for warfare when the castle came under attack - St Andrews


scotland984More ruins lie at the 12th century St Andrews Cathedral - St Andrews


scotland993Within the cathedral grounds is St Rule's Tower, from where you can climb the steps for a view of St Andrews













scotland1002Hamish McHamish was the cool cat about town - St Andrews














scotland999West Sands beach is famous as a setting in the film Chariots of Fire - St Andrews


scotland1004St Andrews is home to arguably the world's most famous links course, The Old Course, known as the 'home of golf'


scotland1010All golfers will know both the iconic Swilken Bridge as well as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club behind - St Andrews














scotland1014Scotland's Secret Bunker is in the middle of nowhere - as you'd expect! - between St Andrews and Anstruther


scotland1018The bunker was Scotland's underground command centre in the event of nuclear war, kept secret for over 40 years - Scotland's Secret Bunker


scotland1021 Walk the 135m along the tunnel to the two-level bunker, built 30m underground and surrounded by reinforced concrete - Scotland's Secret Bunker














scotland1024'These blast doors seal the bunker in the event of attack and weigh 1.5tons each' - Scotland's Secret Bunker














scotland1047The bunker is a Cold War museum with relics from the past along with a cinema, cafe and shop - St Andrews


scotland1049The bunker has a control room, operations room, switchboard, broadcasting studio, radar room and plant room (to filter radioactive particles in the air) as well as living quarters - St Andrews


scotland1032The machinery and technology are definitely relics from a bygone age! St Andrews













scotland1031The dormitory - St Andrews















scotland1055Crossing the famous Forth Bridge to Edinburgh



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LINKS - Scotland tourist board - public transport info for Scotland - Britain's official tourism website - train information across Britain - National Express coaches cover Britain


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