Introduction

The Helix is a green space which stretches from Falkirk Football Stadium to the River Carron. From end to end it has a total distance of 1.25 miles or 2km. All paths are asphalt and range between 2000mm and 5000mm wide. There are no significant gradients anywhere within the Helix and all paths have dropped kerbs at road crossings. The only exception to the level ground is accessing the tow path on the Forth and Clyde canal and the Kelpies themselves, which has stairs, however there are alternative ramps available to by-pass the need to use them and signage directing to ramps where required.

There is a level timber boardwalk with non-slip infill on the surface that is raised above the wetlands. This along with some areas where the paths come close to the lagoon, around the Kelpies moats and canal have no barriers between them and a drop to the water

Car Parking

The Helix has 3 car parks. All blue badge parking in the Helix is free of charge at all times and ID must be prominently displayed within the vehicle when parked.

Within the Helix, Car Park 1 has 78 spaces, including 5 blue badge spaces and is open at all times. The surface is level and mono-blocked. The footpaths linking the car park have dropped kerbs. This car park is 0.25 mile or 400m away from the Plaza Cafe, Adventure Zone play area, Splash Play and lagoon, and 0.5 mile or 800m away from the Kelpies Plaza and Visitor Centre.

Nearer the Kelpies, Car Park 2 has 175 spaces that include 3 tarmacked blue badge spaces. The surface is a mix of tarmac and gravel filled plastic grid. It is 0.2 mile or 300m from the Helix Visitor Centre and 0.25 mile or 400m from the Kelpies. There are several park benches along this route. Car park opening hours: April – Oct 0800 – 2200 Nov – Mar 0800 - 2000.

Adjacent to the Helix Visitor Centre at Car Park 3 there are 7 blue badge spaces. These are offered on a first come first served basis and are only available when the Visitor Centre is open, or Car parking attendants are operating. Car park opening hours: April – Oct 0930 - 2200 Nov – Mar 0930 - 1700.

NOTE: When Car Park 3 is full we will always allow a drop off system at the Visitor Centre. To access Car Park 3 our Car parking attendants (when on duty) will open the barrier for you. If they are not then the intercom button marked “Visitor Centre” should be pushed (only answered during its opening hours) and if there are spaces available it will be opened for you. To exit simply drive slowly up to the barrier and it will automatically open. The button height is 1100mm The car park access road is gravel on solid grid however the spaces themselves are level and mono-blocked leading directly on to a footpath to the entrance.

Parking out with match days at Falkirk Stadium, FK2 9EE is normally permitted. The car park has a level mono-blocked surface with dropped kerbs accessing footpaths. The nearest spaces to the Helix are at the north end (these are not the blue badge bays). There is a toucan crossing on the busy A904 road which has a central island and dropped kerbs with tactile paving which leads directly into the Helix.

Buildings

The Visitor Centre with views to the Kelpies is accessed via either 4 steps with a handrail, or a ramp. The main entrance door is automatic and leads in to a level vinyl covered floor. The reception desk has a lowered serving level at 750mm.

We have 3 wheelchairs available free on loan that can either be propelled by the user or pushed. These can be reserved in advance by telephone or email. This building can become very busy however the Helix team will be happy to assist you in any way we can to make your route easier and help you find a table within the café.

The exhibition is accessed via a 1450mm opening. The LEGO plinth and the drawing desks are at 650mm. The seating at the desks is removable. The Scale display plinth is 700mm.

Between the gift shop’s units there is a minimum gap of 1000mm. The height of the retail shelves range between 500mm and 1700mm. The Helix team will be happy to assist you with anything that is out of your reach.

The café is open plan and accessed from the gift shop. The height of the shelves in the in the Grab and Go refrigerator range between 500mm – 1500mm with the tray rail being at 850mm and the servery being at 900mm. The rail then drops to 700mm and the servery 750mm at the point of sale. The Helix team will assist you with anything that is out of your reach and will be delighted to take your meal to your table for you. There are 2 columns beside the servery that have a space of 750mm surrounding them. We maintain a 1000mm wide avenue to the fire exit. The external picnic benches surrounding the café include some specifically designed for wheelchair users with an overhanging table at 750mm high.

The Plaza Café is approached over a level timber board surface, which continues within over a level threshold. The entrance door remains open at all times due to the inside/outside nature of the building. The height of the shelves in the Grab and Go refrigerator range between 600mm and 1500mm and the serving counter is at 950mm. The Helix team will assist you with anything that is out of your reach and will be delighted to take your meal to your table for you. In the Plaza café the tables and chairs are fixed with a clear route to one side that accesses the toilet corridor entrance door. One side of a table is free of benches

Kelpies Tour

The Kelpies Tour is a guided walking tour, culminating inside Duke (head down Kelpie) which is 0.06 mile or 100m away from the starting point outside the Visitor Centre. There is a very shallow gradient leading up to Duke and all the surfaces are level granite or timber board. We have 3 wheelchairs available free on loan that can either be propelled by the user or pushed. These can be reserved in advance by telephone or email. Carers are free if they are in their capacity as a carer. Access route into Duke. Door width 1000mm and once inside there is lots of space with seating.

Toilets

There are 3 sets of toilets within the Helix. They are opened at a variety of times depending on the time of the year. Please check our website for details. Plaza Café toilets are accessed from the café seating area (when it’s open) or from outside the building at other times. Level vinyl flooring inside leads to one accessible toilet.

The Kelpie’s car park (and Changing Places Toilet) toilets are accessed over level thresholds from the pavements outside. There is an accessible toilet as well as a Changing Places Toilet. The CPT is open at the same times as the other toilets within that block therefor not available at all times. There is a ceiling mounted track with electric hoist, an adjustable hand wash basin and a shower over and above the toilet facilities. No slings are available with the hoist so these must be provided where required.

The Changing Places Toilet is part of the UK radar system; therefore you must bring your own radar key to access it. Our Car Parking Attendants do have a key which you can borrow but this is only available when they are operating. We ask that you lock the door after use to prevent unauthorised access.

The Helix Visitor Centre has one disabled toilet that is accessed from inside the building.

Adventure Zone (Sensory Area)

This is adjacent to the play park and is available to all visitors. It has level paths that are constructed with rubber crumb directly from the tarmacked paths. The Plaza café and toilets are 50m away. It features:

  • Wheelchair see saw
  • Wheelchair carousel
  • Kling Klang disc
  • Conference speaker
  • Chime cascade
  • Octascope
  • Orb springs
  • Natural grass and shrub planting

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcomed in all areas and buildings of the Helix. Please note that ID may be requested. We provide dog bowls at the Plaza Café and Helix Visitor Centre.

Final Notes & The Future

We realise we’re not perfect but we’ll keep making improvements where and when we can, as demonstrated by the introduction of the Changing Places Toilets in Jan 2020. Falkirk Council as part of road improvements in the surrounding area are planning to introduce an aerial walkway linking Falkirk Stadium to The Helix, as well as Forth Valley college and the proposed Gateway park. We are very excited about this prospect and the benefits it will bring our visitors, especially those parking at Falkirk Stadium.

We would like to stress that all Helix team members are committed to do everything they can to enhance your visit where we possibly can and aim to give all visitors an exceptional 5 star experience. We hope you have a wonderful visit. We would welcome any feedback you have on: community@thehelix.co.uk 01324 590600

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