Models of the famous Kelpies have been temporarily stabled at Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal as they prepare to gallop across the Great Glen.
The maquettes are on show at the country’s longest lock flight until September 12, when they will embark on a journey to Inverness for the World Canals Conference.
The 10ft-tall sculptures have been touring the world to promote Scotland and the Falkirk area as a visitor destination, appearing at major events including New York’s Scotland Week, the Grand National and the Ryder Cup.
Richard Millar, director of infrastructure at Scottish Canals, said: “From Neptune’s Staircase to The Falkirk Wheel, Scotland’s canals have been associated with innovative art and engineering for more than 200 years.
“The Kelpies are the latest in that long line of ambitious projects fusing art and industry and we’re delighted to welcome the maquettes to the Caledonian Canal for the first time.
“I’m sure they will delight visitors to Neptune’s Staircase during their time on the banks.”
The original 30ft-tall Kelpies, which tower over a new section of the historic Forth and Clyde Canal, are the centrepieces of the £43million Helix project.
The scheme, driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals and supported by an award of £25million from the Big Lottery Fund, has transformed 350 hectares of underused land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a popular parkland and visitor attraction.
More than 150 delegates from around 20 countries are expected to flock to Inverness next month for the World Canals Conference at Eden Court, not far from the banks of the Caledonian Canal.
Previous hosts of the conference include Toulouse, Milan, Montreal, New York and the Grand Canal in China, and it is hoped that the event could inject £300,000 into the local economy.