Family days out in Scotland

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There are so many family days out to enjoy in Scotland. Get inspired by country parks offering adventurous activities, castles that spark imaginations, wildlife attractions for little explorers and fascinating science centres.

Children are really encouraged to take part and learn in a fun environment at most of Scotland’s attractions, many of which have dedicated areas designed to fire their imaginations and encourage their interest in history and science.

History

The Royal Apartment Palace Vaults at Stirling Castle have been created specifically for younger visitors, with a different theme in each room and plenty to see, touch, play with and even smell. Themes range from the musician’s vault, where you can recreate 16th century inspired sounds, to the Tailors Vault where you can try on elaborate period costumes.

Science

Astound children with visions of the future by taking a trip to one of Scotland’s science centres. Dundee Science Centre - Sensation is the only UK science centre based on the five senses and has over 80 hands-on exhibits including infrared imaging, a chance to practice key-hole surgery and spectacular live science shows.

Nature and wildlife

Animals are always a hit with the kids, so why not visit one of Scotland’s great wildlife attractions? Visit the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig to get up close to a variety of native species, from red squirrels to wildcats and pine martens, as well as more exotic creatures such as red pandas, reindeer and arctic foxes.

Scotland also has a large number of country parks as well as two National Parks where you can spend a day walking or cycling in the fresh air before enjoying a family picnic on one of Scotland’s beautiful beaches or in a play park. Popular play parks with plenty to do include Culzean Castle and Country Park, Strathclyde Country Park and Lochore Meadows Country Park.

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  1. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Banchory

    Crathes Castle is surrounded by woodland to the east of Banchory in the Aberdeenshire countryside.

  2. Malleny Gardens

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    • 3 Garden
    3 Garden

    Edinburgh

    This 1.2-ha (3-a) walled garden has a delightful collection of old-fashioned roses and fine herbaceous borders.

  3. Elmlea Plants

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    This family-run nursery in charming Old Minnigaff specialises in herbaceous perennials and grasses.

  4. Dumbarnie Links

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Elie

    Dumbarnie Links Reserve is an area of dune grassland in the centre of Largo Bay on the south coast of Fife.

  5. RSPB Wood of Cree Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Newton Stewart

    For a woodland walk, it's great place to visit. In spring & summer, the wood fills with a carpet of bluebells, other flowers and birdsong while red squirrels are busy in the trees. Visit the otter platform, where you may luckily see one in the river.

  6. Tweed Valley Osprey Watch

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Peebles

    The Tweed Valley Osprey Watch comprises of two osprey watch centres showing live images from an osprey nest in the Tweed Valley Forest Park.

  7. The Aros Experience

    Type

    Exhibitions

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Portree

    Located on the outskirts of Portree, Aros has a fascinating combination of music, wildlife, film and exhibitions.

  8. Isle of May

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Anstruther

    Anchored on the edge of the Firth of Forth, the Isle of May is a magical mix of seabirds, seals and smugglers.

  9. Monteviot House Gardens

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    Jedburgh

    The river garden planted with herbaceous shrubs is only 1 of a few gardens to be visited on site. The pinetum is full of unusual trees and a nearby water garden is linked by bridges. Coach parties by arrangement.

  10. The Loft Activites

    Type

    Multi-activity Centre

    Gradings

    Forres

    Friendly, fun, family run activity center with lots to do and food and refreshments on site.

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