Family days out in Scotland

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  • A child stands on one of the ornate mortar cannons watched by his family in the sun at Culzean Castle
    Culzean Castle, Ayrshire
  • Close-up of tiger with white snow in the background
    A Siberian Tiger at home in the snow at the Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie
  • The battlements at Stirling Castle lit up at night
    Stirling Castle by night
  • A dinghy sailing at the Watersports Centre at Strathclyde Country Park at sunset
    Strathclyde Country Park

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. Muiravonside Country Park

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    Linlithgow

    170 acres of woodlands, parklands and garden including vertiginous slopes abutting the Avon Gorge, now in the care of Falkirk Council.

  2. The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

    Type

    Wildlife, Safari Parks & Zoos

    Gradings

    Aviemore

    Visit Britain's only herd of free-ranging reindeer.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Loch Druidibeg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Lochmaddy

    Uncover stunning scenery and wonderful wildlife at Loch Druidibeg, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on South Uist.

  6. Cambo Gardens

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    Crail

    This iconic Victorian walled garden with a modern twist offers woodland walks by a sparkling burn leading to the sea.

  7. Crombie Country Park

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Carnoustie

    Take a walking trail, enjoy scenic views, and look out for wildlife at Crombie Country Park, to the west of Arbroath in Angus.

  8. Shepherd House

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    Musselburgh

    Shepherd House and its one-acre garden form a walled triangle in the middle of the 18th century village of Inveresk.

  9. Glasgow Botanic Gardens

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    Glasgow West End

    Glasgow Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of the city’s West End and is dominated by the recently restored Kibble Palace.

  10. Loch Leven RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kinross

    Loch Leven RSPB is part of Loch Leven National Nature Reserve. The loch is famous for its connections to Mary Queen of Scots and as Scotland’s largest lowland freshwater loch.

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