Scotland isn’t short of locations, sites, attractions and cities that make for a great day out! With educational, inspiring and fascinating places to visit, the whole family can get out and about with plenty to see and do across the country.
Scotland’s attractions are so fantastic that they frequently win awards! Scotland’s Thistle Awards sees amazing local businesses win in a variety of categories and themes, and this year our 5 regional winners are nominated for the Great Day Out Award. Have a read below about these attractions and the family-friendly experiences they offer, then head over to The Scottish Sun to cast your vote on who should be the winner!
1. Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, Edinburgh
You can’t go wrong with a day out here! Located in Scotland’s capital city just beside Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura & World of Illusions boasts magnificent 360° views of Edinburgh, alongside five floors and over 100 interactive, hands-on exhibits to enjoy. Explore Bewilderworld, the most popular illusion, lose yourself in the Mirror Maze, and hold on tight as you enter the turning, tilting and twisting Vortex Tunnel.
2. The Devil’s Porridge Museum, Dumfries & Galloway
Contrary to what this attraction’s name suggests, the museum is not about porridge! Step back in time as you uncover the story of HM Factory Gretna, the greatest munitions factory in the world during WW1, and the remarkable lives of the people who lived and worked here. The name ‘Devil’s Porridge’ is referring to cordite, an explosive, which was mixed here during the war.
Spread across two floors you can delve into the nitty gritty details of this time in history, exploring life in the trenches, the Quintinshill Rail Disaster, life in the townships, the Women’s Police Service, the bombing of Gretna in 1941, RAF Annan and much more.
3. The Helix: Home of the Kelpies, Falkirk
An attraction that needs no introduction, The Helix is an extraordinary addition to Scotland’s landscape. Home to The Kelpies, two 100 ft tall metal sculptures of the mythical Scottish water horse, they are a real sight to see up close. You may have already spotted them if you have driven along the M9 past Falkirk, but visiting them in person adds a whole other element to the experience.
The Helix is free to visit and boasts various paths and trails that you can explore on foot or on two wheels, with accessible facilities onsite too. There are also tours with a knowledgeable guide available where you can learn all about the story of The Kelpies and even venture inside for an exclusive look at their engineering and ingenuity.
4. Macduff Marine Aquarium, Moray
Have you ever had a burning curiosity about Scotland’s marine life? Head to the Moray coast where Macduff Marine Aquarium is home to an array of local sea creatures, that inhabit everywhere from the rocky shores to the kelp reefs and beyond. Located in the historic fishing village of Macduff, delve into fascinating exhibits, say hello to all the fishy residents, listen to marine experts give daily talks during feeding times, and make sure you stop by the gift shop before you leave too.
5. Shetland Seabird Tours, Shetland
Shetland is an incredible archipelago of around 100 islands located between mainland Scotland and Norway. Here you can find a range of landscapes and wildlife that are unmatched across the rest of Scotland. One great way of experiencing this up close is with Shetland Seabird Tours. Head out on a chartered boat tour with an expert skipper who knows all about the area and where the best spots are to see a range of seabirds and wildlife.
Keep your eyes peeled for Atlantic puffins, razorbills, common guillemots, black guillemots, great skuas, kittiwakes, and even grey seals. Shetland is also home to some iconic landmarks and striking geology, which you can also see from the well-equipped charter boats.
*Please note that these tours are seasonal and will reopen in April 2023.
That was just a taster of all the amazing attractions you can add to your list for a great day out! If you have a favourite already, make sure you vote in the poll by midnight on Saturday 3 December to see if it could win the Great Day Out Award.