There’s just one or two weeks left of the school holidays so we have put together a few ideas of some great local days out!
Edinburgh Zoo is owned by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and is set in around 82 acres of sloping parkland. It is located just three miles to the west of Edinburgh city centre and takes less than an hour to get there from Newton Mearns.
You’ll see over 1,000 rare and endangered animals and there’s a busy programme of educational events and activities ranging from keeper talks through to hands-on animal encounters as well as a wide-range of eating experiences, several play areas and gift shop.
Price: Around £20 per adult and £10 per child – book in advance for the best prices and discounts.
Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most historically important sites and was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle. Steeped in grandeur, knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors flocked here for grand celebrations from christenings to coronations.
See costumed characters in the roles of bodyguards, court officials, maids of honour and servants and get to know more about life in the 16th century. There are some great activities including dressing up and playing medieval instruments. You can also enjoy a guided tour with knowledgeable staff who will bring the castle’s infamous characters and history to life in great detail.
See the Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Castle Exhibition, Regimental Museum, Great Kitchens, Tapestry Studio and the nearby Argyll’s Lodging, a 17th century town house.
There is a restaurant, the Unicorn Café for hot and cold food and a gift shop.
Price: From £9.60 per ticket
This is a fantastic day out for the whole family and is just an hour away from Newton Mearns.
This is a beautiful, opulent castle and estate located right on the Ayrshire coast with stunning views out to Arran. It’s sculpted around miles of sandy coastline dotted with caves, and finished off with a Swan Pond, an ice house, flamboyant formal gardens and fruit-filled glasshouses.
The castle itself is perched on the cliffs and offers everything the earl could wish for in his country home. It was designed by Robert Adam in the late 18th century and is filled to the turrets with treasures that tell the stories of the people who lived here.
Price: From £12 per child and £17 per adult. Free to NTS members.
Catch one of the regular ferries from Ardrossan to Brodick and explore Arran for the day! It’s a great adventure for the children and there’s so much to do on the island including Brodick Castle and play park.
There are many beaches, restaurants and parks too.
Price of getting there: Two adults and two children with a car is around £60, less if you’re a foot passenger.
This safari park is a fabulous family attraction and home to over 350 rare and exotic animals. You’ll see Scotland’s only giraffes, see the monkey and Lion drive-thru, a sea lion show, bird of prey presentations, boat trip to Chimp Island and an incredible giant adventure play area.
It’s just outside Stirling and has numerous picnic and barbeque areas.
Price: From £16.50 for an adult, £12.50 for children
Located just behind Blair Drummond, Brairlands Farm is a great day out for the children. It has farm animals and a petting area with rabbits and guinnea pigs. It’s a working cattle farm and you can take a tractor ride to find out more about the farm. There’s also a large play area, trampoline area and strawberry picking farm.
Prices: £5.75 per adult, £7.75 per child
Another fabulous day out – Heads of Ayr Farm Park has plenty of exciting activities including bumper boats, electric tractors and diggers, a giant playpark, sand pit, trampolines, ringo sledging, a giant aerial runway, quad biking, archery and jumping pillows. It also has an indoor adventure play barn and restaurant. There’s also a whole host of animals including the Little Critters Animal Barn to see lots of smaller animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, degus, mice and birds or venture outside to the new animal zone and see many larger residents including Ralph the Camel, Troy the Tapir, llamas, ponies, donkeys and goats. The Park is also home to various breeds of monkeys, lemurs and meerkats.
Prices: £10.50 per child and £12.50 per adult.
See the world’s longest running indoor butterfly house with hundreds of free flying exotic butterflies in an indoor tropical rainforest. You can also enjoy daily animal handling and feeding sessions. Experience the fish feeding and animal feeding sessions as well as twice daily animal handling sessions where you can cure your phobias by holding a giant millipede, snake and tarantula.
Prices: Adults £7.95, Children £5.95.
Experience the magic of Loch Lomond’s magnificent scenery from the comfort of one of our cruises.
We depart from various locations and sail different routes, giving you the choice to explore the inaccessible hidden gems of Loch Lomond at your own pace.
Tarbet on the western shore provides the ideal base to explore the fjord-like northern landscape while the picturesque village of Luss focuses on the island gems of the south. Viking visitors, inspiring wildlife, island legends and the exploits of Rob Roy MacGregor – our cruises have it all – with the option of a wee dram to stimulate the imagination!
Prices: from £10 p/p