Best places for a grand day out
We’ve rounded up the best places in the east and west to head with the whole family in tow. Get ready for your next big adventure…
In the east
Dalkeith Country Park
Part of a recent park revamp, Restoration Yard features a café, chic shops and a Wellbeing Lab (offering yoga and pilates classes amongst others). Scene of many an Edinburgh ‘80s-kid’s party, the adventure playground at the park is now called Fort Douglas and is better than ever – turreted treehouses, suspension bridges, slides and secret tunnels will entertain children no end.
Dr Neil's Garden
Nestled between the loch and kirk in Duddingston Village, Dr Neil's Garden (pictured below) is one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets. Created in the ‘60s by husband and wife team, Drs Nancy and Andrew Neil, to encourage patients to get active outdoors, the garden is now open for the public to enjoy and has a café offering home baking.
As well as being home to one of the best spas ever (Fletcher’s Cottage is amazing), the Archerfield Estate boasts a popular Walled Garden where visitors can explore a network of pathways, as well as a 5k running route. Children love the Fairy Trail, where they can sprinkle fairy dust at the tiny doors of fairy houses and this year, there will be an outdoor performance of Romeo & Juliet too.
The Secret Herb Garden
A summer must-see, the Secret Herb Garden houses more herbs than you knew existed, many of which are used in the café. There's also educational courses on subjects like bee-keeping, and full moon dinners.
In the west
Set in a restored walled-garden on the banks of the Clyde, the friendly family-run Ardardan estate features a garden nursery, farm and woodland walk. Stock up on local produce in the shop and fill up on homebaking in the tearoom.
Rouken Glen Park
With lush lawns, woodland walks, impressive waterfalls, a walled garden and even entertainment for the little ’uns, it’s easy to see why Rouken Glen Park has a 4-star visitor attraction rating from VisitScotland.
National Museum of Rural Life
Ever fancied life on a farm? Get your wellies on and head to the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride (main image). While you won’t get the opportunity to do any lambing, you will be able to visit the museum’s working farm and get up close to some of the livestock.
Main image: The National Museum of Rural Life, Sean Bell