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Our Big Scottish summer

Explore, experience and enjoy the best of Scotland this summer.
A mum, dad, boy and girl sit on the grass in a garden. The mum and dad are laughing as the children roll over each other, playing. A vibrant pink rose bed is in the background.

From incredible beaches and iconic mountains to gorgeous gardens and super-fun play parks, we’ve got your summer sorted! We’ve put together some suggestions for ways to experience and enjoy the best of Scotland this year.

If you love Scotland and love making memories, you’ll love our membership offer. You’ll be able to access our places for free all year round, and enjoy the benefit of free car parking in Trust car parks ... plus so much more! We look forward to welcoming you.

Amazing summer experiences

Tail-wagging trips

We know that dogs are precious members of the family. At the National Trust for Scotland, we have many brilliant places where you can take your furry friend to make treasured memories together.

That waggy tail is infectious; it’s hard to know who gets the most enjoyment from a lovely walk at one of our properties! Discover the towering woodlands at the Hermitage, stroll beside the babbling burn at Barry Mill or explore the extensive grounds at Fyvie Castle – where will you head first?

And don’t forget, Trust membership means you get free entrance to all of our places.

Wonderful dog walks in Scotland

A smiling girl crouches down and pets a brown and white dog on the lawn in front of Crathes Castle. The dog appears to smile at the girl and sits nicely, her lead lying on the grass beside her.

Magical castles

Some of the most recognisable castles in Scotland are in our care. Whether you’re bringing your own Cinderella to Craigievar, following the dodo trail (yes, really!) at Brodick, or playing hide and seek in the beautiful grounds at Brodie, visiting one of our castles is the perfect fun way to find out a little more about Scottish history.

Castles in Scotland

A little girl dressed in a Cinderella costume runs across the lawn in front of Craigievar Castle, with a man dressed in a suit of armour standing behind her.

Places to play

Our adventure playgrounds are a great way to introduce children to Scotland’s heritage while giving them the chance to let off steam. From exploring our brand new natural play area at Drum Castle to releasing your inner pirate at Culzean Country Park or crawling through a tunnel into our library-inspired playhouse at Newhailes, each of our play areas offers something unique.

And when (if!) they’re tired of climbing, crawling, sliding, swinging and bouncing, you can always take a look around the rest of the property. There are multiple elements to make a fun full day out, with trails (indoors and out) as well as regular special ranger-led events to find out about the plants and animals that we look after.

7 favourite playgrounds

A young child balances between wooden upright poles in a play park. A blue painted wooden playhouse is in the background.

Adventures in nature

Scotland’s outdoor spaces are a natural playground where you can enjoy everything from hiking and biking to picnics overlooking your favourite loch. Play hide and seek in Greenbank Garden, join a wildlife Land Rover Safari at Glencoe or follow one of six nature trails at Crathes Castle.

Getting outdoors is a great way to keep active, try new things, and enjoy Scotland’s magnificent wildlife – from tiny caterpillars to large llamas, you can spot them all at our places!

Outdoor activities in Scotland

A young boy is carried on his mum's back in a woodland. They have stopped in front of a wooden pole that has a wooden sculpture of a bird on top of it. The little boy is reaching out to touch the sculpture.

Beautiful beaches

Scotland is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and some are right around the corner from Trust properties – a few of our places even have spectacular beaches of their own. Explore the rock pools at Culzean, experience ‘seabird city’ at St Abb’s Head, or simply build sandcastles on the white sands of Iona. This is what summers are made for!

And remember that being a member means you can enjoy free parking in our National Trust for Scotland car parks.

Super Scottish beaches

A family walk hand in hand along a sandy beach, with rocky cliffs behind them. The two children are skipping and laughing.

Rainy day fun

Rain does not stop play! From printing works and castles to interactive museums, we have something to suit everyone if you’re looking to stay dry on a rather soggy day. Try on costumes at the Georgian House, create your own shadow portrait at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and explore the interactive exhibition at House of Dun.

Or, you can pull on the raincoats and wellies and embrace a puddle-jumping walk. The rain just makes those plants even lusher at Threave Garden! Many of our places have cafés and tearooms where you can dry out at the end.

Things to do on a rainy day

Two children stand in the case room at Robert Smail's Printing Works. They wear white aprons and are selecting letters from large wooden trays in front of them.
A family stand under large gunnera leaves.

Tasty treats

Enjoy a hot or cold drink, some tasty home baking or a delicious lunch as you recharge for more adventures. Across the Trust, we make, bake, taste and grow the items on our menus, so there really is something to satisfy all types of taste buds!

Explore our cafés and tearooms

Puzzle answers

Here are the answers to the puzzles on the back of your Our Big Scottish Summer map that you collected from one of our places – we hope you had fun solving them.

Please follow the QR code on the Our Big Scottish Summer map that was delivered with your newspaper to find the answers to those puzzles!

Message for members: Please follow the QR code on the Our Big Scottish Summer map that was delivered with the summer edition of the member magazine to find the answers to those puzzles.

Match the shadow: Puffin 1

Days out crossword

  1. Pineapple
  2. Craigievar
  3. Newhailes
  4. Brodie
  5. Hermitage

Spot the difference

  • The left horn points in a different direction.
  • The highest flower faces in a different direction.
  • The plant on the left has an extra leaf on the stalk.
  • The coo on the right is missing a little bit of fur in the middle of its body.
  • The tails are different.
  • There are 8 geese on the left and 7 geese on the right.

Two young women and three small children run across the lawn in front of Newhailes House, towards the camera. They are laughing and holding hands in a long line.

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