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6 great family walks

Children by the pond at Brodie
Looking for adventure and child friendly walks near you? Here are 6 of our favourite family walks. Join the National Trust for Scotland today and you’ll be able to explore these places and many more.

1. Brodick Castle

Teeming with history and surrounded by mountains, Brodick is every inch the quintessential island castle.

From the gardens you can enjoy spectacular views over Brodick Bay to the Ayrshire coast. The country park has over 10 miles of waymarked trails and is home to abundant wildlife.

Don’t miss a visit to the countryside centre, where you can often get brilliant views of red squirrels.

Walks at Brodick Castle

2. Killiecrankie

A short walk will take you to Soldier’s Leap, and if you continue on the path for around a mile you’ll reach the southern end of the Pass of Killiecrankie, where a footbridge crosses the River Garry. Admire the view from the footbridge, particularly in autumn when the colours are spectacular.

Look out for unusual fungi – the Pass is a hot spot for rare mushrooms and toadstools. You may see lots of wildlife in the area, including red squirrels, woodpeckers and pine martens.

Walks at Killiecrankie

3. Brodie Castle

Two young children stand on a wooden fence, looking over to a pond with ducks on.

There are many walks around the estate, the pond and the shrubbery, which are accessible and free to all.

The Green Walk was used as a scenic shortcut to Brodie village and station. Villagers also used it in the 1950s to get access to the farm and road beyond. The route can be made longer by returning via the exit driveway or by following the public road to the pond.

Rodney’s Stone, an 8th-century Pictish monument, is situated on the castle entrance drive and can be accessed on foot from the main car park.

Walks at Brodie Castle

4. Crathes Castle

Standing against a backdrop of rolling hills and set within its own glorious gardens, Crathes Castle is every inch the classic Scottish tower house – and a fantastic day out for all the family.

Crathes Castle Estate was once part of the Royal Forest of Drum. Today there are a range of waymarked and clearly signposted trails. Look out for wildlife along the way – you may see red squirrels, woodpeckers and herons.

Take a walk along the Coy Burn - keep an eye out here for buzzards and kingfishers. They’ve probably been at home on the estate for at least as long as the castle walls.

Walks at Crathes Castle

5. Mar Lodge Estate

From the Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich car parks there are a number of low-level walks to be enjoyed, with views of the rushing falls. Throughout the estate, there are many reminders of the area’s human history, from Mesolithic remnants and post-medieval townships to the remains of 19th-century sheep farming.

Mar Lodge Estate is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. On the moors, red grouse, meadow pipits and skylarks are active, while treecreepers, willow warblers, stonechats and great tits are at home in the woods. Fortunate birdwatchers may even spot a golden eagle soaring high above.

But perhaps the most spectacular display comes in autumn when red deer stags start to rut – their roaring and clashing battles echo across the glens.

Walks at Mar Lodge Estate

6. Inverewe

There is a network of paths throughout the garden and two trails that lead around the estate – the Pinewood Trail (a 45-minute low-level circular walk) and the Kernsary Path (a 2–3 hour circular walk through the spectacular wilder countryside). Both have fantastic views.

The estate has many designations recognising its importance as a species-rich habitat. Our wildlife hide provides the perfect vantage point over Loch Ewe, where coastal birds, seals and otters can often be seen.

Walks at Inverewe

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