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20 Jun 2022

Get active this summer

Wild swimmer Calum launches from a rocky riverbank in Glen Etive
Ready to enjoy a great Scottish summer? From family-friendly days out to demanding mountain hikes, we’ve got plenty of ideas for the long, warm days ahead.

Bag a bunch of Munros

Whether you’re an experienced hiker used to bagging several peaks in a single day or are looking to add to your tally of Munros, summer is the perfect season to plan an adventurous multi-peak hike.

The Trust cares for 46 Munros – mountains in Scotland that stand over 3,000ft – and the good news for ambitious walkers is that many of them are clustered together, providing plenty of options for spectacular, challenging days out.

There are 7 Munros across the Ben Lawers and Tarmachan ranges at Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, and 10 in Kintail and Morvich, including the majestic Five Sisters ridge. With 8 Munros in Glencoe and 15 at Mar Lodge Estate, a fantastic array of adventures awaits.

Pack sensibly, ensure your navigation skills are up to scratch, tell someone where you’re going and always leave no trace.

Become a rockpool explorer

Nothing says a trip to the Scottish seaside like exploring among rockpools for marine wildlife – and there’s always something interesting to be spotted among the many pools at Culzean Country Park. A short but steep walk down from the castle and you can search along the shoreline for sea urchins, starfish and crabs. Semi-precious stones like jasper have sometimes been spotted here too.

For other beautiful rockpooling sites, try Rockcliffe on the Dumfries and Galloway coast and St Abb’s Head in the Borders.

All you need is a container to scoop up water from the pools and examine what you find inside. Remember to return all living things back to where you found them and be careful where you tread!

Try wild swimming

Wild swimming is an activity that’s soared in popularity in recent years, particularly inland in rivers, lochs and pools.

The photogenic ‘Blue Pool’ in Glen Rosa, beneath Goat Fell on Arran, is a lovely spot for a quick dip, or try the ever-popular River Etive, close to Glencoe National Nature Reserve and the Trust’s eco-friendly visitor centre.

As with any adventurous activity, take it easy at first – if you’ve not swum outdoors before, go with more experienced company. Never swim where there’s a strong current or where steep banks will make it hard to get out of the water, and always be aware of hidden rocks and logs beneath the surface.

Read more and discover top tips: Wild swimming, the day I took the plunge

Embark on a garden tour

This is the best time of year to visit your favourite Trust gardens, to witness both the finery of their summer blooms and the flurry of activity as pollinators swoop from one blossom to the next.

Make a full day of it by visiting a couple of gardens and enjoying their contrasting planting styles and plant varieties. Melrose is home to Priorwood Garden – a walled garden in the precinct of Melrose Abbey. Spend the morning exploring, enjoy lunch in the orchard, then take a short walk up the road to Harmony Garden for a relaxing wander among the scented borders.

For another horticultural duology, first visit the spectacular gardens at Crathes Castle and then travel less than 15 minutes away by car to the Garden of Historic Roses at Drum Castle, one of Scotland’s oldest tower houses.

Meet the fairies

There are many magical experiences to be had at Scotland’s only island country park, including miles of walking trails. But while you’re here, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the local fairy-folk.

The Fairies and Legends Trail at Brodick Castle Country Park celebrates Arran’s rich history of folklore, including a longstanding tradition of encounters with island sprites.

The enchanted trail of beautifully constructed fairy houses is tucked away behind the amazing Isle Be Wild adventure play area, close to the reconstructed Bronze Age roundhouse. Keep an eye out for red squirrels here too – it’s one of the best places in Scotland to see them.

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