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15 Dec 2021

Get active this winter

A family walk in a winter woodland © Halfpoint/Shutterstock
Feeling inspired to step outside? From family walks to some of Scotland’s most challenging mountaineering routes, we’ve plenty of options to get you out and about over the chilly months.

Pedal around amazing places

The National Cycle Network provides accessible and energising bike routes to a range of brilliant National Trust for Scotland days out, including the historic village of Culross in Fife, and Culloden visitor centre and battlefield where there are bike racks to lock up your ride. Culzean Country Park and Newhailes House & Gardens are both close to routes on the National Cycle Network too. You’ll find fun, bike-friendly trails to explore within their grounds (including a range of family-friendly options).

Snow-covered Newhailes House and Gardens

Keep the kids inspired

On a snowy day, the promise of snowball fights and snowmen is usually enough to persuade the children outdoors. Shake things up by offering the opportunity to replicate their favourite Trust castle in snow using a bucket and spade.

Without the lure of snowfall, you might need to work a little harder to encourage them out into the cold. Try a winter wildlife spotting expedition, a scavenger hunt, or invite a friend along to explore your favourite local Trust place. Wrap up warm, bring spare gloves and don’t forget the snacks!

Encourage children to be curious while they're out and about © ElenaEmiliya/Shutterstock

Wander the woods

Discover your local Narnia – after snowfall or on a frosty morning Scotland’s woodlands take on a sparkling new character. Explore the walking trails at the Hermitage, Linn of Tummel and Killiecrankie in North Perthshire and look out for icicles and winter wildlife. Dollar Glen and the woodlands at the Pineapple also turn magical under snow.

Mountaineering magic

Some of the country’s most awe-inspiring mountains are in the care of the Trust, and on clear winter days they become a snow-cloaked wonderland. Experienced winter mountaineers can look forward to some of Scotland’s most demanding and technical winter traverses on Liathach in Torridon or the Aonach Eagach in Glencoe.

Kintail & Morvich, Mar Lodge Estate and Ben Lawers also offer a wealth of options for intrepid users of ice axes and crampons. If you aspire to join them, consider taking a winter skills course first: Scotland’s mountains are stunning under snow, but a serious place to be.

An expedition to Liathach ridge ©

A monumental day out

For something a bit different, book your climb up the spiral staircase to the top of Glenfinnan Monument and be rewarded with one of the Highlands’ most unique panoramas. To the south, you look out across the shores of Loch Shiel, framed by rugged mountains. To the north, the now iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct – famed for its appearance in several of the Harry Potter films – stands proud.

Discover more about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the ’45 Jacobite Rising in the Trust’s exhibition, and don’t miss the 360° viewpoint above the visitor centre. For a longer walk, take the trail over a new bridge crossing the River Finnan to reach the viaduct itself, with options to follow a path across the hillside to Glenfinnan’s historic railway station or explore further up the glen.

Enjoy the view from Glenfinnan Monument on a clear and crisp day © Deatonphotos/Shutterstock

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