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Things to do in summer

Family in Glencoe

To help you complete your summer bucket list, heres a list of 17 things to see and do at Trust places. Weve covered everything from fun activities for the kids to challenging hilltop hikes and the perfect picnic spots, along with our favourite summer events (plus a few ideas for any dreich days).

Activities for kids

From adventure playgrounds to interactive experiences, here are some fun summer activities for kids.

1. Our amazing play parks are the perfect places for kids to let off steam. At Weehailes at Newhailes House & Gardens your little ones can crawl, climb, jump and slide to their hearts’ content. The playground is themed around the story of Newhailes itself, and there’s even a special area for toddlers with a sand pit and mini flying fox.

2. Isle Be Wild at Brodick Castle lets little adventurers go wild as they scamper around a giant maze of wooden bridges, towers and turrets. Follow the route to the tops of the trees to get a bird’s-eye view of the world below.

3. Looking for summer activities in Edinburgh? At The Georgian House, children can dress up in period costumes and get their hands on objects from the past like replica quills and jelly moulds.

Wonderful walks

Put your best foot forward this summer with a great walk, whatever your ability.

4. At the home of Scottish mountaineering, the wide open spaces of Glencoe let you choose from every kind of expedition, whether it’s a peaceful woodland trail or a rugged hill climb. If you need some tips on where to wander, just ask one of our friendly rangers.

5. Tread the same paths as William Wordsworth, Queen Victoria and J M W Turner with a blissful stroll around The Hermitage

Admire the towering Douglas firs, find your way to Ossian’s cave, and feel the majestic force of the Black Linn Falls.

Dog-friendly days out

Looking for a great dog walk near you? Four-legged friends are welcome at lots of our places.

6. Let your dog take the lead at Culzean Castle as you roam the vast and varied estate. Explore beaches, woodland and parkland before stopping off for a well-deserved rest (and a treat) at one of our cosy cafés.

7. With so many different routes to choose from, and so much to see along the way, the ancient wooded gorge at Killiecrankie is the perfect dog-walking destination. Let your canine companion splash about in the river as you look out for red squirrels and discover the dramatic story behind Soldier’s Leap.

Nature-spotting trips

The summer months, when our places are teeming with wildlife, are often the best time to visit Scotland ...

8. Keen ornithologists should pay a visit to Fyvie Castle, where Fyvie Loch supports large numbers of wildfowl, from swans and coots to mallards and moorhens. You might even spot ospreys fishing in the water!

9. With six waymarked trails and a wildlife hide, Crathes Castle is a great place for animal spotters, and you’ll find everything from roe deer and red squirrels to buzzards and kingfishers here.

10. Pay a visit to Scotland’s first bat reserve at Threave Garden & Estate, home to up to seven different bat species. The best time to spot these nocturnal creatures is at dusk, but there’s lots of other wildlife to see during the day – the nature reserve has several wildlife hides and an osprey viewing platform.

Picture-perfect picnics

Make the most of the warm weather and roll out the rug for some alfresco dining.

11. With croquet on the lawn or a round of golf on our original 9-hole hickory course, you’ll find lots of ways to work up an appetite at Hill of Tarvit Mansion. Enjoy the scent of blooming roses as you set up a picnic in the glorious landscaped gardens.

12. The Linn of Dee on Mar Lodge Estate was a favourite picnic spot for Queen Victoria, and you can follow in her royal footsteps. 

Settle in for a feast in the fresh air and try to spot golden eagles in the sky overhead – the estate is a haven for rare Scottish wildlife.

Rainy day activities

Dont worry if it gets a bit wet. These fun summer activities are available whatever the weather.

13. Dedicated to our national bard, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum takes you on a journey through his life and work. Explore the modest cottage where Burns was born and see more than 5,000 artefacts up close in the flagship museum, where you’ll also find interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. You can even celebrate Burns’s legacy by trying a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties in our café!

14. Breathtaking both inside and out, Falkland Palace was the home of some of Scotland’s best-known royals. The rain might stop play on the Real Tennis court, but you can still explore the royal apartments, once lived in by Stuart kings and Mary, Queen of Scots. Learn all about medieval ailments in the Apothecary, and discover the fascinating stories of the palace from our expert (and sometimes costumed) guides.

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