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Issue 29 - Great Scot!

Scotland Magazine Issue 29
October 2006


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Scotland Magazine © 1999-2018. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

Great Scot!

There's enough happening in Scotland to keep even the most demanding child amused on a family holiday. Cora Lydon reports

Rumour has it that the ghost known as the Green Lady still appears in Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire – so why not take the kids on a ghost hunting tour?

Crathes Castle is a 16th century tower house with a walled garden and well worth a visit. Watch out for the ‘trip’ step which was originally intended to disconcert attackers from bygone years who were climbing the staircase.

For literary minds what could be more exciting then recreating a scene from Harry Potter?

All aboard the Jacobite Express steam train, as featured in the popular books and movies transporting pupils to Hogwarts, for the focus of the West Highland experience organised by McKinlay Kidd.

The West Highland Railway line is renowned for its engineering and stunning scenery, and your trip will include a day on the Jacobite Express and a stay in the beautiful Lochaber area.

Travel back in time and come face to face with your 5,000 year-old ancestors at Tomb of the Eagles – which pre-dates the pyramids.

The tomb was discovered in 1958 and now houses many artifacts including bones of 340 people, ceremonial tools, beads, talons, pottery and working tools. Visitors can also stop off at the Bronze Age site and even handle some of the original artifacts during guided talks in the museum.

The attraction is located in South Ronaldsay.
Tel: +44 (0)1856 831 339

A must-have visit for any family is to Our Dynamic Earth – an attraction in Edinburgh.

There’s so much to do to keep little ones amused from journeying to the centre of the earth, witnessing outer-space when you become an astronaut, travelling back in time to the past and wondering through a tropical rainforest.

It’s sure to keep them amused for the whole day and there’s also a café and play area to round off the day.
Tel: +44 (0)131 550 7800

The kids will love the opportunity to play at being scientists at Satrosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen.

The exhibition of science and technology offers visitors from three to some 103 hands-on experiences to make science come alive.

There’s also a science shop so you can try out more scientific investigations at home and the Tramsheds café to feed those hungry minds.
Tel: +44 (0)1224 640 340

Play at being secret agents for the day with a visit to a secret bunker in Troywood, Fife. You can uncover the twilight world of the Government Cold War via a tunnel hidden beneath a Scottish farmhouse. Follow the tunnel and you will reach Scotland’s secret bunker and 24,000 square feet of secret accommodation on two levels, which lies 100 feet below ground. But remember you need to keep it amongst yourselves.
Tel: +44 (0)1333 310 301


No family holiday would be complete without a trip to the local theme park. For plenty of thrills head to Loudoun Castle Theme Park in Galston, Ayrshire.

For older kids there’s the Drop Zone – featuring an electrifying 140ft vertical fall if you dare, and for younger children (or lily-livered parents) there are tamer choices such as the Wackyworm rollercoaster, Splash Mountain Log Flume and Britain’s largest carousel.
Tel: +44 (0)1563 822 296

Follow in the footsteps of Captain Scott and get a taste of his Antarctic adventure. The award-winning Discovery Point, Dundee is one of Scotland’s most exciting visitor attractions and allows intrepid youngsters to recreate the travels of the Royal Research Ship Discovery, which was built right here in Dundee.
Tel: +44 (0)1382 201 245

Take to the seas at the Galloway Sailing Centre in Kirkcudbrightshire where your kids (and you if you fancy it) have the opportunity to try sailing, white water kayaking, windsurfing and powerboating.

And if, after all that, they want to try out some land-based pursuits you can find quad biking, climbing and abseiling all readily available.
Tel: +44 (0)1644 420 626

The latest fad to hit Scotland is sphereing – this involves crawling inside a giant hamster ball and being rolled down a hill.

As yet the only place you can try this ‘sport’ in Scotland is Nae Limits in Dunkeld, Perthshire, unless you happen to have a 12ft inflatable ball at home, that is.

No previous experience is needed but children must be older than 16. If you need someone to hold your hand you can sphere with a friend or for added kicks take a couple of buckets of cold water in there with you.

Younger children will still enjoy watching this bizarre sport too.

Strange but true – this experience is oddly addictive! Sphereing runs from March to October
Tel: +44 (0)1350 727 242


Children can’t fail to be in awe of the majestic beauty of whales so a spot of whale watching is an absolute must.

Between the months of April and September is prime time for catching a glimpse of whales, dolphins, basking sharks and porpoises off the coast of Mull.

McKinlay Kidd organises a three-night B&B break, including a whale watching exhibition, with prices from £149 for children under 12. It will also offer suggestions for walks which will take in the glorious landscape and beaches where you might be able to spot seals and sea eagles too.
Tel: +44 (0)8707 606 027

Adventure-loving kids will be thrilled to take a walk through the underwater tunnel at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry, Fife.

The tunnel runs for 112 metres and gives visitors the chance to experience an underwater safari and the chance to spot the Sand Tiger shark which can grow to up to three and a half metres in length!

Luckily, thanks to the two and a half inch thick acrylic between you and the water, everything appears to be about 30 per cent smaller than it actually is.
Tel: +44 (0)1383 411 880

Little boys and girls will delight at all the creepy crawlies just waiting to be discovered at the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World.

Butterflies, snakes, frogs and insects can all be seen and there are also handling sessions (if you’re brave enough), feeding attractions and lots of workshops to immerse yourself in nature.
Tel: +44 (0)131 663 4932

Get up close and personal with the residents at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park near Stirling.

A visit here is a mixture of driving through animal reserves to see what you can spot then parking and walking through pets farms, stopping to play at one of the many adventure areas, visiting chimp island or watching the sea lion and falconry displays.

We guarantee this trip won’t fail to impress!
Tel: +44 (0)1786 841 456

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