Looking for something different this summer? We’ve got you covered.
From enchanted glens to spooky caves, these magical locations will leave kids (and the young at heart) spellbound this summer.
Here are some of those on our map in a bit more detail.
Latheronwheel Fairy Glen, Caithness
Latheronwheel Strath is an undiscovered gem of the far north. The picturesque harbour is a great spot for a family picnic. From there, follow the signposts to the Strath, a short walk up the hill. The Fairy Glen is lovingly kept by local volunteers, with great attention to detail. Young kids will love spotting the fairy houses nestled among the trees, and finishing touches like tiny wellie boots and toadstools just add to the fun.
The Hogwarts Express, Glenfinnan
Grab your wand and climb aboard the Hogwarts Express! The stunning west Highland landscape was made famous by the filming of the Harry Potter movies, featuring the iconic Glenfinnan viaduct. Today, young witches and wizards can experience the magic on the Hogwarts Express, a Jacobite steam train that puffs across 1,000ft of breathtaking scenery.
Smoo Cave, Sutherland
Venture into Smoo Cave and let your imagination run riot. From Vikings to villainous ghosts, the cave is shrouded in legend and folklore. Set into the limestone cliffs of Sutherland, this is the largest sea cave in Britain and dates back thousands of years. Adventurous kids will love discovering the stalactites and hidey-holes. The name ‘smoo’ itself is thought to have come from the Norse ‘smjugg’, meaning hiding place. You can explore on foot or by boat, and there’s a lovely beach and picnic area too.
Pirates and Mermaids Adventure, Highland
Start your own family adventure on the shores of a loch on the world-famous North Coast 500. This tailor-made experience includes pirate and merfolk costumes for little ones then an action-packed canoe ride complete with water pistols, games, riddles and treasure hunt. There’s also the option to finish off the day with a BBQ on the shore.
Clickimin Broch, Shetland
Go back in time with a visit to Clickimin Broch in Lerwick, Shetland. Found on the shore of Clickimin Loch, this ancient stone roundhouse dates back more than 3,000 years. Kids will love exploring the network of stone passageways, steps and lookouts. There’s also a mysterious set of footprints carved above a door – were these the footprints of an ancient king? After your visit, take a short drive across the isles to Burra for pony trekking along the beach.
The Glen, Maryculter
Escape into your favourite story book at The Glen. Formerly known as Storybook Glen, this 28-acre park features popular nursery rhyme characters, Old MacDonald’s Farm, an excellent playground and restaurant. Entry costs less than £5 per person and kids under one go free.
Aberdeen Science Centre
What can be more magical than the world around us? Visitors to Aberdeen Science Centre can launch an air rocket, play a tune on the solar piano, programme a robot and try out the DNA Disco! For younger visitors, there’s shadow play and optical illusions as well as endless fun curiosities to explore. The centre is open but with reduced hours and booking is essential – visit the website to check up to date information.
Spy mission, Aberdeen
See the granite city through fresh eyes with this spy mission treasure trail. The trail is self-guided and suitable for all ages. Trail maps can be downloaded at home or sent to you by post, for £9.99. The trail takes you on an adventure around the west end of the city, where you will uncover clues in buildings and monuments in a bid to complete the mission.