With lockdown easing, Susan Welsh has a look at some of the many attractions Scotland has to offer for the rest of the summer.
Glamis Castle and gardens reopen
The timing of the reopening of the beautiful gardens surrounding Glamis Castle could not be better, as they are filled with spectacular summer flowers and herbaceous borders.
Here is a place where horticulture and history combine.
Plant lovers, families and dog walkers can once again enjoy the heady scents of the flowers in the Italian Garden, lovingly designed by Countess Cecilia, mother to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
A wander through the walled garden will reveal fruits and vegetables flourishing alongside Monet-style fountains, while young visitors can have fun exploring the grassed maze.
A slice of tranquillity can be savoured on the nature trail, while an innovative Macbeth trail captures the madness, mental turmoil and tempestuous weather of the play some believe to have been inspired by Glamis.
Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the gardens in front of the castle or buy takeaway food, drink and picnic hampers which pay homage to Glamis’ rich farming history.
Everything from wild woodlands to neatly manicured lawns surround the castle, which was the childhood home of the late Queen Mother and is now home to Simon Patrick Bowes Lyon, the 19th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.
New safety measures include a one-way system and hand-sanitising facilities.
All tickets for the garden and visits to the castle in Angus must be booked in advance with a date and time slot.
To book visit glamis-castle.co.uk
Scottish small-ship cruising company The Majestic Line will start cruising again from Saturday August 29 this year.
It will run two of its four-vessel fleet and offer six-night cruises with a reduced number of guests on board.
Working within Scottish Government guidelines, and having completed the VisitScotland Good to Go accreditation, the company has put a number of protocols in place to ensure the safety of guests and crew.
These include weekly testing of crew to ensure they are Covid-free, temperature checking of all crew and passengers, increased daily cleaning and sanitisation of all public areas.
Prior to boarding, all guests will be required to confirm that they are symptom-free and have not been in contact with anyone known to have the virus.
Cruises being offered include Mull and Her Inlets and Islands; Skye and the Inner Hebrides, plus one-off cruises entitled: Captain’s Choice, Isles of the Clyde and Southern Hebrides.
Gentle cruising, luxury cabins, gorgeous scenery, gourmet food and drinks await…
See Aberdeen in a new way
A new interactive outdoor-escape experience is coming to Aberdeen.
The Big Escape Live is a GPS-activated game which lets hundreds of people take part, while still following social-distancing rules.
The gaming experience will see the Granite City turned into a giant playground with teams of up to six people trying to solve puzzles, crack codes and complete challenges to take down Big Al’s Casino in a classic heist.
Mark French, from the experience, said: “There’s a flexible start time from Provost Skene’s House in Flourmill Lane giving people the opportunity to play at different times.
“But as teams navigate the streets together, they’ll be near to each other, which will hopefully create a buzz around the city, especially if they’re playing in fancy dress, which is optional.
“Teams can choose when they play the game as tickets are valid for six months, but after being locked in for so long, we wanted to try and create a fun and safe outdoor atmosphere for people to enjoy.”
The event is on August 22 with teams encouraged to play between 10am and 2pm.
Tickets cost £44 per team (a maximum of six people) with kids playing for free.
Scone Palace gardens reopen
The gardens and grounds surrounding Scone Palace are now open from Wednesday to Sunday – the first stage of life at the castle beginning to return to normal.
For the rest of the season, visitors can take advantage of garden season tickets and a loyalty scheme which allows them to visit twice, then get a third visit free of charge.
Tickets should be bought in advance via scone-palaceshop.co.uk
Outdoor catering, with tables and chairs, is available and there’s a pop-up food and gift shop open as well.