Dozens of Easter hunts have been organised at the National Trust for Scotland’s historic houses, glorious gardens and cracking countryside over the weekend.
For the ninth consecutive year, the conservation charity has teamed up with Cadbury to host Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts from tomorrow, Friday, March 25, to Monday, March 28, at venues across the country including Brodie Castle near Forres and Inverewe Garden and Estate on the edge of Loch Ewe in Wester Ross.
The Easter Bunny has left clues to follow, and children can collect them, solve the puzzle and claim a chocolaty reward.
Carly Lamberty, the trust’s marketing manager, said: “We’re getting cracking on our visitor season extra early this year, with lots of Easter fun thanks to our partnership with Cadbury. And every egg hunt helps us to look after the special places in our care.”
For more information and a full list of participating venues, visit www.nts.org.uk/easter
Several Historic Scotland properties are also opening their doors in time for Easter, including Balvenie Castle and Spynie Palace in Moray. Balvenie Castle is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland.
It served as the formidable stronghold of the great lords who ruled over this part of north-east Scotland, including the Comyn earls of Buchan, the “Black” Douglases and latterly the Stewarts. Spynie Palace, the residence of the bishops of Moray for five centuries, is worth a visit to discover its rich history.
Along with St Andrews Castle in Fife, Spynie is one of the largest surviving mediaeval bishop’s houses in Scotland.
Farther north, at Hilton of Cadboll, stunning kite photography gives a fresh perspective on the remains of the mediaeval chapel, where visitors can see a replica of one of Scotland’s most stunning Pictish stones.
Susan Loch, from Historic Environment Scotland, said: “These cherished local sites range from castles to churches, and from prehistoric forts to atmospheric ruins. They are steeped in stories, and visiting them helps bring Scotland’s fascinating history to life.
“We have all sorts of resources to help people understand and enjoy these places, from recently refreshed interpretation panels at many sites to our free visitor app, which helps visitors build their own historic itinerary.
“There’s never been a better time to get involved with the history and heritage of your local area. Why not see how many historic sites your family can visit this year.”
And that’s not all, there are plenty more opportunities to enjoy some Easter fun:
Excited children will descend on the Highland capital this weekend to take part in the annual Great Easter Egg Hunt.
Organised by Inverness Business Improvement District, in conjunction with Eastgate Shopping Centre, the free event promises to be lots of fun for all the family as youngsters hunt for eggs hidden in the city-centre shop windows.
Free face painting and Easter crafts will be available on the day, and you can meet the mad hatters and the loveable lifesize bears and bunnies. You can also visit the Victorian Market and have your photo taken with the Easter Bunny Balloon family in the magical Easter Garden.
Entry forms and cryptic clues will be available at each entry point, including the Tolbooth Steeple (opposite the Town House) and Eastgate Centre (Falcon Square entrance). Everybody who hands in a completed entry will receive an Easter chocolate and all correct entries will go into a prize draw to win one of four £50 Eastgate shopping vouchers.
The Great Easter Egg Hunt will be held tomorrow, Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, from 11am to 4pm.
Head to Elgin Town Centre to celebrate Easter with all the family on Saturday. March 26.
There will be the usual farmers’ street market, Bubbles the Clown to entertain young and old alike, plus lots of Easter activities to keep the whole family busy, including an Easter-themed fancy dress parade, Easter Egg Hunt, pop-up crazy golf and bring your own decorated egg for the Easter egg rolling area.
For the fancy dress parade, registration takes place in the St Giles Centre from 11.15am to noon. The parade will head through the centre and down on to the Plainstones, where there will be a prizegiving for the winners from 12.15pm.
It’s full steam ahead for a family-friendly day out when Strathspey Steam Railway runs its Easter Special on March 27 and 28. A great experience for the little ones, book this special to take part in a mini circus workshop at Aviemore station and enjoy a return trip to Boat of Garten and Broomhill, with some Easter fun on board: glitter tattoos and balloon models, as well as two cute little guests – Pop the bunny and Tiki the hedgehog.
Easter exhibition of paintings, photographs, textiles, glass, jewellery and ceramics created by artists living in the Cairngorms National Park. Iona Gallery, Kingussie. Free admission. Exhibition on from 10am-4pm daily until March 28.
Easter fair and hunt. Clues will be in Kingussie village shop windows. Starting point and pick up your sheet from Talla nan Ros, Kingussie, 11am-3pm on March 26.
Rothiemurchus Easter egg hunt. Meet outside Loch an Eilein Gallery and Visitor Centre at 11am on March 27, and hunt for chocolate eggs that the Easter bunny has left behind.
ELSEWHERE IN THE HIGHLANDS
Celebrate Easter at the Nevis Range at Fort William. Roll up at the Snowgoose restaurant at Nevis Range and collect your free hard-boiled egg, colour it then see how far you can roll it down the slopes of
Other Easter activities include a chocolate egg hunt at 11am and 2.30pm, face painting and badge making.
Easter family fun day with an egg hunt and bouncy castle from 1pm. MacDonald Hotel and Cabins, Kinlochleven.
Easter teas and lunches at the Pipe Band Hall in Wick, on Saturday, March 26, from 11am-3pm.
Easter craft and food fair, plus stalls and demonstrations, and crafts and games for youngsters. Invershin Hall, Invershin, March 26 from 11am-3pm.
must use this piece. pic caption: Hannah Reilly, 5, is joined by Easter bunny Gandalf as she checks out some of spring plants set to fly off the shelves at Dobbies this Easter weekend.
DOBBIES GARDEN CENTRES
Dobbies Garden Centres have a host of ideas to make this Easter weekend egg-stra special, including Bunny Breakfasts, which are available from 9.30-11am from tomorrow until Monday, March 28.
Priced at £8.95 per child, the ticket includes a hot breakfast with toast and a soft drink followed by games and activities with the Easter Bunny. Each child will also receive a complimentary Easter chocolate treat to take home with them and enjoy. Advanced booking is required at www.dobbies.com
Easter is officially the start of the gardening season, and Dobbies Aberdeen is gearing up for its busiest weekend of the year so far.
Richard Egerton, Dobbies’ plant buyer, said: “As the weather has been different all over Scotland and with our unique microclimates, what might be right for one garden isn’t necessary the same for another, so take the lead from your plants.
If your spring bulbs came early and are now looking past their best, de-head and introduce some pot bulbs for a second burst of seasonal colour, or in your bedding areas look to plant in pansies and violas.
“With an earlier-than-usual Easter weekend, we may not experience the warmer temperatures we’re used to, so my top tip would be to focus on your lawn. Lawns are starting to grow and are ready for their first light cut and feed. It’s important not to cut grass too short for your first mow, in case of frost.”