Guest blog post from our social media volunteer and baking extraordinaire Janis McCulloch.
Being a mum and an auntie I’m always on the lookout for interesting places to go with my wee one and my nieces and nephew. As much as they loves soft play it gets tired after a while, plus it can get expensive with the entry fee and food while you’re there. So at Relationships Scotland we’ve pulled together a list of the top free family days out that you might not have thought of.
Thanks so much to everyone on Twitter and Facebook who contributed. Some of the suggestions like the National Museum and Summerlee Heritage Museum featured in our previous top ten which you can read .
1. – Beecraigs Country Park is a great place to visit. It caters for a wide range of leisure and recreational activities within its 370 hectares (913 acres) and can be discovered nestled high in the Bathgate Hills near the historic town of Linlithgow. There is a great adventure playground, places for picnics, beautiful walks through the forest. There are some charges for things like using the climbing wall, but certainly lots to do for free.
2. Museum of Fire (Edinburgh) – The Museum of Fire (which if you ask me is a great name) tells the story of how Firemaster James Braidwood developed the first municipal fire brigade, and showcases a variety of equipment and appliances from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as older artefacts which chart the development of firefighting over more than 400 years in a fascinating, interactive tour. It’s open Monday to Friday , 10am until 3pm but you need to call ahead to ensure that someone can take you round 0131 228 2401
3. Greenock Museum and Heritage Centre – The Greenock Museum is open the last Sunday of every month. The fire engines, uniforms and firefighting equipment on display recreate the original atmosphere of this old Fire Station and, as you walk round the Museum, you will experience the lives of generations of firefighters through their stories, photographs, uniforms and medals.
9. – Mersehead is a wildlife haven, supporting huge numbers of birds, flowering plants and invertebrates. The reserve has excellent facilities for visiting schools, including a new pond-dipping area, visitor centre, hides, abundant wildlife and a variety of habitats to investigate. There are a couple of different trails to walk; the Wetland Trail is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.
The whole of Loch Leven is a National Nature Reserve providing a haven for wildlife. The Loch Leven Heritage Trail allows you to explore the Loch whilst minimising disturbance to birds. There is a great café with a park a bit further up.
10. of course you could do this at any airport, this one just happens to be local to me. It’s also home to the Tipsy Nipper restaurant where you can sit and have lunch while taking in the views of the planes.