Winter is arguably the best season to enjoy all that Scotland has to offer. Frosty mornings and snow-covered hills make for awe inspiring sights, and the change in season marks the perfect time for families to get outdoors and explore the changing landscape.
Getting outside in winter is incredibly important for children. Not only do they get to experience the outdoors from a new perspective, but walking is a great opportunity to show the importance of being active all year round. The time spent together provides valuable bonding time for families, and a chance to learn more about the natural world. Not to mention, the exercise helps to burn off some of that excess energy from Christmas treats!
There are plenty of wonderful walks and activities for the whole family to enjoy across Scotland this winter, so make sure to bundle up and get exploring. Check out some of the top winter walks for families below.
Castle Fraser Estate, Inverurie
The breathtaking castle and grounds at the Castle Fraser Estate look like they have been taken straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Although the castle itself is closed from late October, the grounds are open all year round, and a number of short, family-friendly trails make this the perfect place for a winter ramble. The peaceful grounds are a haven for wildlife, and with the National Trust’s Digital Ranger app, children will be able to learn all about the animals, flora and fauna to be found on the estate.
Holyrood Park, Edinburgh
Holyrood Park in Edinburgh is home to a range of walking trails suitable for every family. For older children or more seasoned walkers, try scaling Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh’s very own volcano, for a great bird’s eye view of the historic city. For those looking for something a little less strenuous, Salisbury crags offers a gentler walk for little legs. Whatever route you choose, be sure to visit the Royal Mile afterwards to soak up some festive spirit!
Falls of Clyde, Lanark
The Falls of Clyde reserve is famous for scenic walks, breathtaking waterfalls, and the wide range of nature to be found. Over 100 types of birds have been spotted here, making it a perfect day out for budding ornithologists. Challenge your family to see how many bird species they can spot, and log your sightings on the BirdSpotter website. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare lesser scaup duck, or even the distinctive hoopoe.
Scottish Deer Center, Bow of Fife
The Scottish Deer Center is set over 55 acres of the Fife countryside, making the perfect place for a family day out walking. The Deer Center is home to 14 species of deer, otters, wildcats, birds of prey and even a wolf pack. There are plenty of educational activities run year round by the park’s expert keepers to keep the little ones interested, with opportunities to learn about (and meet!) resident animals. What could be more magical than meeting a real life reindeer at Christmas!
Top Photo: Path through Marsh at Uath Lochans in Glen Feshie, Scotland. Photo by John Holmes.
Bottom Photo: Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the group of mountains in Edinburgh, Scotland which form most of Holyrood Park. Photo by Mariusz Jurgielewicz.