20 July 2023

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"For centuries, Scottish castles have been inspiring legends, fairytales, 'once upon a time' moments, and battlement sieges," explained Paul Williams from National Trust. "As the school holidays are now in full swing, where better to help youngsters burn off excess energy?"

Here's Paul's pick of castles perfect for young legs to explore:

Brodick Castle

Nestling below the classic conical peak of Goat Fell, and looking out towards the Firth of Clyde on the Isle of Arran is Brodick Castle, where there's a packed schedule of events and activities this summer.

Enjoy an interactive visitor experience, including a Victorian arcade, mood lighting and evocative sounds. Or wander through the formal gardens on the Silver Garden Trail and Plant Hunters' Walk, before discovering ponds, waterfalls, and woodland trails, where red squirrels are easily spotted.

Younger members of the family can run, climb, and swing through the Isle Be Wild adventure play area, or follow the enchanting Fairies and Legends trail.

Dog lovers will adore K9s at the Castle on 7th August from 12 noon, a day celebrating dogs, with special games and treats.

Culzean Castle & Country Park

Back on the mainland, head to Ayrshire for 17 miles of pathways, 40 buildings and secret follies at Culzean Castle & Country Park - acclaimed architect and furniture designer Robert Adam's clifftop masterpiece sitting on 260 acres of breathtaking woods, beaches, and parkland.

The park is sculpted around miles of sandy coastline dotted with caves, and finished off with a swan pond, an icehouse, flamboyant formal gardens, and fruit-filled glasshouses. And the castle itself is filled to the turrets with treasures that tell the stories of the people who lived here.

There's loads going on! From Castle Costume Day (August 6th, 11th, 20th & 25th) when you can meet characters from the past, to Feed the Deer (August 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th) when you can help rangers with feeding, while learning more about our resident deer and llamas. Also worth checking out are Rockpool Rambles, Pond dipping, Nature Nippers Buzzy Bees, Bugs & Beasties workshop and Nature Nippers Batty Bats.

Brodie Castle

In Forres, in the northeast, you can step back in time with a guided tour of Brodie Castle and its glory days, and an insight into one of Scotland's most prominent families of their time. The Playful Garden is home to a fascinating menagerie of characters inspired by the castle's quirky and colourful history - including Scotland's biggest rabbit sculpture!

If your kids are mad about cars, make a beeline for Historic Wheels on 13th August and, if you like the sound of learning more about tracking, bushcraft sessions run until 14th August.