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Half-term ideas

Medieval castles to the great outdoors, Scotland has it all

The ruin of Red Castle above Lunan Bay, near Montrose, Angus

With half-term just around the corner, Scotland will be home to some of the best ways to keep kids (and adults) entertained this October break, from besieging medieval castles to discovering their very own hidden slice of the great outdoors.

A recent study of UK holidaymakers, commissioned by VisitScotland, revealed what parents would most like their children to experience and explore on holiday. Almost three quarters of parents (72%) want to see their children exploring deserted beaches and rock pools, while more than half (53%) look for their children to be drawn in by the lure and history of ancient castles*.

Scotland’s beaches are some of the UK’s most unique and home to abundant wildlife in October. Lunan Bay in Angus is filled with rolling sand dunes, while neighbouring St Cyrus Nature Reserve is awash with colour and life. The rock pools of Yellowcraig beach & Barns Ness in East Lothian are full of creatures, especially crabs and starfish, and are great places to spot other wildlife in the area – including brown hares and great spotted woodpeckers.

The 400-year-old Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire is home to the Green Lady – a forlorn spectre said to be a harbinger of doom for the Burnett Family. Exploring the rooms she haunts is surely the perfect activity for Halloween.

Kids will love a trip to Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire, which will host the Freaky Halloween Forest from Saturday, 14 – Monday, 23 October between 12 and 2pm. Be transformed into a world of ghosts and ghouls where dressed up performers, elaborate set designs and special effects create a scary adventure to remember.

With its untouched, centuries-old pine forests, Glenmore Forest Park is a great way for kids to discover nature. Enclosed by rounded mountains and populated with lochs littered with sandy beaches, the sense of seclusion will appeal to children and adults alike.

Galloway Forest Park – an official ‘Dark Sky Park’ – has near zero light pollution, allowing children an unfiltered view of the stars. As almost half (45%) of parents would love their children to experience a night camping in the great outdoors, this might be the ultimate place to start.

For more information on what Scotland has to offer over the English and Scottish half term, go to:

www.visitscotland.com/blog/family-2/half-term-october-break-days-out/

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