It’s Mother’s Day in lockdown. Another day where long lunches and cream teas have been replaced by social distancing.
The streets around our homes have been well trodden on endless lockdown laps, but if anything, the past year has taught us to appreciate the joys on our own doorstep.
We’ve discovered the local parks and beauty spots we previously saw as a shortcut to town or a sign we passed on the road and revisited the places our parents dragged us to, kicking and screaming, during our teenage years.
This Mother’s Day deserves a walk that’s a little bit special, whether it’s a trip down memory lane or a visit to a stunning garden or location.
Just remember, under current restrictions we are looking for locations within five miles of where we live. The National Trust for Scotland has hidden gems in all four corners of the country, which make for a memorable day out.
So pack a flask of tea and a slice of your mum’s fave cake!
House of Dun and Montrose Basin
You get the best of both worlds on a visit to the House of Dun as you can stroll through perfectly maintained gardens and follow ancient paths through the woodland surrounding the property, before striding out into the wild and the Montrose Basin Nature Reserve.
The basin is home to thousands of birds, while in the woods you may be lucky enough to encounter otters, roe deer and red squirrels.
One step within the walls of Malleny and you leave behind the hustle and bustle of Scotland’s capital. The gardens are a real hidden gem, tucked away in Edinburgh’s suburbs.
It is designed as a place for quiet contemplation, with benches and stone seats dotted around. You can also walk among “The Four Evangelists”, the Malleny’s 400-year-old yew trees.
One of Aberdeenshire’s gems, Fyvie is an imposing fortress with a rich history. Past royal guests have included kings William the Lion around 1214 and later Robert the Bruce and Charles I. The grounds and land which surround Fyvie are stunning and crisscrossed by a network of paths. They also contain a picturesque loch and walled gardens.
Staying in the North East, Crathes Castle is a picture-perfect Scottish tower house, surrounded by woodlands, rivers and waterways, which are home to pine martens, otters, red kites, badgers, roe deer and red squirrels. Almost all of Scotland’s favourite mammals are frequently spotted in the grounds.
Corrieshalloch is a National Nature Reserve a short drive from Ullapool and Inverness. The River Droma runs through a mile-long canyon and is crossed by a Victorian suspension bridge which overlooks a series of crashing waterfalls. There are two clearly marked pathways through surrounding woods.
Lose yourself for hours in this stunning glen, nestled in the shadow of the Ochil Hills and overlooked by the ruins of Castle Campbell. Paths disappear into the surrounding hills and woodland while one of the most beautifully named stretches of water in Scotland runs through it: the Burns of Care And Sorrow. Dollar Glen’s waterfalls are also a delight.
Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns
Gladstone’s Land is one of the longest-standing buildings on the Royal Mile and from there you can wander through the winding Old Town streets, into the neoclassical New Town. At its heart is the stunning Georgian House. Both properties form a perfect loop on a route which takes you through some of Edinburgh’s most beautiful streets.
Well known to generations of Glaswegians it’s hardly a hidden secret, but worth revisiting to remind yourself of the sheer scale and beauty of this southside oasis.
Crathes has six paths which cut through the surrounding woodlands, but its walled gardens are internationally renowned. Look out for pools, fountains, themed borders, roses and lots of unusual plants.
Plan your day out and search for other adventures in your local area by visiting
nts.org.uk and entering your town or postcode.
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