The end of lockdown may be in sight, but parents will still have one more holiday to traverse, desperately trying to find something to occupy little minds.
We still have to stay within our local areas this Easter and, after so long spent socially distancing, it’s understandable if parents need an inspiration boost.
With a little imagination, there’s still a chance to go on another great adventure, whether it’s recreating tall tales, exploring ancient woods, spotting rare animals or delving into some of Scotland’s horrible histories.
The National Trust for Scotland is currently planning for the re-opening of its grand houses, castles and museums in line with national guidelines, but many of the natural locations the conservation charity looks after are open to the public for local visits now.
Here we look at eight different Easter adventures for every kind of family.
A place to relive Ratty and Mole’s adventures in the Wild Wood or play the part of Robin Hood, the Old Wood of Drum in Aberdeenshire dates back to the 13th Century and was once part of a royal forest.
Paths take you beneath 400-year-old oak trees and lead to the dramatic Drum Castle. And keep a close eye open for the Old Wood’s residents – red kites, roe deer, red squirrels and badgers.
Culzean Castle in Ayrshire has one of the best adventure playgrounds in the country, Adventure Cove.
It’s a wonderland of sand pits, rope swings, wooden castle walls and has its own giant pirate ship. You can continue the pirate theme at Culzean down on the rocky beaches and caves, once used by smugglers. The castle is currently closed but the toilet facilities at its Home Farm are open, while the kitchen is open at weekends for takeaway only.
Make sure you grab your wand for a day out in Harry Potter territory.
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is world famous as the train track to Hogwarts, while the Jacobite monument beneath it offers stunning views down Loch Shiel.
If you live further south, near Glencoe, you can visit three different locations in the glen that featured in the movies, all immediately recognisable to fans, including one that provided the setting for Hagrid’s Hut.
People in Inverness have one of Scotland’s historical gems on their doorsteps, with Culloden Battlefield largely unchanged since that fateful day in 1746.
You can walk the Jacobite and government lines and get a true sense of history – and the scale of the battle. April also marks the 275th anniversary of the battle.
If you are lucky enough to live locally, the National Nature Reserve in the Cairngorms is a paradise for families, with a network of paths for people of all ages and abilities.
Mar Lodge Estate also boasts four of the UK’s five highest mountains and is a great place to spot wildlife, including the golden eagle.
Alloway is Robert Burns’ birthplace and home to the cottage where he was born and the museum that tells the story of his life and works.
But the village is also the setting for the poem Tam O’Shanter. You can follow the path from Burns’ cottage down by the haunted Alloway Auld Kirk, where the bold Tam spied the hosts of hell.
The Soldier’s Leap, at Killiecrankie, was the scene of one of the most incredible tales in Scotland’s history.
A young Red Coat soldier leapt 18ft across the raging River Garry to escape pursuing Jacobites. It’s no wonder Donald MacBean was so eager to escape, with that battle in 1689 one of the bloodiest to take place on British soil.
Few places in Scotland are as picturesque as the cobbled streets of Culross. You can see exactly why this village has been a popular ready-made set for TV shows and movies, with time-travelling epic Outlander the most recent visitors. While the palace is closed at present, a wander round the streets feels like a trip back in time.
The caves at Culzean Castle were not only a hiding place for smugglers but have their own ghostly piper, said to have disappeared in their depths after trying to prove to locals they were not haunted!
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