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SPONSORED: Top things to see and do this October

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As the school October holidays approach, so does the opportunity to spend time with your family, enjoying new and exciting experiences.

And while we can’t promise scorching sun or even guarantee a cloudless sky here in the UK, what Scotland lacks in bikini and barbeque weather, it more than makes up for in unique adventure opportunities.

From ziplining across cliffs, to visiting ancient jails and castles, you’ll find an activity to suit you and your family in Scotland.

Inveraray Jail

Experience one of the finest and best-preserved Jail and Courtroom complexes in the world.

Be both fearful and fascinated as you explore this unique collection of historic buildings brought to life by real characters from the Jail’s past. Hear true stories of what life was like for the men, women and children – some as young as seven – who were tried and locked up in Inverarary many years ago.

Witness the many forms of punishment used before the days of civilised courts; hear how criminals were branded with hot irons and had their ears nailed to posts.

Move through time and enter the spectacular courtroom; take your seat and listen to actual trials held in this room. Walk the narrow corridors of the Old Prison and see the cramped, overcrowded cells and the horror of young children caged in with lunatics.

Fun for all the family

Listen to dramatic true tales from the characters in the Jail’s past with audio guides, now available to download to your smartphone for free.

Pre-booking is not required when visiting Inveraray Jail, however visitors can save money when they book online.

Like many businesses across Scotland, the Jail has had to adapt and adhere to the Government’s Covid guidelines, with special arrangements in place for the foreseeable future.

For full details and opening hours, visit the Inveraray Jail website.

Highlanders’ Museum

Visit the five-star Highlanders’ Museum (Queen’s Own Highlanders Collection) and immerse yourself in its rich and diverse history, following in the footsteps of the Highland soldier from just after the Battle of Culloden until the present day.

The Nationally Significant Collection, the largest collection of military artefacts outside of Edinburgh, showcases the history of the Highland Regiments and includes an array of artefacts and archive material from the Seaforth Highlanders, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, the Queen’s Own Highlanders, The Highlanders and, most recently, Fourth Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS).

The museum includes items from the Lovat Scouts and Liverpool Scottish as well as our Allied Regiments from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Gurkhas.

Highlanders’ Museum

The Highlanders’ Museum at Fort George has a one way route in place, covering ten rooms home to many artefacts in which to immerse yourself. Take a trip around the historic 250-year-old Fort, take in the regimental Chapel with memorials to those who have served and many of the old Colours that have been carried into battle. Next, wander around the ramparts with stunning views across the Moray Firth, an ideal position from which to spot dolphins.

Or, plan ahead and have a team of dedicated researchers look into your family history within the Highlanders regiments represented by the museum.

With fun and exciting events for all ages throughout the year, your visit to the Highlanders’ Museum is guaranteed to be memorable.

For more information or further enquiries, visit their website or Facebook page.

Golden Eagle Ziplines

Experience Durness from the sky – at 40mph.

Soar like an eagle on one of the most thrilling zip wire rides in the UK at Ceannabeinne Beach, near Durness, on the North Coast 500 route.

Jump from the top of the high coastal cliff and enjoy the 227-metre flight next to the Atlantic Ocean, high across one of the most beautiful beaches in the Highlands – at speeds of up to 40mph. This fun and exhilarating ride is totally unique in its location and stunning surrounding scenery.

Ceannabeinne Beach

No booking is required – just come and have a go during the opening hours (10am-6pm), although do remember that all zip line operations are extremely weather dependent, so they can only open the site when conditions allow.

For up to date opening times and more information, visit the Golden Eagle Ziplines’ Facebook page.

Brodick Castle

There is plenty to see, experience and enjoy at Brodick Castle, Gardens and Country Park this autumn.

See the glorious colours of the changing seasons and take in trails of outdoor activities with the family before enjoying a visit to the Isle be Wild adventure playground.

Dramatically set against the backdrop of Goat Fell, the grand red sandstone Scottish Baronial-style castle has stunning views over Brodick Bay looking on to the Firth of Clyde.

The grounds and surrounds of the castle are well worthy of a visit alone – from the W A Nesfield-influenced landscaped gardens, to the woodland trails, wildlife ponds and waterfalls, there is plenty to see and explore outdoors in Britain’s only island country park.

Fairy cottage in Brodick Castle Gardens

Brodick Castle itself is also packed full of treasures – it’s renowned for its impressive collections of period furniture, silverware, porcelain, paintings and sporting trophies.

And remember, Brodick Castle is neighbours with the beautiful Goat Fell – pay both a visit in one fun-filled day.

For opening hours and information on how to book, visit their website or Facebook and Instagram pages.