The top activities on a budget for families across Scotland during the October break

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THE school October holidays are almost upon us, with many families looking out for something to keep the kids entertained during the break.

Here are a few ideas that won’t break the bank, including the top three activities for a group of four to do for under £60 in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.


A royal affair 

Edinburgh Castle (Getty Images)
Edinburgh Castle (Getty Images)


Home to over 1,000 years of history, Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline of this stunning city.

Why not pay a visit and enjoy exploring the castle dungeons and getting up close and personal with the historic Crown Jewels of Scotland?

If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker then make sure you’re around to see Mons Meg, the cannon capable of blasting ammunition for as far as two miles, do its daily 1 o’clock blast!

Average entrance cost for a family of four: £54.40


On the buses

City Sightseeing buses are available in several Scottish cities


If you’re heading to Edinburgh on a rainy day then a City Sight Seeing hop-on-hop-off bus is a great way to see the sights whilst staying dry. And if it’s sunny, the top deck is ideal!

Enjoy the 14-stop tour which will show you landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat.

Keep the kids further entertained with the fun and freaky Horrible History audio tour on the headphones provided.

Average ticket cost for a family of four: £45


Treasure hunters

Royal Mile, Edinburgh (iStock)
Royal Mile, Edinburgh (iStock)

If you’re on a budget,  but looking to explore Edinburgh, then we recommend you take part in a self-guided treasure hunt through Treasure Trail.

By downloading a PDF, you and the family will be encouraged to work together to spot and solve the clues on a 1.75-mile route taking you to famous plaques, buildings and monuments all over Edinburgh’s old town.

Average download cost for a family of four: £6.99


Water babies

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Boasting 25 metres of clear blue water, Bellahouston is the perfect place for a splash around with the kids. Home to two swimming pools which sit alongside flumes and a dedicated splash section for kids, this day out will give you a chance to get the little ones to the top of their swimming class by the time they return to school.

Average cost for a family of four: £8.40


A taste of adventure


Push your child’s boundaries by paying a visit to Reidvale Adventure Play which offers a safe, supervised and integrated play space. While you’re there the kids can take advantage of the resident assault course challenge, four lovely big trampolines and a floodlit multi-use games area.

Average cost for a family of four: £2


Get creative


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While away a day at the Craft Pottery centre. Encourage the little ones to flex their creative muscles as they paint their own pottery and once it has been glazed and fired, they can take it home to use. There is a whole host of stencil options for you to choose from as well as some fabulous paint colours.

Average cost for a family of four: £3 per person plus the cost of pottery items to paint from £1 to £32)




Horsing around


(Getty Images)


If you’re keen for the kids to have a new experience or enhance their existing riding skills this half term, then Claverhouse Equestrian could be the perfect day out. This fully approved and insured riding school offers riding lessons at competitive rates and your kids can even have the chance to care for the horses by mucking out the stables and grooming these wonderful creatures.

Average cost for a family of four for a riding lesson or hack: £60


Green fingers 


There is a reason the University of Dundee’s Botanic Garden attracts over 80,000 visitors a year. Pay a visit and enjoy the glasshouse which has lemons, bananas and oranges for you and the children to find.

Before you arrive, make sure you download their online guide so that you can get the most out of your visit by spotting the different aspects of the garden including the resident goldcrests, herons and blue tits.

Average cost for a family of four: £13.60


Find your inner Einstein


Dundee’s Science Centre (Peter Anderson)

Pay a visit to the Dundee Science Centre, an educational charity promoting hands-on learning experiences with science. While you’re there, you and the little ones can explore the wonders of science in over 80 hands-on exhibits and if you’re feeling confident you can even take part in one of their live science shows which take place every day.

Average entrance cost for a family of four: Free


Additional tips


For travel options to all these fantastic destinations why not take a look at these great offers from Family and Friends Railcard, amongst other great discounts and promotions at Voucherbox.