Family friendly attractions and things to do in Perthshire and Angus
Families are always very welcome at The Red House; we offer family rooms, a special children’s menu with one-, two- and three-course options, and a great welcome from our dedicated staff. But however much we love to look after you, we’re guessing you won’t want to spend all your time in the hotel, so here are our top ten tips for days out with the kids in Perthshire and Angus. They all have a cafe or restaurant, unless otherwise noted.
1. Scone Palace is practically on our doorstep and, as well as tours of the interior, has 100 acres of grounds where the kids can let off steam. There’s an adventure playground with a zip-slide, a maze, and even peacocks to feed.
2. Glamis Castle, in the opposite direction, also offers child-friendly tours, a play area, woodland walks and a nature trail. There are usually cuddly-looking Highland Cattle in the fields around the castle, special events for Halloween, and plays are staged in the gardens (indoors if the weather’s bad) several times a year.
3. Noah’s Ark Family Entertainment Centre has something for all ages: a soft play area, a ceramics studio, indoor karting, 10-pin bowling, slides, trampoline, electric bikes, a rope bridge and golf for kids and adults. It’s a great place to entertain the whole family.
4. Perth Leisure Pool offers everything from a baby and toddler zone to flumes and an outdoor lagoon. They also have Wild Water, kids’ slides and bubble beds, 5 indoor swimming pools and a monkey jungle fitness gym – guaranteed to tire out even the most active child!
5. Highland Safaris offers a varied range of activities for days out with the kids, from gold panning to safaris by Land Rover, bike or foot (and, from 2017, by boat), a red deer centre where you can also see barn owls, a tractor park where kids can ride on real tractors, a discovery trail and play area. You can even take an off-road driving course – adults only! Much of the site is wheelchair accessible.
6. If you love wildlife but want a more peaceful day, the Loch of the Lowes Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve near Dunkeld has hides from which you can watch the resident ospreys. You may also be lucky enough to see the resident red squirrels and otters if you can keep the kids quiet long enough. You’ll need to take a packed lunch as there’s no cafe.
7. The Hermitage, also near Dunkeld, is a National Trust for Scotland property with beautiful woodland walks of various lengths to suit little and long legs. Ossian’s Cave, named after the mythical poet, and the observation point, Ossian’s Hall, overlooking the Black Linn waterfall, are both within a short walk from the car park. You can also see one of the tallest trees in the country from the same walk. There’s no permanent cafe but there’s often a van in the car park selling hot drinks and ice creams.
8. The Enchanted Forest, otherwise known as Faskally Woods, outside Pitlochry, is an autumn evening light and sound show that changes every year. There’s no parking on-site except for Blue Badge holders: you park in Pitlochry and take the dedicated bus. Folding buggies are fine but there’s no space on the bus for prams. Some parts of the site are unsuitable for electric wheelchairs or chairs with small wheels. There’s no cafe in the wood, but plenty of eateries of all sorts in Pitlochry – or, better still, eat at The Red House before you go! Outside the Enchanted Forest season, Faskally woods are well worth a daytime visit.
9. For a great day out indoors with the kids, Fair Maid’s House visitor and information centre is a terrific place. Run by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, it houses their collection, celebrates some of the great explorers, has a room where you can see Earth as though you were in space, an interactive globe and all sorts of other information for enquiring minds. It’s manned by volunteers so it’s worth checking that it’s open before you leave, and there’s no cafe.
10. The Perth Treasure Trail has a treasure hunt theme, with the answers to clues found on buildings, plaques and monuments all round the 2-mile route. If you need a break, stop off at the North Inch recreation space or in a cafe – Perth is well-supplied with them. The trail is suited to children over 6 years old and you can have clues sent to your mobile to help you find the answers if you’re stuck. You could even win some real treasure if you get all the right answers and enter the monthly prize draw!
These are just our top 10 suggestions for days out with the kids around Perthshire and Angus: there are hundreds more to choose from – active, educational, cultural, outdoors and indoors, seasonal or year-round. With a good breakfast, child-friendly evening meals and comfortable beds, The Red House makes the perfect central base for a memorable family holiday.