We are certainly hoping for some warmer, sunnier weather as we head into April, towards the Easter holiday period. If so, it’s the perfect chance to step into Spring and get yourself and your family outdoors for some fresh air and a spot of walking in nature. Of course, we are spoilt when it comes to choosing the best spots for a walk in Scotland. Here we’ve selected a few places to explore on foot, from gentle, easy countryside walks to more challenging hill walks – why not take your hard boiled eggs up with you for a spot of egg-rolling this Easter weekend!
Lady Mary’s Walk, Crieff
Heading through beautiful woodland and following the banks of the River Earn, this walk is named after Lady Mary Murray, whose family were local landowners in the early 19th century. The path is great for bikes and buggies and it’s a short enough walk to take little kids on – get them spotting a variety of wildlife, from herons, kingfishers, grey wagtails and oystercatchers. Keep your eyes peeled as otters have even been seen, especially at dusk. Some of the trees are over 150 years old, providing stunning scenery in all seasons and there should be a bit of colour appearing in April. Allow 1-2 hours to enjoy an amble along the banks.
Dumyat is a perfect introduction to hillwalking, being part of the Ochil Hills that sit behind Stirling. It’s suitable for kids who don’t mind walking and a bit of a challenge! Superb views are given over Stirling, with the castle and Wallace Monument, and across Forth Valley, with views as far as the Forth Road Bridge offered on fine, clear days. There are several routes to the top but the most popular and straight forward is by the hill path, parking at Pendreich Forestry car park. After your hard-earned efforts, treat yourself with a coffee and cake in one of Bridge of Allan’s various cafes.
Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park, Edinburgh
What better spot for some Easter egg rolling than an ancient volcano over 2000 years old – that’s bound to get the kids interested! For city dwellers, Arthur’s Seat is right on your doorstep, only a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and family attractions such as Dynamic Earth and the Museum of Childhood. Arthur’s Seat dominates Holyrood Park, sitting 822 ft (251 m) above sea level, providing amazing panoramic views over the city. Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the grouping of hills that form most of Holyrood Park and though steep can be undertaken in a leisurely pace, but it can get more crowded on weekends. Take the circular walking route around Holyrood Park for a visit to the 15th century St Anthony’s Chapel, Salisbury Crags and Duddingston Loch, which is rich in birdlife. Finish your day off with a coffee in one of the many coffee shops nearby and treat kids to a well-deserved ice-cream.
Falls of Clyde, Lanarkshire
Surrounded by lush woodlands, the historic New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site is the starting point to the Falls of Clyde with its dramatic waterfalls and beautiful riverside walks. There’s a visitor centre giving information about the reserve and which tells you about the 100 plus bird species that have been recorded here – including a breeding pair of peregrine falcons, protected during the breeding season by Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Operation Peregrin. There are regular badger and bat walks throughout the year too if you fancy joining an experienced guide to spot some wildlife. Combine your visit to the reserve with some time exploring New Lanark, the unique 18th century cotton mill and mill worker’s housing site, which, alongside a fantastic visitor experience, also offers a café, restaurant, hotel, shops and the Clearburn natural play and picnic area which little ones will love.