And the children?
Here is the list of activities we have tested with our two boys. Some activities are only for the smallest tots but majority are for all range of ages and even parents might or have to join. If you would like to know more or have a specific question just give us a call or drop us a message.
This is our boys’ favourite sandy beach to go to. It is only 30-35 minutes away, quite secluded and vast (especially with the tide out). It does get rather windy and the sea is cold-ish, but it does not deter children of any age to enjoy the dunes, sand and the myriad castle constructions. The car park is small so people tend to park alongside the road. It takes 5 minutes to walk to the beach from the car park.
Kelso is a charming little Borders town with a large number of things to do. The Skatepark in Shedden park is one of them. It has been newly rebuilt in the last couple of years and has proven to be extremely popular. It gets quite busy at the height of Scottish holidays but the children seem to be very nice to each other and tolerant of each others’ different abilities. In the close vicinity, on the other side of the park, there is also a new children playground. So get ready for 2-3 hours of fun.
If you like water and do occasional water sports then Whiteadder Reservoir in East Lothian might be a nice fit. Bring your, wetsuit, kayak or SUP and spend a whole day at this (under populated) reservoir. You can also explore a 5km walking path that contours the water itself however some sections will take you onto a road. Also, I have seen an adder (my first one ever) whilst walking around, so just be careful!
Nothing beats to see the children summiting a local (not too big) hill with the excitement and achievement in their eyes. The Eildons are easily accessible from Melrose. It is a bit of a hike up but with number of well timed stops and some sweet motivators it is enjoyable and fun. There are three hills of various sizes and they all get rather windy and cold. That, however, does not stop the children from getting to the top and enjoying the views of Scottish Borders. After that it is just a run down the hill!
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This one is rather obvious. A three week long celebration of arts and culture. We try to go every year – 1 day is spent with children admiring street performers or enjoying incredible bubble shows or eating rather varied street food (hit and miss on that one) and day 2 is only for adults – that is just popping in and out of shows, stand ups and experimental performances. Cannot be missed. www.edfringe.com
Although Gordon Community Woodland is mostly used by dog walkers it is a perfect place for the children to unleash their inner wild and fun side. The woodland is criss crossed by numerous paths, that either lead through trees, heather or wind themselves alongside a stream. Whilst exploring, children might just come across a perfect climbing tree, a swing, a pond, or even a fishing hut for some ‘impromptu’ picnics.
Although one of the children looks a bit miserable, he is not really. This particular day was raining whole day and the wind did to cease. The Cheviot is the highest summit in the Cheviot Hills on the English side. The path to The Cheviot starts at Langleeford and as you are approaching it, you will pass a number of carparks where you can leave your car. The path to the top is well trodden, muddy and wet. It criss-crosses the Harthope Burn in abundance. You will get wet feet! The hike itself can take 3-6 hours. It is not a hard walk, it has one or two slightly steeper areas and the summit itself is flat. The view – I have not seen any yet and I have been up there 4 times. Combination of bad weather and bad luck.
These are The Cheviot Hills on a Scottish side (The Cheviot – the highest point is on the English side). We do this one regularly. Kirk Yetholm is 30 minutes away, Your starting point is a large car park by the burn and farm nearby. You do have to pass an active fam yard and some cows and horses on the way, but the hike is worthwhile. It is hilly but nothing extreme, the path is well trodden and it is well signed. We found a circular path which takes around 2-4 hours (depends on the mood of a particular child). I think it is in a region of 11km.
When it is a bit rainier and windier than usual, we would recommend to take your children to Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. The centre does not just have a super climbing and bouldering walls but Clip ‘n Climb section which is suitable for the children from the age of 5. Even if you or your children never climbed before you, don’t worry, It is suitable for the beginners. Booking ahead is essential.
Restoration Yard and Fort Douglas sits within 1000 of acres in Dalkeith Country Park. Restoration Yard is beautifully restored stable yard where you can shop and visit restaurant and a cafe. Fort Douglas is a mixture of magical tree houses, outdoor climbing walls, suspension bridges, etc. It has two amazing play zones: one that’s perfect for toddler play and another for ages 5+. The whole playground area is outdoors (so a bit weather dependant) but it is perfect! On top of all the playing the whole family can either bring their own bicycles or borrow them on the premises and take advantage of the hundreds of acres.
This is literally 30 minutes of exhilarating sledging on a grassy slope. It is aimed at the children age 5 and over, but even younger ones can go. In fact, younger children are lighter in weight and therefore not going so fast – which in my eyes is a plus point. Heavier you are faster you go. The children receive a helmet, knee and elbow protective pads and a short but concise safety instructions…. and off they go!!! http://www.bornintheborders.com/grass-sledging/
Extremely easy to get to and just 20 minutes away (outside of Duns). You can park on the side of the road and start your walk. It is well sign posted. The walk is gentle – there are few very mild uphills and downhills which take you through a Abby St Bathan woodland, a wobbly bridge over the Whiteadder River and some cow fields. This Iron Age broch is rare and one of very few brochs found in Lowland Scotland. You can bring a picnic and let the children explore every nook and cranny of this fabulous dry stone structure.