In the school holidays, it’s all too easy for the kids to park themselves in front of the tv and slouch their way through summer. But with just a little prep (and a thrown-together picnic), the school holidays can be a brilliant time for learning, exploring and making memories. Here are just a few suggestions to get you thinking!

Explore some of Scotland secret gardens

Explore some of Scotland secret gardens

Take life more slowly at Linlithgow Canal Basin

Take life more slowly at Linlithgow Canal Basin

Charity Garden Openings

The Scotland’s Gardens scheme raises money for charity through encouraging, promoting and supporting garden openings all over the country. For just a small donation, you can gain access to some of Scotland’s most beautiful secret gardens, and you may find a cream tea there, too. There are dates throughout July and August. To find a garden open near you, type in your postcode on their website: https://scotlandsgardens.org/

Summer Programme at the Engine Shed

Head to the Engine Shed throughout the summer holidays for fun, free workshops that will introduce you and your family to traditional building skills and materials. Choose from Brilliant Buildings, to Inventor’s Workshops, to a James Watt Engineering Challenge, 3D printing, to creating your own powered machines. Even if you don’t book onto one of the Summer Programme events, this is a fabulous place, and well worth the visit. You’ll be able to find out lots about the important work of Historic Environment Scotland, too. For more information, visit: https://www.engineshed.scot/whats-on/event/

Linlithgow Canal Basin

If you like spending time on the water, then Linlithgow Canal Centre is for you. The Canal Centre (just 22 miles or 29 mins from Stirling) is operated entirely by volunteers and their love of the boats and the water brings a little magic to your trip. The Centre runs three core trips – a half-hour town cruise, a three-hour Avon Aqueduct Cruise, and a Falkirk Wheel Cruise. The Aqueduct cruises take place at weekends, The Falkirk Wheel cruises on specified dates, while the town cruises run daily throughout the summer from 1 July. Tickets are very good value, staff have a wealth of local knowledge, and you can enjoy some gorgeous home baking before or after in the Canal Centre Tearoom (with a wood fire in winter). The Canal centre is a hidden gem in the heart of Linlithgow, and worthwhile supporting too. Don’t miss their Canal Fun Day on 18 August and bring a picnic. For detail on ticket prices, cruises, special events and facilities, see: http://www.lucs.org.uk/boat-trips

Stirling Highland Games

On Saturday 17 August, Stirling Sports Village will host one of the region’s signature annual events. Stirling’s Highland Games welcomes visitors from around the world to witness traditional Highland games competitions in the heart of the City. The games field offers brilliant views over to the Wallace Monument, Cambuskenneth Abbey and Stirling Castle. A full programme of traditional events includes running, cycling, Highland dancing, heavyweights, long jump and triple jump.  In addition, there will be an Arts & Crafts Market, an Activities Challenge area, Heritage Tours, and a Food & Drink Festival with street food vendors, producers and craft beer, gin and whisky bars, as well as entertainment from the Creative Arts Festival with live performances from 12:30 until 17:00. Buy your tickets online: http://www.stirlinghighlandgames.com/

Anniversary Events at the Wallace Monument

The National Wallace Monument opened its doors to visitors on Saturday 11th September 1869, and 2019 marks the building’s 150th anniversary. The anniversary year will be commemorated with an expanded programme of events, including free activities every day in July and August such as Warrior Training on Thursdays, Family Fridays, and actor performances on Saturdays and Sundays. And remember to ask staff abut converting your admission ticket into an annual pass, which means you can come back to enjoy each of the Monument’s Anniversary events! For more information, visit: https://www.nationalwallacemonument.com/ht_event/

 

Stirling Highland Games is a perfect day out for everyone

Stirling Highland Games is a perfect day out for everyone

The Wallace Monument has a packed Summer Programme this year

The Wallace Monument has a packed Summer Programme this year

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