We think the Borders and Lowlands are a great destination for a family camping holiday. The amount of Fun Things to Do in the Borders and Lowlands with Kids is insane, and you should think about it for your next camping trip.
It’s a part of Scotland and there are many fun things to do in the Borders and Lowlands with kids with castles, nature reserves and local wildlife ready for you and your youngsters to explore.
And here are some fun ways of keeping the younger ones entertained during your camping trip.
10 Fun Things to Do in the Borders and Lowlands with Kids
Let’s have a look at 10 fun Things to Do in the Borders and Lowlands with Kids so to plan the perfect camping holiday in the region.
1. Meet the dearest of deer in Fife
All kids love Bambi – and at the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar they can meet our indigenous red deer and roe deer, as well as 12 other breeds from around the world. There are daily “nose to nose” sessions with a rare chance to get up close to a hand-reared deer. And for the more adventurous there’s a carnivore “feed, walk and talk” every afternoon, introducing the centre’s wolf pack, its red foxes and the endangered Scottish wildcat!
Add an adventure playground, a tree-top walk and pedal-powered go-karts into the mix and you’ve got all the ingredients for a great day out.
2. St Andrews’ best kept secret… until now
Hidden for 40 years, the Secret Bunker’s 3-tonne blast-proof doors are now open to tourists. This underground command centre is buried 100 feet beneath a farmhouse in Troywood (near St Andrews) and is the size of two football pitches! It was equipped with specialist communications equipment during the Cold War years and was to be the main line of contact with the outside world in the event of a nuclear attack on Scotland.
Explore the command centre, the BBC broadcasting studio and dormitories set to sleep 300 – before rounding off your tour with a salutary visit to the CND room.
3. Focus on bird life in the Firth of Forth
The Scottish Seabird Centre, in the pretty seaside town of North Berwick, is the Big Brother of the bird world. Here you’ll find giant TV screens with live feeds from 14 cameras on the islands in the Firth of Forth. There’s Bass Rock, home to the largest colony of Northern gannets in the world and BBC Countryfile’s nature reserve of the year (for the second time in a row); and the Isle of May with its impressive puffin and seal populations.
Kids will love exploring the Flyway Tunnel and learning how seabirds and marine mammals find their way during migration and what these long trips mean in terms of survival.
4. Counting the castles in Lothian
From the famed Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a volcanic rock, to the impressive stronghold of Blackness Castle in Linlithgow, Lothian has its fair share of fortifications worth a visit. In North Berwick, young history nuts can explore Dirleton Castle (built in 1240) with its dungeons and grisly “murder hole” and, just a little further east along the coast, there’s the impressive Tantallon Castle.
Built on a promontory in the mid 1300s, this was Scotland’s last great medieval castle and it’s protected on three sides by the sea. Tantallon withstood several dramatic sieges over the centuries, until 1651 when Cromwell’s army blasted through its defences and the castle was left to the birds. (There are also great views of Bass Rock and those gannets from here!)
5. Be blown away at the windfarm – not literally!
Rather surprisingly, the UK’s largest onshore windfarm (and Europe’s second largest) is just 20 minutes away from central Glasgow. Head to Eaglesham Moor, where you’ll find 215 turbines generating enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.
The Whitelee Windfarm Visitor Centre, run by the Glasgow Science Centre, is a great resource for teaching children about renewable energy and greener living, and after your visit you can explore some of the surrounding moorland on foot or by bike. The area is carefully managed together with the RSPB, to protect the natural habitat of the curlew, merlin and black grouse that live here.
6. How quick will you fall for the Falls of Clyde?
Tumbling down from the historic village of New Lanark, the river Clyde navigates not one but four waterfalls. The biggest has an 84-foot drop and these spectacular features form the heart of the Falls of Clyde nature reserve.
The interactive games at the visitor centre are a fun way for kids to learn about badgers and other local wildlife. They can then take in the sights along the riverbank with a themed “Victorian” walk, or enjoy a purely auditory experience in the unique bat booth. Eek.
7. Brave an epic spiral staircase in Stirling
We hear that the people behind Brave were inspired by the 1995 blockbuster, Braveheart – which was in turn based on the life of Sir William Wallace. There’s a Wallace monument in Stirling where animation addicts can stand alongside Mel Gibson fans in paying homage to Scotland’s national hero.
Climb the 246 steps to the “crown” at the top, checking out the three galleries on your way up. Among the exhibits on display you’ll see the battle sword of the great man himself.
8. Free fun for all the family at Palacerigg
Palacerigg Country Park in Cumbernauld (near Glasgow) is a free visitor attraction offering a big helping of family-friendly fun.
As well as 300 hectares of grassland, moorland and woodland to explore, you’ll find a children’s farm with rare breeds, a sensory garden, reconstructed longhouses and a new badger trail. And you won’t want to miss the adventure playground and the tree-top walkway!
9. A wheelie good day out!
At Glentress, hire a mountain bike and head out on one of the colour-coded trails (we advise sticking to green for beginners and younger riders). The custom-built trails here at Scotland’s most popular mountain bike centre form a network of roughly 70 kilometres – where more experienced riders can take on tougher challenges such as the Spooky Woods Descent and Deliverance Loop.
10. Explore the ancient and the obscure in Dumfries
The Dumfries Museum is a stand-out building, housed in what was once a windmill. Step inside this towering treasure-trove to marvel at fossilised footprints left by the dinosaurs, relics of Stone Age man and (much more recent) Victoriana. At the top of the museum there is a camera obscura – a forerunner of the modern camera – where young visitors can puzzle over an inverted image of the landscape outside. Say cheese!
Booking campsites in the Borders and Lowlands
We hope you enjoy your camping holiday in the Borders and Lowlands. Our sites in the area are handily listed by region: Ayrshire, Berwickshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Lanarkshire, Lothian, and Stirlingshire.
Once you’ve got the gear packed, site booked and the things to do sorted you’ll be well on your way to a fantastic camping trip to see the best to do in the Borders and Lowlands with Kids. Have a great trip!