Christmas is a time for traditions, but so much of it can get a little same-old, same-old for you and your little ones. That’s why we’ve scoured the country to find you five alternative, family-friendly places to visit over the Christmas break.
National Trust for Scotland Attractions
The National Trust for Scotland is a Scottish conservation organisation that looks after some of the country’s landscapes and most treasured historic sites, which are open year-round.
Don’t worry if all you want to do is consume several thousand calories and then crash out in front of the rerun of Only Fools and Horses, because you can join in on the fun from your sofa too! Go online for virtual tours around ten of the NTS’s most fascinating projects, including St Kilda, Castle Fraser, and the Hill House of Helensburgh.
Kagyu Samye Ling
A Tibetan Buddhist monastery is probably the last thing people think about when they think about Christmas – but if that’s the kind of Christmas magic you’re looking for, this temple in Eskdalemuir (near Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway) is open all day every day from 6am until 9pm, including Christmas Day.
Even if you don’t fancy the idea of chanting along to the mantra ‘Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ’, your family can still enjoy the surroundings by taking a stroll around the gardens and simply admiring the breathtaking gilded temple and stupas.
Any Outdoor Artwork
Public artworks don’t know it’s Christmas, so they’ll be around throughout the holiday… Plus they can be better appreciated when everyone is busy shopping for loved-ones.
The banks of the Clyde have been transformed by roughly a dozen significant works of art that have started a fresh conversation about the historic 30-mile waterway. Or you can take a walk to look at Antony Gormley’s 6 Times sculptures scattered across the Water of Leith.
Good news for parents who feel the need to do some exercise with their kids before proceeding to eat their body weights in turkey and all the trimmings: the mountains are open 365 days a year!
If you don’t live in the Highlands, Ben Lomond is always a good shout for a quick blast of fresh air – only a short drive away from Glasgow, so you can easily plan a day trip around it.
Deep Sea World
Home to thousands of deep sea creatures, Deep Sea World is one of the best places in the country to get up-close and personal with sea life… No, really! We are the only aquarium in Scotland to offer authentic indoor diving experience that’ll take you on an underwater adventure. You can even dive with sharks here – if that’s not a Christmas of a lifetime, we don’t know what is!
A trip to Deep Sea World is guaranteed to be lots of fun for the whole family, so book your tickets (more than 48 hours in advance to save up to 25%) and we’ll make sure you have a very Christmasea visit.