A nanny recommends...summer around Scotland

Parentline volunteer Rachael

With the summer holidays now in full swing, Parentline volunteer and part-time nanny Rachael has a whistle-stop tour of activities around Scotland to keep the kids entertained without breaking the bank.

Scotland is full of interesting museums of art, history and more, with many having free entry. In the Highlands, you can take a trip to the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore to see how people used to live and work in the local area. Or you could treat children by taking them back in time to school at the Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow.

If Wimbledon’s inspired your family, Tennis for Free is a UK charity providing free access to local courts and even lessons for children. There have locations across Scotland, so check out tennisforfree.com to find out more.

Odeon and Vue offer child friendly film screenings from £2.50 a ticket over the summer holidays –perfect for the unpredictable Scottish weather! Your local cinema should have more information.

For more activities safe from the elements, there should be lots on at your local library. Many have engaging events for children including arts and crafts, reading groups or activities to work your child’s brain!

First bus is offering free travel around South East and Central Scotland for up to two children when you pay for an adult day ticket, which is a great way to get to all these activities.

On days when the weather is on your side, a great activity is taking children on exciting woodland walks. Up in Argyll, you can explore the Gruffalo trail in the Ardkinglas Woodland Garden where the mouse will show you the way! Near Forres, your children can climb up into the trees in the Culbin Forest or get paddling at the beach.

In the Scottish Borders, the Coldingham Gala is 28 July has an array of stalls, games and a tug of war competition. A family ticket is £7 and under 5's get in for free. And after, why not take a trip to Coldingham Bay for an ice cream and a walk on the sands?

Last but not least, there’s the festival of course. Aberdour Festival on Fife’s Riviera has a programme of events for children, including sports and games, theatre, music and outdoor exploring.

Girl running on a ferry

Summer events listings and links

The suggestions above are just a small selection of what’s on this summer across Scotland. But there will be many more free or inexpensive things near you. Your local museum or library should be able to point you in the right direction, or you can try the links below to search for more activity ideas to keep the kids busy.

If you need us, we're here

The summer holidays aren't always a happy time and can be stressful for many families. Our volunteers are always happy to listen with kindness and help you think things through.

Whatever it is that affects your family, you can talk it over, in confidence, with Parentline. We're here by phone, webchat, email or text - wherever you are, 7 days a week.