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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Good Summer days out in Scotland...

This feature is almost 3 years old

As lockdown eases, TFN looks at some of the great days out you can embark upon whilst giving much needed support to charities #NeverMoreNeeded

With the sun out (at least for the time being...) and lockdown restrictions (seemingly) beginning to ease, the majority of Scots are looking forward to getting out and about.

It’s the perfect time to get out and visit some attractions. The charities behind some of Scotland’s favourite sites need your help more than ever, so TFN has compiled a list of Good days out for you to enjoy.

Bridge 8 Hub, Edinburgh

Bridge 8 Hub

Bridge 8 Hub is Scotland’s first canal based outdoor activity centre and is situated in south west Edinburgh.

Whether participants are looking for taster sessions or more adventurous trips, it offers canoeing, raft-building, kayaking, archery, mountain biking, rock climbing and more.

Bridge 8 also provides canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle board hire while mountain bikes can be hired from the Go Bike Hub.

For more information visit the Facebook page or ring 07808 534028.

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

Situated on the shores of Loch Ness, you can discover more than 1,000 years of stirring history centred on the Great Glen.

Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart saw great conflict during its 500 years as a medieval fortress.

Control of the castle passed back and forth between the Scots and English during the Wars of Independence.

The power struggles continued, as the Lords of the Isles regularly raided both castle and glen up until the 1500s.

The castle is open, but has introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you will not be able to visit without booking online in advance. 

The Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk Wheel

Nothing like the Falkirk Wheel has ever been built before anywhere in the world.

Boat lifts might be nothing new but a rotating boat lift is a massive feat of engineering. The result is awe-inspiring and beautiful: the largest piece of functional sculpture you will ever see.

And it has also become one of the country’s most popular family days out.

Operated by the charity Scottish Canals, the 50-minute boat lift takes you to the Union Canal 35m above before returning to your starting point.

The wheel has also become a pop-up theatre during the summer months hosting everything from children’s shows to productions of Macbeth.

Have a look at the website for full opening hours and information surrounding visiting The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies during Covid-19.

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo has been frank in revealing the financial challenges Covid-19 has created for the attraction.

The park staved off closure last year through securing emergency support, and is desperate for visitors to return. It is now open to guests.

The zoo is one of the finest in Europe, with animals living there including Asiatic lions, an array of penguins and of course the Giant Pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian... along with the new arrivals, the giraffes.

For more information, visit the website.

Scottish Seabird Centre

Seabird Centre

The Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick was saved by a public fundraising appeal last year.

The centre underwent a major renovation at the end of 2019, and now has an interactive visitor experience that helps people discover the wonders of Scotland’s marine habitats and learn more about the risks they face.

The centre is has now reopened, and has a range of measures in place to ensure the safety of visitors.

Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve

Grey Mare's Tail waterfall in the Scottish Borders

Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve is situated along the Moffat Water Valley in the heart of the Southern Uplands.

This National Trust for Scotland property extends over 922 hectares and is characterised by a dramatic waterfall (the 5th highest in the UK).

In the reserve you can enjoy a range of walks from a short stroll to a more challenging day in the hills - all with breathtaking views. Keep an eye out for ospreys, ring ouzels, feral goats or nesting peregrine falcons… or even search for fossils along the way.

Have a look at the website for details of parking, directions, etc…

RSPB Loch of Strathbeg Nature Reserve

RSPB Loch of Strathbeg

Many of the RSPB’s 77 sites across Scotland have remained open to local residents during Covid-19. As Britain's largest dune loch, Strathbeg in Aberdeenshire is a vital wintering and staging post for up to a fifth of the world's pink-footed geese.

It's also home to a wide variety of wetland wildlife, such as breeding terns and gulls, migrating waders and wintering wildfowl. At time of publication, the car park, visitor centre, toilets, hides and trails are open at this reserve.

Visit the Strathbeg website for more info.

Glasgow Science Centre

Science Centre

The science centre has been providing lots of at home experiments for children to get to grips with during lockdown.

The outdoor space at the centre has been getting a makeover in recent weeks, adding another attraction for when visitors are allowed to return.

The centre is now open - see the website for booking details - and is particularly exciting for children, with lots of experiments to try out.