My love for nature and exploring it runs deep within my veins, as growing up most of our school holidays were spent travelling around to a few locations in Scotland with our family caravan. My fondest memories of holidays were often based around National Trust for Scotland properties, and namely their fantastic well run Holiday children’s activities, which my sister and I couldn’t wait for each year.
With a family of my own now I can see the same joy in our little one’s eyes as he gets to run and explore the world and hear new sounds and see new things. Like most families, money is tight in our household with many demands on cash as it comes in (and goes back out) and we are always looking for new ways to create memories together plus also keep us fit and active. That is where my love for the National Trust for Scotland starts, as it is the perfect way to open up a whole host of family trips out with little cost (£6 roughly a month for a family of 2 adults and up to 4 children ). That price you can’t beat – and also it motivates you to explore and visit local areas around you many times each year.
This year ahead then we plan to use our membership as much as possible and see what fun we find in the local area. Our first adventure this year took us to Greenbank Gardens, based in the southside of Glasgow.
Greenbank Gardens is one location I remember my parents taking us to as children many times – often with a picnic and a sense of running wild in the Walled garden. I have forgotten just how great this place is for little ones to explore and perfect for a morning or afternoon adventure.
The first place we explored on our cold autumn morning was the Walled Garden, which is a beautifully maintained quiet spot in the Gardens. We went on our visit with my niece & nephew (who are 5 & 3 yrs respectively) and they were equally in love with the place. Running in and out of all the “secret” pathways as they put it, seeing what exactly we would find in all the nooks and gaps was lovely and even with the chance to take in the beautiful flowers and wildlife. The Walled garden closes to the public over the Winter period, so we are glad we got a chance to see it.
As we had visited the property during the Scottish October school holidays, the staff had even put out on the walled garden lawn some large kids games (such as Connect 4) for kids to use as they wished. A lovely touch – and also just another aspect to keep all ages entertained.
After the walled garden, and a snack time, we couldn’t wait to take a walk around the walled garden and we weren’t disappointed. The Staff within the little tearoom and shop at the site couldn’t be more helpful to us as “first time visitors” and provided us with a map and directions on what track to follow to get the most out of our visit.
The simple little pathway round the Walled Garden was surrounded by beautiful trees and woodland perfect for little ones to explore and find nature’s treasures. However, we were delighted to see also that they had placed “look out treasures” along the path as well to spot – such as wooden carved birds and a large wooden pencil – another aspect that added to the fun and excitement for all of what we would find out our walk that morning.
Greenbank Gardens is perfect for a family walk and explore for us – it is simple and modest with its provisions but you can’t help but love to explore it together. We have already lined it up as our family “Christmas Morning walk” location, as the small walk round the walled garden lasting about 45 mins was perfect for little feet. It is one NTS location that dog lovers and families seem to love, as it was definitely well used all year round by all, and a great memory reminder for me.
If you would like to consider being a member of the National Trust for Scotland, feel free to check out their website nts.org.uk/join or follow them on twitter @n_t_s
Love MFF xx