When the schools break up for the holidays, parents’ minds routinely go blank after the first day or two!
Angus isn’t always famed for its sunny weather, however we’ve come up with a list that will keep the kids entertained without resorting to tablets, telly or video games whatever the season! From farms and castles, to playgrounds and activity centres.
Whether you are visiting the area for the first time or live here we’ll sure you’ll find something that will take your fancy!
Things to do in Angus: Castles and Attractions
Glamis Castle is located just outside Forfar within the village of Glamis and is fondly referred to as the country’s most beautiful Castle. Their expert guides will help you follow in the footsteps of Mary, Queen of Scots, James V, Bonnie Dundee, the Old Jacobite Pretender to the throne James VIII, the ill-fated Janet Douglas and of course tell the story of the bitter-sweet life of Mary Eleanor Bowes.
As well as the Castle they run a host of events in their grounds including:
- Open Cinema Events
- Scottish Transport Extravaganza
- Glamis Country Fair
Their gardens are well famed for their walks and you’ll not be short of space for the kids to run off some steam!
The House of Dun can make a great day out, with a free park and lots of nature trails you can spend the whole day exploring here and only pay for parking! If you want to explore the Georgian House though which has been beautifully restored to its period along with the manicured walled gardens then you must pay a small entrance fee. Thirsty? The home also has a small, family friendly café.
Dunninald Castle and Gardens is situated just outside Montrose and offers guided tours through the summer months which leads you through the history of the building and of the family who lived there. The walled garden is the perfect place to explore along with the woods, which are carpeted with flowers from May through to Summer.
The Abbey, which was the richest in Scotland, is most famous for its association with the 1320 Declaration of Scottish Independence believed to have been drafted by Abbot Bernard, who was the Chancellor of Scotland under King Robert I.
The Abbey fell into ruin after the Reformation. From 1590 onward, its stones were raided for buildings in the town of Arbroath. This continued until 1815 when steps were taken to preserve the remaining ruins.
Pop along for a visit before heading along to Arbroath harbour to watch the sailing boats while enjoying an ice cream or fish supper from Marco’s on the Shore.
One of only three in Scotland it was gifted to the town by Sir J M Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, along with the cricket pavilion in which it is situated. It is only open on Saturdays and Sundays but boasts fantastic views of the local countryside. The Peter Pan kids park is just next door and is a well loved attraction, there are also walks around the hilltop and back down into Kirriemuir.
Farm Shops and Cafes
Located just off the A90 at Laurencekirk, Balmakewan is a farm shop and cafe known for its selection of sandwiches, cakes and afternoon teas as much as for its enviable selection of local craft beers. With nearby walks down to the river it makes the perfect stop for couples and families alike.
Charleton Farm has a large park area, which caters for kids of all ages. From toys and climbing frames suited to small children to a large castle climbing area, mazes and go karts, there truly is something for everyone. There’s plenty of picnic benches so you can grab a bite to eat or have a quiet coffee while the kids run wild in the enclosed park area. The cafe offers delicious fresh produce with their strawberry tart being their crowning glory!
Charleton Farm is unique, due to its ‘pick your own’ fruit experience. Which allows you to pick your own strawberries, raspberries and blueberries during the summer paying for what you pick at the end.
Murton Farm has many great activities for kids to enjoy including an adventure trail, sand pit, and outdoor games. You can also visit the star attractions, the two Kune Kune pigs, as well as the many small animals and birds that the farm hosts. They have also recently extended their tea room, perfect for lunch or grabbing a coffee. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming kids and adult classes they have running.
Dalmore Croft Farm located in Barry, just outside Carnoustie makes the perfect day out for families. Here you can join in a farm walk, learn about small scale farming and meet the animals. They sell fresh produce and flower cuttings; they also offer courses for those that are interested in learning more about farm life.
Recently awarded Scotland’s Best Outdoor Experience – at the Thistle Awards. When visiting Newton Farm you can experience a real working farm environment, joining them on various guided tours including the feeding frenzy where you can feed all the animals and the Alpaca walk.
Located at the foot of Glenisla, enjoy the countryside while visiting their excellent coffee shop which is famous for its delicious home-made food. Feed the ducks at the Mill Pond or take a stroll along the nature trail. We love to twin this visit with a walk to the Reekie Linn Waterfall which is just a little along the road – it’s one of the most impressive in Scotland!
The Country Park has recently gone through a complete transformation, they do now charge an entrance fee but you have the option to bring your own picnic if you want to keep the costs down.
Star attractions include a Fairy Trail, Combine Play, Wooden Maze, Giant Sandpit, Go Karts, Sledge Run, Jumping Pillows, Barrel Train, Dragon’s Lair play park and tractor courtyard.
Once you’ve done running around the centre also has an indoor shop, garden centre and café, which is a great back up option if the weather changes. There’s enough to keep you occupied all day!
Open in the summertime, this quaint farm shop offers fresh strawberries, ice cream, coffee…and the most humongous meringues! There’s a small playpark made out of hay bales and a sandpit for the younger kids .
Walks, Play Parks and Activities
The Sea Front splash hosts three main activity areas and a well positioned ice-cream and refreshment stall!
- A small park, designed so that you can let the younger toddlers run off steam within a secure gated area
- A new splash park for those warmer summer days!
- A large park with multiple climbing frames, flying foxes, sand diggers and swings
- It also has a paddling pool area, but there are discussions about whether this is to be removed.
Carnoustie park provides wooden playgrounds for both younger and older children. It also has a large splash area and paddling pool as well as a crazy golf course and tennis courts. It makes a great day out on a sunny day, just make sure to bring your towels!
Glen Clova – Loch Brandy
The walk starts from the car park in Clova. Cross the road from here and you can pick up a well defined footpath running north to the loch. It’s a steady climb, running for about 1.5 miles to the waterside. The pretty loch is surrounded by steep hills and is a really stunning sight. Take a picnic and enjoy a wonderful day out.
A steady climb up the hill from the car park, but a cracking view at the top to make it all worth it. We’ve called it Rapunzel’s tower in the past to encourage the kids up! In the late summer you’ll usually find blaeberries at the top – otherwise known as the Scottish Blueberry!
We are spoiled to have this on our doorstep in Angus! Keep your eyes peeled on your trip down to the stunning beach for birds, butterflies and even the odd lizard! The beach is never ending, so you have about 2.5km of space for the kids to run off steam and build their sandcastles!
Situated between Montrose and Inverkeilor this spot has been a hidden treasure for a long time! Now with its own cafe – it makes for a fantastic day out at the beach. Walk one way and you can see what remains of the red castle, walk to the other end and explore the stone caves when the tide is out. You’ll spot many taking the plunge for a swim or even surfing, just be sure to stay safe – the current could pull you out further than you are comfortable with.
Park your car in Ferryden carpark and then head out on the upper road. You will see a private road signposted as you head towards the landmark. Depending on the speed of the kids, it will take about 45 minutes to an hour to walk there and back. You can actually extend the walk onto Elephant Rock by walking round the back of the lighthouse and along the farm track as the map shows on the website link.
Montrose Basin is an enclosed estuary of the river South Esk covering 750 hectares and home to over 80,000 migratory birds including pink-footed geese, arctic terns and even ospreys. During the holiday season you’ll often find events running for kids, educating them on the types of animals they might find here.
You could have hours of fun at Monikie whatever your age! Enjoy a gentle stroll around the reserve, or do something more adventurous at the watersports site including sailing, rafting, kayaking and canoeing. There is a vast amount of space for picnics and a huge park for the kids to play in. At seasonal points in the year the team often run events so keep an eye on their social media channels.
Take the bikes and you’ll be round in 30 minutes on lovely forest trails, take a little longer and do it on foot. On hot summer days you’ll be pleased to know the playpark sits thoughtfully in the shade. It’s not much of a drive from Carnoustie so you could always pop in there for an ice cream or why not visit the East Scryne Farm.
They brand themselves as Affordability in Adventure and offer a great array of activities across Angus and South Aberdeenshire. Including rock climbing, paddle boarding, bush craft.
At their private private venue near Fettercairn, kids over 7 can try out paddleboarding for 1.5 hours for as little as £15 per hour – and that’s with wetsuit hire included!
Things to do with Kids in Angus – Summary
We hope this blog has given you some ideas of how to entertain the family while also supporting some fantastic local businesses.
From coast to glen there is certainly lots on offer here for those of you that love the great outdoors! Although, sometimes we forget what is on our own doorstep so let us know in the comments if we missed anything out!
Related Content: Scottish Agricultural Shows 2021 – What can we do instead?