The last time I was in Dunkeld or Birnam – the two villages right next to Erigmore Leisure Park – was over 30 years ago, when I was in my early teens. The only thing I remember about Dunkeld from then is how picturesque it was. I certainly don’t remember a thriving food scene.

It’s still as picturesque now – this part of Perthshire will always be one of the most scenic regions of Britain, and the village’s whitewashed buildings are elegant enough to enhance their environment. What has changed, for the better, is the surprisingly wide – for such a small place – range of quality cafes, bakeries and restaurants.

 

On our first morning at Erigmore, we ambled along the Tay river path into Dunkeld: an enjoyable 20-minute stroll straight past the famous Birnam Oak and the equally impressive Birnam Sycamore. We wanted to check out the village and sort ourselves out some lunch, but we hadn’t given our plans much more thought than that.

 

Birnam Oak

At about eleven o’clock, there was already a queue outside the stylish-looking Aran Bakery. And then we spotted, slightly further up the main drag, on the other side, Nova Botanics, a combined café and florist. We had happy memories of another florist-come-café from a holiday to Lisbon, but we – unfairly, as it soon turned out – weren’t anticipating such on-trend sophistication in sleepy Perthshire.

 

Aran Bakery

The interior was Scandi stylish, while the coffee, the tea, our daughter’s hot chocolate, the pastries and the Portuguese custard tarts were excellent. Our dog was made very welcome – a recurrent theme of the weekend. And it turned out that the Portuguese connections were no coincidence, as they continue into Nova’s creative director’s cultural heritage.

The sandwiches on the bar looked amazing. I – only half-jokingly – suggested staying after our coffee and cake and going straight into lunch. But we resisted that particular temptation.

After checking out the flowers and gift shop area, we had an enjoyable stroll around the town – past other tempting-looking establishments, like the Scottish Deli, and the Clootie Dumpling, which my mother speaks very highly of – and then grabbed takeaway lunch from Aran Bakery. It was clear why those queues had been there earlier. We had delicious sausage rolls and also a tenderstem broccoli, feta and harissa sandwich on sourdough, which was as tasty as it is unconventional-sounding.

 

Food in Dunkeld and Birnam

In the evening, our whole family group – seven of us; eight including the dog – went to Z’s Bistro, at the Atholl Arms hotel. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the interior was attractive and comfortable, our service was very good and the food – we each had different dishes, from the extensive menu – was all high quality. Such an extensive menu can sometimes be a bad omen, but that certainly wasn’t the case for us here.

I thoroughly enjoyed my tuna steak Niçoise salad – there were plenty of seafood options on the menu – and then my apple crumble. Susi’s venison sausages with puy lentils, broccoli and sliced potatoes was rich, gamey and delicious.

And then, on our final morning, something a bit different, less trendy than Nova and less fancy than Z’s, and extremely close to Erigmore: breakfast at Birnam Post Office. Or, to be more specific, Chattan Tea Room, in Birnam’s combined post office, shop and café. The café serves traditional Scottish cooked breakfasts, as well as lunches, cakes and, to take away, excellent Giacopazzi’s ice cream.

Back to breakfast though: our daughter couldn’t quite finish her black pudding and square sausage in a lovely soft breakfast roll; she had, after all, had chicken skewers, rice AND halloumi fries at Z’s the night before. The dog and I were quite happy to help with her leftovers. And we adults had full cooked breakfasts, which were delicious and all very reasonably priced.

It was the perfect way to round off our weekend, in a hidden gem that’s typical of this part of the country, which is full of quality but often quite modest about it.

To experience the delicious food in Dunkeld and Birnam, you can book the perfect base to explore at Erigmore Leisure Park.

Action packed indoor entertainment this Easter!

 

We all know that the UK weather can be unpredictable at times, but you shouldn’t worry too much, there’s always plenty of things you can do indoors on our parks on rainy days. Not to mention plenty to see and do in the local area!

There’s a reason why three of our parks are called Action Packed! Thurston Manor and Riverside Leisure Parks have plenty to offer you and your family on your UK staycation this Easter. With the introduction of our new entertainment programme, the team are on hand to make your day, and give you a fun filled holiday. Enjoy indoor body zorbing, where you bounce into your friends and family, all while inside a giant inflatable ball… It’s not everyday you can say that!

Maybe you’re more of an arts & crafts kind of person and want to unleash all of your creativity. We have some laidback indoor activities that will allow you to express your inner Picasso, such as our ceramic creation station, which will have you decorating your very own piece of pottery that you can take home with you. Put it in pride of place at home and keep that Verdant Leisure holiday memory alive! 

The Playden Gang is run by Vinnie and Violet, our resident foxes. As twins, they do everything together, including making sure you have the best possible holiday!

Vinnie and Violet

Our third action packed park, Golden Coast Leisure Park in North Devon has some new exciting activities on offer, including Playden Plus. Vinnie and Violet have put together a very special set of activities for you to enjoy when you visit Golden Coast, including dance parties, sand art sessions, family quizzes, sport competitions and much more! 

Each of our Action Packed parks have indoor swimming pools, so if the weather’s not looking great, why not make a splash indoors? Once you’ve worked up an appetite, why not sample one of our on park Bar & Restaurants with tasty, freshly prepared food the whole family will love.

So if the weather isn’t looking amazing, don’t fret, you’ll have plenty of things to keep you occupied on your last minute UK Easter holiday this spring! Take a look at our things to do pages on each of the park pages for more to explore in the local area.

5 Places to visit in the north east for Bridgerton vibes

 

Who else binge watched Bridgerton last year and now can’t wait for the second series release today? We’re huge fans of Bridgerton, not just the storyline, or the outfits but we LOVE the locations. We’ve put together 5 places to visit in the north east to truly get your Bridgerton on, and guess what, they’re all close to our parks! So get out for the day, frolick around the gardens with your loved ones and explore these places for ultimate Bridgerton vibes.

 

  1. Alnwick Garden

Alnwick Gardens

One of the show’s hallmarks are the perfectly pristine gardens on every episode. You’re guaranteed to feel like royalty walking around Alnwick Gardens. Just an hour away from Riverside Leisure Park, you can explore the grounds of Alnwick Garden, stippled in beautiful flowers.

 

  1. Chillingham Castle

Chillingham Castle

Just over a 10-minute drive from Riverside Leisure Park, you can explore Chillingham Castle. From the outside it truly feels like you’re stepping onto the Bridgerton filming set, but from the inside its home to some terrifying ghosts and history. There’s a reason this place is named Britain’s most haunted castle!

 

  1. Blanchland Village

Blanchland Village

Step back in time to Blanchland Village – with not a modern store in sight, you can walk around this stunning quaint village and truly feel like part of the Bridgerton era. Located just a short 10 minute drive from Heather View Leisure Park. Blanchland has earned its title as one of the prettiest villages in England and is referred to as ‘the fairy tale in the fells’ could it sound more perfect?

 

  1. South Causey Inn

Afternoon Tea

A Bridgerton pastime is definitely Afternoon Tea, so indulge in a favourite British tradition with afternoon tea at South Causey Inn. With delicious food and an even better atmosphere, enjoy an afternoon of leisure in stunning surroundings. Located 40 minutes drive from Heather View Leisure Park, South Causey Inn is well worth a visit to feel like a real Bridgerton.

 

  1. Spend a leisurely afternoon playing Croquet!

Croquet

A Bridgerton classic is a game of croquet, get yourself down to Durham Croquet Club and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in true Bridgerton style and play a game or two. Take it one step further and dress for the occasion! Located just 40 minutes drive from Heather View, if you’re a Bridgerton fan, playing a game of Croquet is a must!

Last minute dog friendly holidays in the UK

 

Are you searching for the perfect last minute dog friendly holiday in the UK? Want to enjoy a break with the whole family, including your furry best friends? Then one of our Escape & Unwind, Boutique Retreat or By The Sea parks could be the one for you!

 

Leave no pet behind…

 

At Verdant Leisure, we understand that pets are a big part of the family, and we want you to be able to enjoy a holiday without the worry of leaving your pet behind. All our parks offer superb pet friendly accommodation, from Glamping Pods at Queensberry Bay to Luxury Spa Lodges at Erigmore, you don’t have to settle for less when booking pet friendly accommodation at Verdant Leisure! A UK staycation also means that there is no long-haul flight or the need for pet passports! Fancy a last-minute break? You’ve got it!

 

Enjoy a perfect holiday with the whole family

 

Families, couples and of course, your pets, will love the award-winning beach at our By The Sea park, Pease Bay Leisure Park. Its breath-taking location with direct beach access makes it the perfect pet friendly coastal destination. Relax to the sound of waves, enjoy sunset walks across the golden sand or enjoy a drink outside Smugglers bar. The local area also boasts a number of pet friendly places for you to explore too!

 

 

 

Our Escape & Unwind parks are ideally located across Scotland and northern England, giving you the freedom to choose the perfect location for you and your loved ones. Choose from Viewfield Manor in the stunning Ayrshire countryside just 20 minutes from Robert Burns Country in Ayr and only a short drive from beaches such as Irvine & Troon beach. Or if you are looking to holiday on the south east coast of Scotland, then Coldingham Bay & Scoutscroft Leisure Park are both a must visit! With woodland walks and nearby Coldingham Bay beach, you’ve plenty of places to explore with your dog! If you’d prefer a holiday in the heart of the Durham Dales, then check out Heather View! With an abundance of countryside walks you can marvel at waterfalls, rivers and stunning views with the whole family.

 

 

Searching for a luxury retreat? Then look no further than our Boutique Retreat parks, Queensberry Bay & Erigmore Leisure Park. Located overlooking the Solway Firth, Queensberry offers a unique holiday experience. You can relax at The Sandpiper Café Bar and take in the views from the sun terrace with your pets! For those looking for active days out, there are fantastic walking routes, coastal paths and even golf courses, right on its doorstep. Erigmore in the heart of Perthshire, boasts a dreamy woodland setting, surrounded by flowing rivers and tranquil lochs, with plenty of pet friendly walking trails nearby. After a day of exploring nearby towns such as Pitlochry and Dunkeld, nothing beats relaxing in your own private hot tub whilst your pooch chills out in front of the electric fire!

 

 

To find your perfect holiday today just click here!

 

 

Top 10 walks in central Scotland

 

Whether you are a keen explorer or looking for a short walk with stunning views, central Scotland has it all, offering some of the best walking routes in the country. We have put together a list of the top 10 walks in Central Scotland we recommend you try when you visit the area!

 

  1. Loch Tay from Killin

If you are looking for one of central Scotland’s hidden gems, look no further! If you follow the short Loch Tay from Killin trail, you will end up overlooking the stunning 15-mile stretch of water that is Loch Tay. On a sunny day, the water is as blue as the sky and is undeniably insta-worthy. You can find details of the full walking route here

  

  1. Isle of May

The tranquil paths of the Isle of May are filled with wildlife, including one of Scotland’s most loved birds, the puffin! You may even catch a glimpse of some seals. This fantastic walk is perfect for the whole family to enjoy a day out in the fresh air! Visit https://www.nature.scot/enjoying-outdoors/scotlands-national-nature-reserves/isle-may-national-nature-reserve for more information.

Isle of May

 

  1. The Cateran Trail

This trail in the heart of Scotland runs through Perthshire and Angus Glens. On the path you will come across castles such as Blackcraig, Dalnagler, and other prehistoric buildings, it is the perfect walk for the history buffs among you. If you are a keen explorer and are looking for more of a challenge, you can choose the optional detour to Mount Blair!

  1. The Birnam Path

Explore the banks of the River Tay and the village of Birnam. This path is perfect if you are looking for a leisurely stroll. You will also come across the iconic tree, The Birnam Oak! Along with the Birnam Sycamore, it is thought to be the last surviving tree of the forest celebrated in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as the famous Birnam Wood.

 

The Birnam Path

  1. The Atholl Trails

       There are several trails in and around the quaint town, Blair Atholl. There are stunning gardens to explore around the Blair Castle estate, and a 9-acre walled garden with an orchard and over 100 fruit trees. The Atholl Trails include a selection of walks ranging in lengths and difficulties. One of which takes you to the Tulach Viewpoint, overlooking the Atholl Hills.

  1. The Hermitage

Whilst this walk is ideal all year round, it really springs to life in autumn. The River Braan is surrounded by all the stunning autumnal colours, making it feel as though you are in a land out of a fairy tale. You may also catch a glimpse of the salmon leaping up the river this time of year which is a remarkable sight in itself!

 

The Hermitage

  1. Birnam Hill Path

In the heart of ‘Big Tree Country’, you can climb Birnam Hill to reach King’s Seat. Take in the breathtaking views across Dunkeld and Birnam after an estimated two and a half hour walk.

 

  1. The Queen’s View

Offering spectacular views across Loch Tummel to Schiehallion, The Queen’s View is one of the most visited viewpoints in Scotland. There is also a café and other woodland walks branching off from the main visitors’ centre! Find out more via https://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/queens-view-visitor-centre-p402191.

  1. Killiecrankie Path

Bordering the River Garry, The Pass of Killiecrankie is best known for Soldier’s Leap where it is said that Donald MacBean escaped Highlanders following the battle of Killiecrankie. The stunning woodland and views make it a must see!

 

  1. Faskally Woods

The Faskally Woods is home to Scotland’s sound and light experience, The Enchanted Forest. Every year the entire woodland comes to life with light and sound displays that will blow your mind. It is a must see if you visit us whilst it’s on. You can find out more via https://www.enchantedforest.org.uk/.

 

 

Faskally Woods

 

Top 10 scenic walks in Northern England

 

scenic walk forrest nature

 

County Durham

Our Heather View and Kingfisher parks are situated in beautiful County Durham. You’ll find some of the best walking routes in the UK here, taking in the stunning countryside and coastline. Be prepared to wrap up warm and wear a sturdy pair of walking boots because the terrain can be rugged and exposed to the northeasterly elements.

 

  1. Durham Heritage Coast Walk

If you are looking for breath-taking clifftop views, this is the walk for you. The walk starts in Seaham’s North Dock and follows a southbound route for 11-miles to Crimdon. Superb grassland is supported by Magnesian Limestone topped by boulder clay forming the perfect habitat for flora and fauna including the very special Durham Argus butterfly.

  1. Low and High Force

You can’t beat a stunning waterfall and this walk will take you to England’s biggest. This gorgeous five-mile circular walk in Upper Teasdale, in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will leave you awe-inspired when the waterfall comes into view and is guaranteed to lift the spirits.

  1. Pennine Way – Baldersdale to Langdon Beck

The Durham stretch of the Pennine Way covers approximately 15 miles and encompasses some of the natural wonders of the UK. As well as the waterfalls High Force and Low Force, the highlights include Cow Green Reservoir, the cascading Cauldron Snout, reckoned to be the longest waterfall in England, and High Cup Nick, a superb u-shaped glaciated valley.

  1. Cow Green Geological Trail

If you are interested in geology this trail will introduce you to many of the rocks which make the Teesdale landscape so special and a haven for rare and interesting plants. Approximately four kilometers each way from Harwood, Barnard Castle, allow a full day for the complete walk, and be prepared with your waterproofs even in summer! In places, the route passes old mine workings so keep to the footpaths.

Taking a break from nature here are two trails with a difference, perfect for experiencing the cultural and historical scenery of the county.
  1. Durham Camra Beer Trail

A pub crawl with a difference, taking in the picturesque city of Durham once described as “a perfect little city” by best-selling author Bill Bryson. The trail starts at the Bridge Hotel in North Road and takes in ten of the best real ale pubs in Durham City.

  1. Blue Plaque Trail – Barnard Castle

An easy family-friendly walk around the traditional market town, known as the gateway to Teesdale. Follow the blue plaques for 1.5 miles as the trail ambles around places where Dickens stayed and Wesley preached as well as finding out more about the people and places that made an impact on what’s known locally as “Barney”.

 

Northumberland

 

Our Riverside park is in the stunning county of Northumberland. The county has miles of stunning coastline,  an awe-inspiring National Park, and a wealth of fascinating history to discover, well worth a spot on the top 10 walks in Northern England.

 

  1. Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle

 

This easy walk along the coast offers fantastic sea views and an incredible view of Dunstanburgh Castle for the whole of the route. The castle can only be reached on foot and is just a flat, 1.3-mile walk from the village of Craster, making it a great choice for families or if you just fancy a gentle stroll. For those wanting to extend their walk, you can continue past the castle, where you’ll discover Embleton Bay, a quiet, pristine beach that is largely unknown by tourists.

 

  1. Seahouses To Bamburgh Castle

 

This beach walk is roughly 3 miles long and begins at Seahouses. Take in the beautiful coastline and the iconic Bamburgh Castle that perches on a rocky plateau. The approach to the castle is breathtaking with its dramatic presence and sweeping beach. When you arrive at the castle, dogs are welcome on the grounds, and from here you can admire the fortresses and some impressive views of the surrounding coastline.

  1. Walltown Crags Walk

 

Pick your route once you arrive at Walltown as there are a number of picturesque, circular routes in the area. Walk along Hadrian’s Wall (spectacularly preserved at this site) to see one of its most dramatic viewpoints. Walltown Crags is best known for its dramatic views and is one of the most stunning places to see Hadrian’s Wall, as it dives through the sweeping, volcanic rock edge landscape. The site sits between Birdoswald Fort and Housesteads Roman Fort, making it perfect for extending into a day out.

 

 

  1. Kielder Lakeside Way

 

Head to Kielder Water & Forest Park to explore this stunning, waterside route that fuses art and nature. The total walk is 26 miles, but you can pick a smaller section to explore that suits you best. The walk along the shoreline around Kielder reservoir takes you past open-air art pieces and nature hides where ospreys, red squirrels, and other wildlife are spotted regularly. Kielder Dam and Kielder Castle are also en route.­­­

 

Verdant Leisure hope this guide of the top 10 walks in Northern England was helpful!

Dog friendly days out in Scotland

 

Our parks offer pets welcome accommodation with lots of dog friendly days out nearby.

A great place to start is the beach, where your four-legged friend can chase balls, have a dip in the sea or enjoy a long sandy walk. Choose from these stunning beaches near our parks:

  • St Abbs beach, Berwickshire
  • Eyemouth beach, Berwickshire
  • Pease Bay beach, Berwickshire
  • Coldingham Bay beach, Berwickshire
  • Belhaven Bay, East Lothian
  • Yellowcraig beach, East Lothian
  • Whitesands and Barns Ness beaches, East Lothian
  • Tyninghame beach, East Lothian
  • Queensberry Bay, Dumfriesshire
  • Irvine beach, Ayrshire
  • Saltcoats beach, Ayrshire
  • Troon beach, Ayrshire

 

dogs family beach friendly scotland

If you and your pooch prefer the countryside, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the areas surrounding our parks. Visit Kelburn Castle and Estate near Viewfield Manor. It offers dramatic walks through the estate covering over 3,500 acres. There are waterfalls, deep gorges, wild flowers and ferns, shrubs and trees offering a beautiful wild landscape with views over the islands of the Firth of Clyde.

Close to our south east Scotland parks is Pease Dean Nature Reserve. This 3 mile walk usually takes around 2 hours and follows the Southern Upland Way. There’s fantastic views of the coastline and it’s managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Alternatively, visit John Muir Country Park, which offers relaxing walks with stunning views across to Bass Rock and the Forth Estuary.

There’s a number of brilliant walking routes for you to enjoy in Mabie Forest, situated around 20 miles from Queensberry Bay. This beautiful woodland sits between Dumfries and New Abbey and is a must if you’re staying on park.

You’ll find plenty of castles, ancient fortresses, and ruins across Scotland. Why not take your dog exploring the grounds? Here’s some near our parks:

 

Castle scotland dumfries

 

 

 

The freedom to escape at a moment’s notice.

 

This year more than ever, Britons are choosing to holiday at home and rediscover everything that is great about the UK. Imagine if you could enjoy holidays with family and friends, whenever you choose, in your favourite spot of Scotland or North East England. That’s the beauty of holiday home ownership with Verdant Leisure! This year, we have seen a huge increase in the number of people joining Verdant Leisure as holiday home owners. What’s more, a number of these customers have had no experience of holiday parks in the past. So, let’s explore swapping overseas breaks for a UK holiday home from home.

Travel less, relax more

First up is the time spent travelling, which most of our customers say is very important to them. Typically, our customers live within a 90-minute driving distance of our parks. This means they can escape to their holiday home after work on a Friday, with no airport lounges, flights, or transfers to worry about. Our parks are ideally located within 90 minutes of major cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle making it easy to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. If you don’t have work commitments, you can choose to holiday at a moment’s notice when you own your own holiday home, and our customers love that flexibility.

Location, location, location

For us, this is a key factor when choosing the location for your holiday home. It’s important that you find a location that you and your family will love for years to come. That’s why we believe that anyone thinking of holiday home ownership at our parks would benefit from joining us on for a park tour. It can be difficult to choose the perfect holiday location without seeing your options first hand, so a park tour allows you to explore the park, spend time in the local area, enjoy the facilities, speak to existing holiday home owners, and meet our team. When you choose your perfect location, you have peace of mind that it will meet your expectations every time you visit.

So much beauty to explore

We have lost count of the times when our customers have said “It’s like a beach in the Caribbean” when talking about Pease Bay. The “We have the best of both worlds” is another common phrase amongst our existing holiday home owners and that’s exactly what our parks offer in terms of coast and countryside. Riverside is in the heart of Northumberland, on the edge of the national park – it truly is a walker’s paradise. Yet, just a short drive away is the stunning North East coastline with white sandy beaches such as Bamburgh. There is so much to see and do in the areas surrounding our parks, each time you visit can feel like a new holiday experience.

Your dream home from home*

When you own a caravan or lodge, you can make it into the perfect retreat so there are no unexpected surprises when you plan your holidays. Long gone are the days of cramped spaces with limited facilities. Today’s caravans and lodges offer modern spaces with home from home features such as double glazing, energy efficient heating systems, modern kitchens, and mod cons such as USB charging points as standard. Higher specification models provide walk in wardrobes, utility rooms, full size baths and washing machines. The UK’s leading manufacturers provide a range of models to suit every taste and budget. It’s then down to you to add your personal homely touches to create a place you’ll love to escape to.

A place for the whole family

Choosing a location that caters for the whole family can be a real challenge when planning your holidays. Grandparents may be seeking peace and relaxation, younger children want lots of action, and don’t forget the dog! When you own a holiday home, you can plan around the whole family, meaning more time to focus on creating memories together. Grandparents can relax on the decking area whilst children splash in the pool, couples can enjoy leisurely walks whilst teens make new friends – we’ve got you covered with park wide Wi-Fi too! Many of our existing customers are dog owners so your pooch is guaranteed a warm welcome when it visits our parks.

Exceptional value

Our parks’ season length ranges from 46 weeks to 52 weeks. You cannot use your holiday home as your main residence, but you do have freedom to enjoy endless holidays throughout the season. Weekends, main school holidays, mid-week working breaks, the choice is yours. 80% of our existing customers visit their holiday home every month** to get the most value from their purchase. We work with specialist finance providers that may be able to offer you a payment plan tailored to your needs; you can spread the cost of holiday home ownership.^ With annual site fees from just £2,650†, a holiday home that you, your family and your friends can enjoy throughout the year is a great alternative to overseas holidays.

 

*Holiday home can not be used as permanent residence

**80% of our owners enjoy a holiday every month. Based on 1072 responses across all parks in our 2020 Owners Survey. Results subject to seasonal restrictions, season varies by park

^Finance is subject to status, terms and conditions apply

† Site fee price based on starter pitch at Viewfield Manor

 

10 Eco Tourism Tips for your Verdant Leisure holiday

 

Our parks are surrounded by stunning coastal and countryside scenery. From lochs to waterfalls, mountains to beaches, whichever Verdant Leisure park you choose, you’ll be spoilt for choice for ways to get in touch with nature. Whilst holidaying with us, we’d love you to consider the environment and ways to be an eco-tourist, so we’ve put together our top 10 eco-tourism tips for you to travel responsibly on your next Verdant Leisure holiday…

 

 

  1. Choose us!

We’re accredited by the Green Tourism scheme, so you can rely on our parks to be one of the best places to stay with a high standard of green credentials. Our parks are currently Silver and Bronze, but we’d love to go for Gold!

 

  1. Spend time on park

There’s plenty to do on park, with fantastic facilities the whole family will love. You can enjoy a meal in one of our bar and restaurants, or take advantage of our swimming pools and gyms at selected parks. Staying on park reduces overcrowding at popular local attractions and beauty spots, and cuts transport costs and emissions.

 

  1. Reduce your carbon footprint

Consider how you’ll get to park, it’s often more eco friendly to get public transport, or if you’re coming with friends, why not car share? If you’ve got an electric vehicle, we have charging points at all of our parks!

  1. Use public transport

Once you arrive on park, why not try and travel by foot or bike? There are some local companies who hire bikes which can make it much simpler than trying to transport your own. For longer journeys, check out local bus companies and train routes, this can help ease road congestion and poor parking on smaller roads. You can get the train to Edinburgh for a day out from Thurston Manor, or explore the Weardale Railway when on holiday at Heather View.

  1. Try an off-peak break

Visiting us off-peak, or out of main school holidays is a great way to get a fantastic deal, as well as being able to enjoy a typically quieter park and local area experience! The roads tend to be quieter and local attractions are usually less busy.

 

  1. Get planning!

Make sure you sort your itinerary in advance. You’ll be able to make the most of your time on park and doing your research means you can find some hidden gems in and around the park. Plan your journeys and routes and see if you can factor in walking to places to reduce travel congestion in peak times.

  1. Leave no trace

No matter where you are, it’s really important to be aware of your surroundings and ensure you leave no trace. That could mean making sure you take all your rubbish home, or thinking twice before taking part in trends like love locks on bridges or stone stacking. Both of these can cause damage to eco systems and manmade structures over time.

  1. Visit some eco-tourism friendly spots

You can visit some eco-tourism friendly attractions local to our parks, like The Devil’s Porridge Museum near our Queensberry Bay Leisure Park. Or head to Glasgow for a day out whilst staying at Viewfield Manor and enjoy some fully organic, sustainable, and freshly prepared food at Locavore.

  1. Volunteer

As part of our Green Tourism scheme, we often hold events on park to give back to the local environment and community and we’d love your support! For example, at our coastal parks, we love to take part in beach cleans so if you’re on park, it would be amazing for you to get involved.

 

  1. Support local eco-tourism friendly companies

There’s endless things to do near our parks, so when planning your day out, make sure you check the green credentials of local companies to see if they’re eco-tourism friendly. Eco-tourism is the greatest way to enjoy the UK’s nature and cultural heritage.

 

 

 

Most Instagrammable places with Verdant Leisure 

Our parks at Verdant Leisure are situated in some of the most picturesque locations in northern England and Scotland. If you love to hunt out stunning places to photograph during your holiday, then Verdant can provide the perfect base for finding those gems. We’ve rounded up some inspiration for trips near to our parks which will give the wow factor to your Instagram posts. 

 

Mellerstain House & Gardens, Scottish Borders 

If you love photographing stunning architecture, look no further than this stately home, designed by Scottish architect, William Adam, in 1725 and listed as one of Britain’s Best Stately Homes by The Telegraph. The house is set in an idyllic countryside location with pretty gardens and grounds to wander around. While enjoying the tranquil atmosphere, you’ll find visual treats such as ‘The Tea Cottage’ with its thatched roof and curved walls, which looks to have been plucked straight out of a fairy tale book.  

 

 

St Abb’s National Nature Reserve, Berwickshire 

If nature photography is your thing then the glistening blue sea waters, dramatic clifftops and coastal formations of this nature reserve is the perfect place to visit. There’s a vast range of wildlife, birdlife, flora and fauna to snap and spectacular views of the rugged Berwickshire coast. If picture perfect coastal towns get you snapping, then St Abbs is a great destination. This remote fishing village features old fishermen’s cottages tumbling down to the surf-battered harbour and is surrounded by jagged cliffs with a lighthouse nearby. 

 

Portpatrick, Dumfries & Galloway 

If you are staying in the south west of Scotland this is a beautiful coastal spot located on the Rhins of Galloway Peninsula. Get your camera ready for immense seaside views, pretty pastel-coloured houses and the historic ruins of Dunskey Castle. There are plenty of beaches, coves and coastal trails for you to explore then relax with some local seafood as you watch the sun set from the harbour. 

 

Dunkeld, Perthshire 

If you love the dramatic light and shape that forests and woodlands create in your pictures then Perthshire or ‘Big Tree Country’, as it’s often known, offers the perfect opportunity to get some amazing shots of these towering feats of nature. For history buffs, Dunkeld is a lovely little village featuring the majestic Dunkeld Cathedral which stands today as part ruin, part parish church.  It’s home to the tomb of the notorious Wolf of Badenoch, Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan. He became known for abusing his power and maintaining a rule of terror across much of the Highlands by imprisoning and murdering those who offended him. 

 

Kielder Observatory, Northumberland 

If you love night time photography and all things celestial, Northumberland?International Dark Sky Park is?580 square miles of dark sky zone and is the largest area of protected night sky in Europe. Within this astronomical oasis is the magnificent Kielder Observatory, a public?star-gazing facility like no other in the UK which offers a truly magical and unique experience.