Skip the airport crowds, delays and queues this summer and discover some of Scotland’s hidden gems. With spectacular scenery, sandy beaches and fantastic views off the beaten track, you can truly escape this summer with no worries on holiday.

 

1.Culzean Castle

If you’re a castle buff, you’ll be in awe of Culzean Castle on the West coast of Scotland. Boasting spectacular architecture, this castle is a 16th century masterpiece, and looks like it’s come straight out of a fairy-tale. Legend has it, its home to around 7 ghosts including a piper and a servant girl! Located just a 50 minute’s drive from Viewfield Manor Leisure Park, it’s a fantastic castle to explore.

Culzean Castle

2. Isle of Arran

Explore the Isle of Arran this summer and hike up the beautiful hidden gem of Goatfell. The Isle of Arran is a beautiful island just off the west coast of Scotland, so another amazing day trip when on holiday at Viewfield Manor Leisure Park. Catch the 55-minute ferry from Ardrossan, for just £5! Next, take the bus to Arran Brewery, which is at the start of the trail up Goatfell, and you can hike to the top and take in the fantastic scenery of the Isle of Arran, right across to the mainland Scotland.

Isle of Arran

3. Tay Forest Park

Tay Forest Park, home to some of Scotland’s best loved viewpoints and the countries tallest trees, you can see for miles across the Perthshire highlands. Just 15 minute’s drive from Erigmore Leisure Park, you can discover true beauty at this wonderful hidden gem in Scotland.

Tay Forest Park

4. Cove Harbour

Cove Harbour is a charming and idyllic spot, well worth a visit when on holiday at Pease Bay or Thurston Manor. Cove Harbour is a true hidden gem in Scotland, as it’s only reachable by walking through a tunnel, that’s carved out of the cliffside. The perfect peaceful spot to spend a few hours, with your pets and family, soaked in rich history it’s a must see.

Cove Harbour

 

5. Calder Mill Waterfall

If you love waterfalls, you must check out Calder Mill Waterfall, a beautiful, peaceful place to visit in west Scotland. The perfect spot for a dip and a swim on a glorious summer’s day, and just over 20 minutes away from Viewfield Manor Leisure Park.

Calder Mill Waterfall

6. Fast Castle

Are you a fan of castles, and also love amazing views?  You need to visit Fast Castle, just 15 minute’s drive from Coldingham Bay and Scoutscroft Leisure Parks. The ruins of Fast Castle sit on a steep slope on the south east coast of Scotland, Berwickshire border. Visit this place as the suns going down, for the most perfect glistening golden glow across the sea from the castle ruins. This spot is truly one of the best of Scotland’s hidden gems.

 

Fast Castle
Photo by Britain Express

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.

Easter Holidays in the UK

Are you and your family on the hunt for a well needed Easter break this year? Look no further than our selection of the best destinations for Easter holidays in the UK. Make unforgettable memories in some of the most beautiful locations.

Devon Family Holidays this Easter

Are you wanting an Easter family holiday in the UK, that feels like you’re abroad? Take a trip to North Devon, voted one of the best destinations for family holidays in the UK. Golden Coast Leisure Park, in Woolacombe is your go to holiday park. You can choose from so many different accommodation types, from caravans to villas to apartments.

 

Golden Coast Leisure Park is 5 minutes from the beach, with spectacular views across the North Devon Coastline, and stunning hidden coves like Barricane Beach, you will definitely feel like you’re abroad here.

Barricane Beach
Barricane Beach

 

Not only is the local area beautiful, but the park has so many fantastic facilities and attractions to keep the whole family occupied, including indoor and outdoor pools, pool inflatables, a wave surfer, and a variety of bars and restaurants. There’s also a dedicated hands-on entertainment team, ready to create fantastic memories with you and your family all day and night. From just £173  2 guests can stay for 3 nights in a Shoreline Apartment, arriving on 22nd April. Does that sound amazing? Book here.

Northern England Family Holidays

If you’re looking for a family holiday in the North of England, you should look at Riverside Leisure Park. Located in Northumberland, in the lovely town of Wooler. You and your family will be surrounded by glorious greenery for woodland walks. Not only is it located in an area with so many amazing things to see and do, but Riverside has also got a dedicated entertainment team, ready to provide hours of entertainment for the family. Check out what’s on at Riverside here.

 

Easter family holidays
Entertainment at Riverside

 

The park is bursting with entertainment and fantastic facilities. Including play areas, indoor pools, bar and restaurant, games rooms and so much more. Being just a short drive to the coast, you’re getting the best of both countryside and coastal, on a family holiday at Riverside this easter. What’s more, you can book a family holiday from just £165 arriving on 25th April for 4 nights.

Scotland Family Holidays

Travel just that little further north, and you can have a wonderful Easter break in Scotland. Thurston Manor Leisure Park in Dunbar is an action-packed holiday park with plenty of activities and adventures to have by all the family.

 

Nestled in the countryside, but also just a short drive to the coast. In just under 10 minutes, you can be at our sister park Pease Bay Leisure Park, situated right on the beach, it’s truly a hidden gem.

 

Pease Bay Leisure Park
Pease Bay Beach

 

Thurston Manor Leisure Park has an array of fantastic facilities for all the family, and an even better entertainment team ready and raring to provide you and your family with tonnes of Easter memories.

 

This Easter, all our action-packed parks have a jam-packed entertainment plan for all the family with plenty of easter activities. Including, Easter egg hunts, Easter crafts, competitions and egg drops. What are you waiting for? Book your action-packed family holiday this April here.

 

On holiday at Pease Bay – an inside look

 

When you think of a beach holiday, what do you imagine? Your feet buried in the sand, the sound of waves crashing against each other with the whistle of the wind in your ear? Being on holiday at Pease Bay can offer you just that and more. 

 

Verdant Leisure offers fantastic experiences, not just for our customers but for our team too. Living in these challenging times people need to escape the busy stresses of everyday life and retreat to a place where only that moment, there and then, matters. 

 

William from Head Office recently visited Pease Bay Leisure Park for a short break. Upon arrival, the Pease Bay team were nothing but helpful and friendly and after a long drive it was quick and easy to get settled into the accommodation, plan out the evening and enjoy some food at the Smugglers Bar. Enjoying some pepperoni pizza and a few drinks was the perfect end to a long day. The service was excellent with a friendly team who are more than happy to chat at a moment’s notice.

 

 

One of the highlights of staying at a Verdant Leisure park on the Scottish coastline is the ease of access to tons of local area attractions. The big one being Edinburgh, only a 40 minute drive from Pease Bay, so you have the opportunity to visit one of the most stunning cities in Scotland. 

 

Edinburgh Castle is one of the attractions that people flock to, a piece of history only a short drive away seems completely worth it, don’t you think? You can tour the castle at your own pace, browse in numerous gift shops and take in the culture of traditional Scotland. With views stretching out across the whole of Edinburgh, it’s like something out of a romcom, or a 19th century war movie, some people take it differently… 

 

 

Edinburgh is also home to the only zoo in the UK to host giant pandas! Edinburgh zoo is a fantastic day out for people of any age, who doesn’t want to watch a panda up close! You can grab a bite to eat and find the perfect gift for someone special in the gift shop, there is a huge range of animal related gifts including plushies, keyrings and even Lego models of your favourite zoo guest! William ended up taking home a Lego model of a red panda, he named it ‘Pabu’. 

 

 

After a day of exploration of the local area, you get the chance to come back, relax and unwind by the sea. An on park shop allows you to get all the ingredients you need to make the perfect meal while you stay at Pease Bay, whether it’s beans on toast or something fancier you’ll have all the facilities you’ll need to ensure you go to bed with a full belly and a smile on your face. 

 

So, when we ask you again what you think of when you dream of a beach holiday, we already know your answer, Pease Bay Leisure Park.

 

If you’re looking for a by the sea holiday then Pease Bay is the park for you, but did you know that Verdant Leisure offer a range of holiday types to suit everyone? We have action packed, escape & unwind, and boutique retreat holiday parks to make sure you have the holiday best suited for you! 

 

Click here to book your own holiday at Pease Bay

 

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!

 

 

Make the most of your visit to Woolacombe!

 

The best things to do in Woolacombe will never leave you short of activities when you visit North Devon. Its picturesque landscapes, coastal towns, and array of local attractions make it an extremely popular location for holidaymakers.

 

Explore Golden Coast Leisure Park

 

The newest addition to the Verdant Leisure family, Golden Coast Leisure Park offers an array of activities and facilities for you to take advantage of during your holiday. You can plan action packed days filled with swimming, climbing, bowling, body boarding on our wave simulator and much more! Once you’ve tired yourself out, why not go for a bite to eat and drink in one of our numerous bars and restaurants, the options are endless.

 

Golden Coast Leisure Park

 

We have a range of accommodation to suit everyone’s taste and budget, from stylish caravans to 3-bedroom holiday villas. All of our accommodation are filled with everything you need to enjoy the perfect holiday with us. We also have excellent pitches available for you to book if you’ve got a touring caravan or motorhome!

 

 

Best things to do in Woolacombe

 

When you’re not busy making use of the extensive facilities on park, why not check out the local area? North Devon is home to some of the UK’s most stunning beaches, including the award-winning Woolacombe Beach. With miles of golden sand, vibrant blue water and waves perfect for surfing, it’s a breathtaking day out to add to your holiday itinerary when you visit us.

 

Woolacombe Beach

 

Take in the spectacular views while on the back of a horse with Woolacombe Riding Stables, a British Horse Society and Pony Club approved equestrian centre. Ride across a variety of fields, hills and coastal paths. There are horses and ponies for all riding abilities so it’s a magical day for the whole family to enjoy.

 

If you’re searching for a superb family day out during your visit, we recommend The Big Sheep Farm and Theme Park. There is plenty to enjoy, from family rides and live shows to meeting the animals, you’re sure to have a fun filled day!

 

Did you know that there is only one black leopard exhibit in the whole of the UK? You’ll find this stunning wildcat in the Exmoor Zoo, along with many other fantastic mammals, reptiles and more! If you’re a fan of the zoo then be sure to add this one to your holiday itinerary.

 

Exmoor Zoo

 

As well as our long list of dining options, there are several local restaurants that are definitely worth trying. Head down to Barnstaple, a nearby market town where all the shopping happens and you can even try a Devon cream tea! Another favourite is The Red Barn! Serving up tasty meals and with live music on Friday’s, it’s the ideal place to enjoy an evening meal with your loved ones.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat during the day, why not head over to ‘The Captains Table’. Open for breakfast, dinner and tea during its season, the highly recommended café serves everything from crab baguettes to surf & turf. There’s also tasty vegetarian and vegan options available, so everyone can enjoy dining there!

 

Find out more about holidays at Golden Coast Leisure Park by clicking here.

 

 

Images used for representational purposes only.

 

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!

It’s our 11th birthday!

This is the perfect opportunity to look back on the last 11 years of Verdant Leisure…

In 2010, we bought Pease Bay and Thurston Manor Leisure Parks. Pease Bay in Cockburnspath is set on the Berwickshire coast, with the beach right on your doorstep. It’s perfect for family holidays building sandcastles, and dogs love a runabout on the sand.

Thurston Manor in East Lothian is a beautiful countryside park under an hour from Edinburgh, on an estate once visited by kings. Just a short drive to the beach, Thurston Manor offers the best of both worlds with its wonderful woodland setting.

In 2011, Viewfield Manor joined the Verdant family. Based in the Ayrshire countryside, Viewfield Manor is under half an hour from Glasgow and offers fantastic facilities including bar and restaurant, gym and indoor heating swimming pool.

We also acquired Riverside in 2011. Set in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, on the edge of the Wooler Water, Riverside is just a stone’s throw from the Northumberland National Park. It’s also not far from plenty of beaches and historical attractions including Alnwick Castle, the original Hogwarts location!

Our resident mascot, Vinnie the fox joined us in 2012. He can be found causing mischief on the parks and keeping the little ones entertained! We also launched a group website this year, as well as Riverside winning The Best Relax and Explore Park in the North of England!

2013 saw the launch of Viva for a happier, healthier you at our parks with leisure facilities. Then in 2014 we continued to grow with investments in facilities and pitch developments across the parks. We also raised over £9,000 for charity.

In 2015 we launched our Verdant Life newsletter to keep our owners up to date with news from across all the parks. We raised over £13,000 for charity too!

Heather View and Kingfisher joined Verdant Leisure in 2016 and we opened our Head Office in Lancaster. Based in the stunning Durham Dales, Heather View and Kingfisher are just 5 miles apart and both boast 5 star ratings from Visit England.

During 2017 we purchased Coldingham Bay in Berwickshire. Just a short walk to Coldingham Bay beach, the park is ideal for watersports lovers. Violet, another park mascot and best friend to Vinnie also joined the team this year. Look out for her on your next staycation and make sure you say ‘hello’!

Located in the same village as Coldingham Bay, Scoutscroft Leisure Park joined Verdant Leisure in 2018. Boasting fantastic facilities including Mini Golf and a Fish & Chip shop, Scoutscroft is well worth a visit.

In 2019, Queensberry Bay in Dumfriesshire joined Verdant Leisure. Based right on the beach overlooking the Solway Firth, Queensberry Bay is an idyllic seaside retreat. With brand new facilities for 2021, The Sandpiper Café Bar is the perfect addition to sit back and relax with a meal and drinks whilst taking in the view.

Erigmore in Perthshire is our newest park, just an hour from both Glasgow and Edinburgh. It’s the perfect escape from city life, based on the River Tay with woodland walks on your doorstep.

A little nostalgia never hurt anyone. As we celebrate our 11th birthday, all of us at Verdant Leisure are thankful for the years spent working on our parks and hope there are many more to come.

 

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