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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m not going to lie; my partner and I are two very outgoing people who are partial to a drink on a Saturday night. We love to be busy and plan fun things, so a couples holiday at Queensberry Bay – known for being quiet and peaceful – was a little bit of a step out of our comfort zone. But it was JUST what we needed.
It’s been a hectic few month, where all of our weekends seem to be booked up with plans and we really just needed some time to rest and recuperate. As we drove along the coast of Powfoot to the park, the sun was just at that nice height in the evening, where it was sitting quite low but not quite setting, and the atmosphere felt really peaceful.
We checked into our Glamping Pod, got changed, freshened up and went to The Sandpiper Café Bar for a meal and a drink. Despite it being mid-April, the sun was shining, it was still warm and wind was a minimum, so we couldn’t resist sitting out on the terrace overlooking the Solway Firth. Our meal was delicious, I ordered The Works Burger, a Verdant icon – 2 beef burgers, melted cheese, bacon, lettuce tomato and fries.
I enjoyed a glass of Pinot Grigio and my partner an ice-cold pint of lager. We sat on the terrace, watching the sun go down and just chatted about what we wanted to do that weekend. Just as the sun was starting to set, we headed back to our Glamping Pod and to our delight James Bond Skyfall was showing on ITV, it was the perfect chilled Friday night in our cosy Glamping Pod.
We were up and out Saturday morning at 7:30am (probably after such an early night Friday) for a walk around Powfoot. We walked through Powfoot Golf Course and my partner thoroughly enjoyed watching the early morning golfers take their shots. After doing a full circular of Powfoot, just walking, and exploring, we ended up back at Queensberry Bay around 9am, ready for breakfast at The Sandpiper Café Bar. Sitting on the terrace again, we both enjoyed a full English with a pot of English breakfast tea – how civilised!
Now it was 10am, and we still didn’t really know where or what we wanted to do that day and night, after chatting to team members they all seemed to mention Moffat as a place to visit, famous for Moffat Toffee. So, we hopped in the car and drove to Moffat, just over half an hour drive away and we’re so glad we did.
Moffat is such a beautiful town, the whole vibe and setting just reminded me of a typical American TV programme town, like Gilmore Girls or The Vampire Diaries. The town had a centre stage monument in the middle of the town square, and stylish shops, modern cafes and restaurants lined either side of the street.
We sat in the sunshine outside a cosy little café, for a spot of lunch and an ice cold can of coke, then made our way down the street for an ice cream. With traditional Scottish shops full of Scottish souvenir’s and sweet shops piled high with pick and mix, we were in our element. We then took a short walk to the Moffat Gardens where we spotted families on pedalos in the lake – an activity we absolutely couldn’t miss out on, and for only £2 each it was so lovely, pedalling a boat in the lake in the glorious sunshine!
As the day rolled into the evening, we began thinking about our plans for the night. With the biggest fight of the year on that night – Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte – my partner and I really wanted to find somewhere we could watch it with a good atmosphere, and we found the perfect place.
We took a drive into Annan, just 4 miles from Queensberry Bay Leisure Park and had a look for somewhere to eat. It was a toss-up between Indian or Chinese, and we eventually settled on Chinese at Lucky Date, we were not disappointed. After our meal we then took a walk to find somewhere showing the fight and came across The Shed. Now The Shed was right up our street, the perfect blend between a sports bar and drinks bar. With big screens all around the venue we were set up for the night and fight there, the atmosphere was fantastic!
Before we went away, we were doing some Googling of things to do in the area and stargazing at Galloway Forest Park was something we fancied doing – but getting up in the middle of the night was not. Saturday night, we both randomly woke up around 3am, and decided to peek outside the window of our Glamping Pod and we were both amazed by the sky over Queensberry Bay. On a clear night, the stars shined SO bright. We spent around half an hour on the decking in our coats, stargazing at 3am. It was spectacular.
Sunday morning, we had a bit of a lie in and got up for breakfast at The Sandpiper Café Bar around 10am, opting for the same choice as the day before – the breeze had really picked up on Sunday, so we ate inside instead of on the terrace. After breakfast, we headed back to the Glamping Pod, packed our belongings, and set off home. On the way home, we visited Gretna Green Designer Outlet for some shopping, being avid fans of Cheshire Oaks, we really enjoyed this visit, it was a lot less busy but just as good choice of shops.
So, if you’re a couple, looking for the perfect boutique escape to get away from it all – you won’t be disappointed choosing a Glamping Pod break for your next couples holiday at Queensberry Bay Leisure Park.
Romantic retreat for two, plus one…
It can be hard finding the perfect romantic getaway when you have a furry, four-legged third wheel with you, but at Verdant Leisure you don’t have to worry. We know that pets are part of the family, and we want you to be able to enjoy a break without having to compromise on luxury when booking a pet friendly holiday. We’ve got parks and accommodation perfect for couples and your best friends.
What could be more romantic than a sunset walk along the beach whilst your dog runs ahead with the wind in its fur? If that sounds like your idea of heaven, then our By The Sea park, Pease Bay Leisure Park is an ideal choice for your next getaway. Treat your loved one and your dog to a stay in one of our homely caravans, or luxury lodges with comfortable furnishings and contemporary interiors. Wake up to the fresh sea air and have a drink in the Smuggler’s beer garden or explore all that the south east coast has to offer. There’s plenty of coastal paths, beaches and nearby towns to explore, with pet friendly pubs and restaurants along the way, like The Castle Hotel in Dunbar, where your pets can dine in with you.
Go on an adventure in the heart of Perthshire and take your dog on a luxury break it won’t forget. Not only is Erigmore Leisure Park the picture-perfect couples retreat but it also offers breath-taking walks that you and your pets will love discovering together. Our accommodation on park ranges from modern caravans to spectacular spa lodges with hot tubs! You can enjoy a meal and drinks in the beer garden or head down into local towns such as Dunkeld and Pitlochry. There is plenty for you and your loved one, and your fluffy plus one to explore. At the end of an ideal day, you can sit back and relax in comfort.
We are lucky enough to be able to offer relaxing breaks across Scotland & northern England with our Escape & Unwind collection. These parks are the obvious choice for couples looking to escape the everyday and enjoy a well-deserved break, but most importantly, your pets are welcome too! Enjoy a short break at Heather View in the heart of the Durham Dales alongside the flowing River Wear and take in the fresh countryside air! Or visit west Scotland and stay at Viewfield Manor, making the most of countryside and coast with quaint towns and beaches all nearby! Travel along the Berwickshire coast from beach to beach when you visit Scoutscroft Leisure Park or Coldingham Bay. There’s an abundance of Instagrammable places right on their doorstep, providing the perfect backdrop for your next profile pic! Not to mention some of the best fish and chip shops on the south east coast are all within 20 minutes of the parks. Yum!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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/.
Top 10 scenic walks in Northern England
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- Culzean Castle & Country Park, Ayrshire
- Tantallon Castle, East Lothian
- Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries and Galloway
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…
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.