leg stretches dog

Spring is most definitely in the air and, chances are, you’ve already started planning a trip to enjoy some of Scotland’s beautifully rugged great outdoors. However, getting there is half the battle. After all, kids can get restless on long journeys, and dogs are perpetually desperate to get outside and run around. Nobody really wants to be cooped up in a stuffy car for hours on end, do they? Make sure you plan a stop or two along the way, and you’re sure to find yourself slipping into relaxed holiday mode.

While the journey to some of our most enchanting hills and glens can be enjoyable from the car seat, it’s even better if you can factor in a scenic pit stop, with some interesting wildlife, along the way. Read on to find out some of the best places to pull over, stretch your legs and catch a breather on your travels in Scotland…and don’t forget the picnic!

Pond Trail at Aldie Burn

A mere hop and a skip from the A9 in the north, you’ll find the babbling waters of Aldie Burn. The red waymarked pond trail is a short (around half an hour), easy walk to a peaceful burn, where a welcoming picnic site awaits.

Beach Trail at Loch Morlich Beach

Nestled in the Cairngorms, just outside Aviemore, you may be surprised to find the highest beach in Scotland…The sandy banks of Loch Morlich are buzzing with people enjoying the clear waters during the warmer months. The Beach Trail is the perfect little half hour dawdle through old pine trees down to the water’s edge.

Hill 99 Trail at Culbin

Hugging the Moray Coast, Culbin is a pretty place to stretch your legs. Follow the Hill 99 Trail only so far as the Gravelpit Ponds and you’ll find an idyllic spot that’s perfect for a picnic.

Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide

As you head toward the west coast, make sure you plan a stop at this hide that over looks Loch Sunart. Here you can spot seals, otters and even a golden eagle if you’re lucky.

Dunmore Trail at Faskally

Just outside Pitlochry you’ll find Faskally and the red waymarked Dunmore Trail. This short but sweet trail takes you through an impressive forest and over a pretty bridge through to views of Loch Dunmore.

Giant Fir Trail at Sutherland’s Grove

If you’re heading to the Hebrides, take a break at this woodland just north of Oban. This trail does exactly what it says on the tin – breathtaking trees tower over your head and picnic spots are aplenty.

Little Drunkie at Three Lochs Forest Drive

See some of the best bits of the Trossachs, on this leisurely forest drive. Stop for a picnic by Loch Drunkie then walk off any excess with this short jaunt through the woods.

Keltyhill Glen at Blairadam

Stretch your legs in this colourful glen, just off the M90 in Perthshire. There’s a pretty waterfall too, so don’t forget your camera.

Ponds Trail at Glentress

Grab a bite to eat at the café, then go for a wander along the short Ponds Trail, where the kids will enjoy making colourful creations with the forest-inspired brass rubbings along the way.

Wild Watch Trail at Kirroughtree

If you’re travelling in the southwest make sure you stop off at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre. The refurbished centre offers education and fun for all the family, while the Wild Watch Trail is an easy route and you might just spot a red squirrel along the way…

These are just some of the great places to stretch your legs. Where’s your favourite stop off point?

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