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Two red deer walking through a forest

Each year, National Parks Week celebrates the UK’s wonderful outdoor spaces with special events and inspirational ideas to encourage you and the family to get out and about. There’s also an annual photography competition, showcasing the most picturesque places in Britain’s National Parks.

This year the theme of the week is ‘Space to Grow’ and focuses on the people who are shaping the future of our National Parks. Our National Parks are more than just beautiful, they are places where wildlife can thrive, where children can learn, and where we can reconnect with nature. They are an important part of our future.

Visit Scotland’s National Parks

It’s the ideal time of year to get active in the great outdoors. Whether you want to try your hand at energetic activities such as watersports, climbing, horse riding or something more relaxing like walking, cycling and wildlife watching – you’re sure to find your perfect day out.

In total there are 15 National Parks in the UK, and two of them can be found right here in Scotland: the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Kayaks at Loch Morlich

Plan a trip to the Cairngorms

Nestled in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park you’ll find Glenmore Visitor Centre. It’s close to Loch Morlich Beach, which is a great place for a family day out. Take your time lazing on the sandy beach, or burn some energy windsurfing or canoeing on the gentle waves. Afterwards, be sure to treat yourself to a delicious cake and warming cuppa in the Visitor Centre café.

Elsewhere in the Cairngorms you can escape the summer crowds and lose yourself in wilderness. Sugarbowl is a must visit for serious hikers, from here you can tackle the 4,251ft munro, Braeriach.

Take a jaunt to the Trossachs

A good starting point for any trip to the Trossachs is the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre. Recently refurbished, the centre is a fun place for kids to learn about the surrounding woodland, plus there’s treetop adventure Go Ape for little monkeys who can’t sit still. Treat yourself to a sumptuous cake from the café, then burn it off with a walk to the waterfall – keeping your eyes peeled for red squirrels along the way.

Young girl climbing a ladder at Go Ape Treetop Adventure

For a more secluded day out, stop off at Puck’s Glen. This magical forest is named after the mischievous fairy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the moderate trails offer gorgeous views and hidden waterfalls. Kilmun Arboretum is also a fascinating place to explore for tree buffs, boasting one of the most impressive collections of tree species in the world.

Mother and son looking at a tree

Why not make a weekend of it? Book into one of the luxurious Forest Holidays log cabins in Strathyre and enjoy the winding cycle trail nearby. Spot some of the local wildlife – there’s buzzards, red squirrels and deer aplenty – and after a long day, unwind under the stars in your cabin’s hot tub.