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Image: Alvan Nee / Unsplash

Although last week's early flash of warm weather may have blown away in the March winds for now, Spring is most definitely in the air! Scotland’s beautifully rugged great outdoors is just waiting to be explored.

Whether you're after a woodland walk with a furry friend, or a longer weekend stroll with the whole family, we've picked ten spots perfect for a quick stretch of the legs, all en route to some of Scotland's best-loved destinations. If you're on your way somewhere this weekend, plan a trip via one of our perfect pit-stops. You could even bring a picnic!

The Pond Trail at Aldie Burn

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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

Loch Morlich

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

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Image: Findhorn Bay, Wikimedia

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

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A Meadow brown butterfly

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

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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

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Image: Tadeusz Lakota / Unsplash

If you’re heading to the Hebrides, take a break at this woodland just north of Oban. This trail offers breathtaking trees towering over your head and picnic spots aplenty.

Little Drunkie at Three Lochs Forest Drive

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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

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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

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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

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If you’re travelling in the southwest make sure you stop off at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre. The 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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