On holiday with children in the Trossachs

We have our own wee play park right here beside the lake, right in front of the log cabins. And in many ways Lochend is one giant play park, with trees to climb, a lake to paddle in, our quiet drive to pedal. However, if you’re here with children, there is tonnes of family-friendly stuff to do just a short drive from Lochend, in the villages and towns around Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Play Parks

Aberfoyle; 5 miles

This wee village has the nearest play park to Lochend, with a good selection of the usual slides, swings and Flying Foxes. Best of all, Aberfoyle play park lies right next to National Cycle Route 7, so kids can cycle up and down quite safely for miles on the tarmac disused railway. It’s also just next door to the Scottish Wool Centre, which has daily sheep dog demos, a rare breeds farm and birds of prey display.

While in Aberfoyle, parents with children should also try The Lodge. As well as their Red Squirrel hide, GoApe high ropes adventure course, wildlife exhibits, cafe and gift shop, The Lodge has imaginative ‘natural play’ areas – den-building, brush maze and water guddling – dotted about a pretty, tot-sized loop down to an impressive waterfall.

Callander; 11 miles

This Gateway to the Trossachs – location for Dr Finlay’s Casebook – has two nice wee play parks. The first is on Callander Meadows, wedged between the River Teith (a nice 15-minute loop takes you out along the river via a couple of natural pools where Callander kids swim in summer) and a crazy golf course and cafe. The second is at the other end of town, just behind Camp Place, and has a bigger park area for kicking balls, plus things like Flying Foxes that will appeal to older kids.

Thornhill; 7 miles

Another cute play park next to the football pitch at Thornhill, with a great wee trials bike trail nearby for children aged about six to 13.

Stirling; 16 miles

Easily the best play park in the area is in Stirling, just next to the public tennis courts and pitch-and-putt course in King’s Park. Take bikes and scooters, because there’s also a cool skate park. To get there, drive into Stirling on the A811, and turn right at the first two mini-roundabouts beneath the castle; drive up past the Stirling Golf Course, and turn right at the next two mini-roundabouts, parking up alongside the park railings.

Leisure Centres

In Stirling, The Peak is a spectacular £27 million leisure centre with amazing climbing walls, a swimming pool with kids area, an ice-skating rink, cafe and bar.

In Callander, McLaren Leisure Centre has an indoor swimming pool, climbing wall, soft play, and a sports hall that can be rented out fairly cheaply by section for badminton and football.

Water Parks

About one hour north of Lochend (you could pop in to Gleneagles on your way back for a cup of tea!), Perth’s swimming pool has flumes, whirlpools, an outdoor lagoon and wave machine.
Closer to home, The Time Capsule has multiple flumes, a Tsunami wave pool, a huge tipping bucket and lazy river with rapids at the end.

For outdoor water fun, Go Country is an awesome water park on Loch Ard, a beautiful loch 20 minutes west of Lochend. It has giant inflatable icebergs to jump off, and also offers kayaking, climbing, abseiling, gorge walking and mountain-biking.

Loch Lomond

A retail and leisure extravaganza right on the loch’s southern shores, Loch Lomond Shores has cafes, restaurants, shops, a visitor centre, SeaLife aquarium, bird of prey centre, TreeZone aerial adventure course, minigolf, and if that wasn’t enough, cruises on the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer!

Walking & Cycling

Have a look at our pages on what to do around the Trossachs for detailed information and recommendations on family-friendly outings in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, from walking and cycling to pony-trekking and sightseeing.

Ben Lomond