Thanks to Michelle for taking the time to answer our interview questions. If you liked this post, please feel free to share.

Meet the Playground Expert

intro for parents

What kinds of activities do you do with your kids here to keep them occupied?

There are so many favourite things to do here so I’m not sure I’ll be able to mention them all! Some of our favourite things include:

  • Going to the Birnam Oak to see if we can see Peter Rabbit inside its trunk and then walking along a bit and playing in the Inchewan Burn.
  • Cycling from Birnam along the river path to the Hermitage to get an ice-cream from the mobile cafe (great incentive for younger children!) and then playing hide and seek along the path to Ossian’s hall to gaze at the River Braan’s amazing waterfall.
  • Going to Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and looking through the viewing window at all the different birds and trying to catch a glimpse of some red squirrels.
  • Playing hide and seek in the Beatrix Potter garden.

Any suggestions for rainy day activities?

On a rainy day we would go and have a swim at the Erigmore Swimming pool, play in the Beatrix Potter Exhibition and have a Hot Chocolate with marshmallows and cream afterwards, watching a film at the Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy or if the children are getting fed up of us, we might just take them into Perth to the supervised  Soft Play at Tiso while we watch on with cups of coffee and cake!

What’s good to do with a young family if you’re on a budget?

All of the things I have mentioned can be done on a budget. If you enjoy the outdoors then this is the ideal place to explore and root yourself back into nature and the best thing is, it costs next to nothing!

Best play areas?

The park across from the school is a wonderful new park that seems to stimulate and encourage friendships and imaginative play. We love it. The park in Dunkeld under the Bridge is also great and is lovely for a picnic as it is set back from the River Tay. Active Kids in Stanley is a great day out too and is suitable for a wide age range, they have jelly bellies, go carts, slides, farm animals etc.

Where can we go to eat that is child friendly?

If we were to have lunch out then we would either go to Birnam Arts or The Atholl Arms as they both boast larger areas so you dont feel that you are squashed in and there are places to put a buggy. We had late breakfast once at Uisge in Murthly which was lovely  We dont go out very often in the evenings but when we do it would be to Erigmore, Atholl Arms or the Taybank if we can sit outside.

What are the rules about taking children into bars?

We’ve never been refused from a bar with our children. General rule is that they aren’t allowed in after a certain time in the evening (usually 8 or 9 o’clock) but each pub/bar has its own rules so check with the staff before you make yourself comfortable for the night!

Any suggestions for young teenagers?

,If you are into mountain biking, there are briliant downhill mountain bike tracks all around Dunkled and Birnam. Or if youre into more leisurely cycle,  the immediate area around the village boasts miles and miles of tracks that you can cycle, walk or run on. You could also try your hand at paddle boarding or do some adventure activities with Nae Limits.

Any good walks that you can take a pram on?

There are walks literally everywhere around Dunkeld and Birnam. I have tried all of them with a buggy but some are definitely easier with a backpack and I would highly recommend this mode of transport for your young child if you like exploring. My favourite walks with a buggy are:

From Birnam to the Hermitage waterfall and back (4 mile round trip and very flat)

Up to pinecone view point in Craigvinean woods from the Hermitage carpark and back (3 mile round trip with quite a lot of uphill sections but on even terrain and with a great view at the top)

from Birnam to Dunkeld House Hotel and back (4 mile round trip and very flat) from Cally Car park up to mill dam and back (about 5 miles round trip and quite a bit of uphill on uneven track.

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