In a beautiful part of Scotland, where you’ll find spectacular coastal viewpoints and challenging walking trails, many guests enjoy active holidays where they can play sports, fish and give their car a break. Yet, many of Scotland’s most remarkable historic buildings provide alternative things to do. Colourful gardens are considered by many to be the best attractions on offer, though families will find a whole host of child-friendly venues to ensure that the kids don’t get bored. It takes less than an hour to drive to the Galloway Forest Park, famed for its clear night skies, and a similar length of time to reach a selection of monumental Scottish castles. Dunskey Estate
The Dunskey Estate is a peaceful place to while away a dry afternoon. Enjoy the on-site tea rooms, colourful walled gardens and woodland paths that line two lochs where you can stop for a spot of fishing. South West Scotland’s very first maze can be found within the grounds of the estate, and you might come across a deer, hedgehog, rabbit, pheasant or partridge. For souvenirs, buy a plant to take home as a reminder of your visit. Culzean Castle
A 600-acre estate houses the majestic Culzean Castle, a visitor centre, restaurants, shops and gardens. The resident deer herd is a favourite attraction for young and old alike. Culzean Castle was referred to under the name Coif Castle in the 1400s, and is an extravagantly furnished building rich with antique furniture and expensive paintings. Willberry dolls and traditional toys are amongst the items that you can buy on-site, and the castle hosts many events ranging from craft fairs to art classes throughout the year. Glenwhan Gardens
A haven for wildlife, the Glenwhan Gardens are full of colour and alive in every season. The gardens are relatively new, created over the last 20 years, with plants from all over the world. Covering twelve acres, they’re are also home to animals including the rare red squirrel. Well-maintained trails are ideal for tranquil walks, and the gardens have been decorated with sculptures and water features as well as well-placed seats. Once you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the garden, you’ll be able to stop for a snack at the tea room. Castle Kennedy & Gardens
The mystical gardens of Castle Kennedy are rich in vibrant colour. Extensively landscaped, they cover more than 30 hectares and include a tea room, gift shop and plant centre to further enhance your visit. A full programme of events includes guided tours, treasure hunts and educational workshops. Logan Botanic Garden
This large, sub-topical botanic garden occupies a lovely location on the South West tip of Scotland, where colourful flowers merge with a tranquil fish pond and quiet woodland trails. Visitors are welcomed throughout the summer months to enjoy the gardens, the bistro restaurant and the Botanics Shop selling gifts, crafts and plants. You can learn more about the garden, and the plants within it, at the Discovery Centre by the entrance.