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Located in the Cairngorms National Park, Rothiemurchus is home to some of the best activities that you can do in Scotland. The estate is located very close to our, Kirkstone Lodge and Hillview Estate. This is one of the most fun places you can go in the whole of Scotland and on their official website they even proudly display that they are the best picnic spot in the whole country, but we are not here to look at picnic spots, we are here today to have a fun look at what my family consider to be the top 5 things you can get up to in Rothiemurchus. I am sure that if you have kids you will have as much fun as we did with any one of these activities. Please keep in mind there is way more things to do here than I have mentioned, but these are the activities that we did and had an awesome time doing them. Be sure to check out the Rothiemurchus website to see all the cool things you can do.
Also if you think I missed something out then please do not be shy and let me know in the comments below as we are always looking for more fun things to do.
Archery is an activity that if my family is going somewhere and it is on offer then you better believe we are going to be doing it. No matter if you are something of a pro or if you have never done this before, archery offers a lot of fun and is actually fairly easy to pick up and learn. You can have a fun wee competition to see who can get the highest score which if your family is like mine and you have more than two kids is sure to end up in some kind of argument. Anyway this is still a lot of fun and despite the tendency for the boys to get a bit over competitive is something we always enjoy. Sometimes I think it is best before you start to say the game is kids vs adults as this seems to stop the arguments…….. a little bit.
Rothiemurchus offers a great place to have a round of archery. There is just something so very cool about firing off arrows in the woods that you cannot help, but feel like Robin Hood. My kids loved pretending to be Hawkeye from The Avengers and I am sure if you have girls they will love pretending to be Merida from Brave. They have different bows here so if you are strong then you can have a more powerful bow, whereas for the kids they have child appropriate bows.
This is flat water canoeing so it is perfectly safe for the kids as there is no crazy rapids that you have to worry about. You will be taking a lovely wee trip along Loch an Eilein where you will get to see some pretty amazing sights. There is a ruined castle that I am sure your kids are going to love and want to you somehow stop the canoe so you can get out and have a look around…….. trust me you can’t do this I was told very firmly that this was not a good idea! There is even some wildlife around the water that you may get lucky and be able to see. As my boys were making so much noise though any wildlife that was in the area probably took off long before we got close to it.
Before you set off, you will be given a safety briefing. What is great about this is that they do it in a fun way so that kids will learn how to be safe, know how to paddle properly and not be bored to tears while they are learning. The canoe that we used fitted in us two adults and both boys so we could all go along together. We think though next time we do this we may see if the boys can have their own canoe. They do offer kayaking here, but that we felt was a bit too fast paced for our youngest.
The Tree Zone is one of the main attractions at Rothiemurchus and something that scared the life out of me before we did it, but as my son was a bit nervous I could not let on that his old man was even more scared than he was or he would never have done it. Anyway this is kind of like an obstacle course or some kind of kids playground that is high off the floor. There is well over 30 different obstacles for you to tackle ranging from zip lines, bridges, jumps, things to climb and so much more. Doing this as a family is actually really cool as you can cheer each other on and offer a helping hand if the kids are having a hard time with it…….. or they can encourage you and offer help if you are terrified like I was!
You could easily spend a couple of hours here and there is two different courses for you to take on. If you have younger kids or kids who are a little unsure of this then you will want to tackle the Tree Creeper Course this one is still a lot of fun, but at its highest point is 20 feet of the floor. The more tougher course is The Buzzard which has some obstacles that are as high as 40 feet of the ground! Thankfully my son only wanted to do the Creeper Course so I was saved the horror of taking on The Buzzard, but next time we come here I do not think I will be so lucky! I just want to point out that while this is a bit scary it is totally safe as the staff are great and you have more safety gear on than a guy who blows up buildings for a living.
Wow now this was something that was a lot of fun and I had no idea you could do here until we actually arrived. Without giving my age away back in the 80’s there was this awesome arcade game I loved to play called Toobin, where you played as a guy going down the river in a tube. I always thought it looked the coolest thing ever and not I can say I have actually done it! River Tubing is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. You will sit or perhaps half sit half lay is the better terminology and then you will have a relaxing, but fun wee jaunt down the river.
This is totally safe and they will kit you out with a safety helmet and a wet suit to stop you freezing. We did this on a very warm July day and the water was still pretty cold. They also give you these weird paddle gloves which you can use to steer yourself, give you a bit more speed, be able to make yourself slow down or just make you feel like some kind of weird duck person.. There are a few rapids here, but none so fast that they are dangerous or that are going to make you get scared.
Quad Trekking is something that when I think about I still get a big smile on my face as I picture my eldest son caked in mud, literally from head to toe. His mother was not all that impressed, but I thought it was hilarious. Anyway this is something that manages to not only be very exciting and really cool, but also let you check out some of the true beauty of Rothiemurchus. To start with these quad bikes were awesome and they have different ones for the adults than they do the kids. Also you will be with a guide at all times so it’s not as if they are just sending you and the kids out to ride around the woods like maniacs although I am sure this is something most kids would actually love to do.
During the trek you will get to go through woods, over moorlands and in general get to see some pretty spectacular views. The guide we had was very friendly and as my youngest was having a wee bit of bother made sure to take us on a route that he felt he could handle. We even got to see some highland cows and deer during our trek. Just be warned if it has been raining at all even a few days before you do this then you will get very, very dirty so be sure to bring a change of clothes and footwear with you.