Residents and visitors have voted on their top ten family days out in Angus. They made their selection from a huge variety of entertaining and memorable things to do for families in this beautiful, historic, and inspiring region of Scotland.
There is something for everyone in the family here, from sporting activities and play parks, to farms and castles.
So, in no particular order, here are just some of the very best family days out in Angus, as voted for by the people who live here or those who just love to visit.
1. Auchterhouse Country Sports
A family-run attraction, Auchterhouse Country Sports is one of the UK’s top clay target shooting grounds. It offers a range of country sports, including falconry, archery sessions, off-road driving and quad biking.
The whole family can learn to shoot the mighty bow and arrow under professional instruction in a safe environment.
Children aged ten and older can enjoy an unforgettable quad bike experience. Start in the practice field and then get ready for adventure with an instructor-led trip around the venue’s magnificent countryside and woodland.
Children of all ages will love the falconry activities, available on special request. Trained professionals bring a selection of birds of prey like owls, falcons, eagles and hawks for you to hold, pet, feed and get to know a little better.
Fuel up for the action at The Clay Doo Cafe which offers hot rolls, burgers, home baking, and other delicious refreshments.
2. Brechin Castle Centre
Brechin Castle Centre is a popular attraction, retail outlet, and coffee shop situated within 70 acres of beautiful country park. It’s an ideal family destination. Children of all ages can enjoy an entire day of activity here.
There’s hours of entertainment in store at the play area, from all-terrain go-karts and sledge runs to a farm-themed courtyard with pedal tractors, climbing structures and water play. The giant sandpit, jumping pillows, and zip slide will keep them happy too.
Adventure along the magical fairy trail through woodland and around the loch for a memorable family experience and some unique photo opportunities.
The centre also includes a fantastic garden centre and shop with artisan foods, unique gifts, and home design ideas.
Experience pleasant views and homemade food at the coffee shop. Be sure to try the legendary scones and meringues. And you can enjoy drinks, ice-cream and other snacks at the outdoor food kiosk.
3. Caledonian Railway
Staying in Brechin, we have the Caledonian Railway, a popular family day out. Trains run along the four-mile branch line between Brechin and the countryside stop of Bridge of Dun, which dates back to 1848.
Take in the sights, smells, and that special feeling of sitting on a traditional coal or diesel-powered train pulling away from the station. It’s a step back in time that will leave kids in awe and desperate to return for one of the station’s special events. These include the Santa Specials – a festive train ride with Mr Claus himself.
Enjoy a light lunch and delicious home baking during the week at The Whistle Stop Cafe, situated on Platform 1 of Brechin Station. The cafe serves hearty cooked breakfasts at the weekend too.
This is a wonderful volunteer-run family destination and a long-standing local charity. All funds are reinvested into the restoration and preservation of the railway.
4. Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle is the legendary setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the childhood home of the Queen Mother. The whole family will love seeing inside this historic 1000-year-old castle on one of the informative and entertaining guided tours. You’ll hear some spooky ghost stories, tales about the castle’s Royal visitors over the years, and some weird and wonderful castle facts.
The castle’s majestic grounds and gardens offer plenty of space for the children to run and play. It’s the perfect place for some hide and seek, and for some beautiful family photos. Keep your eyes open and you might spot some of the resident roe deer, hare, pheasants, squirrels, otters and many more woodland creatures.
Enjoy meals, cakes and refreshments in the Victorian Kitchen Restaurant and take home something special from the gift shop to help remember your visit.
The castle hosts special events and exhibitions all year round.
5. Kirriemuir Hill
Kirriemuir Hill (known locally as ‘Kirrie Hill’) is one of the best spots for a family day out in Angus. There’s something here for all ages and interests; a wonderful Peter Pan-themed play park, lots of green grass for football and frisbee, cycling opportunities and walks galore.
The whole family will enjoy spending time at Neverland Playpark where the kids can climb aboard Captain Hook’s ship and enjoy adventures with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.
This is also the home of Kirriemuir Camera Obscura. Gifted to the town by Sir J M Barrie, this wonderful attraction provides a glimpse back in time with some fascinating historic technology on display. The knowledgeable guides will show you the striking 360° views of the beautiful surrounding countryside from on top of the hill. Look north to the Cairngorm Mountains and you’ll see the imposing Airlie Monument on top of Tulloch Hill. It can be easily reached by a path from near Dykehead village.
Enjoy delicious food and drinks in the café, including locally-sourced, freshly-ground coffee and delicious scones with jam and clotted cream. There are also sweets, crisps, ice creams, and souvenirs on sale.
And why not borrow a kite to fly or enjoy one of the giant games available from the pavilion. There are topical colouring books for younger children too. Another great day out for all the family.
6. Monikie Country Park
There’s something for everyone at Monikie Country Park. From the playpark and beautiful walking trails around the former reservoirs to the watersports centre, the park offers a full day’s entertainment for the whole family.
Open from April to October, the watersports centre offers something for all ages and abilities, including taster sessions and individual instruction. Choose from a wide range of activities such as windsurfing, sailing, rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding and canoeing.
There is also a High Ropes course; an exciting tree-top activity suitable for all abilities that includes a 160-metre zipline.
The adventure playground is terrific fun for kids and offers hours of entertainment among the fort structures and on the play equipment. And family walks around the reservoirs offer an opportunity to spot all sorts of wildlife.
Take a break from all that activity at the park’s restaurant, Byzantium Café, where you can enjoy excellent food, drinks and delicious ice cream.
7. Murton Farm, Tearoom and Nature Reserve
Located about a mile and a half from Forfar, Murton Farm, Tea Room and Nature Reserve offer a whole day’s entertainment and education for the family.
Visit the farm to meet friendly animals like Dennis and Gnasher the adorable Kune Kune pigs, as well as goats, donkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and chickens. And there’s more fun for the family in the play area which has sandpits, pedal toys, an adventure trail and outdoor toys.
Enjoy some beautiful walks around the beautiful Murton Nature Reserve, with its stunning lochs and wetlands that are home to a wide variety of birds, dragonflies and wildflowers.
This is an amazing place whatever the weather. Even on a cold winter’s days, there are things to see, and you can warm up with the lovely soup and hot drinks in the Murton Tea Room which also offers a delicious range of baking and tasty snacks.
8. Newton Farm Tours
Newton Farm is a real working Angus farm that offers an award-winning and authentic farm experience to inspire the whole family. You’ll be welcomed by farmers Graeme and Louise who will introduce you to their animals and take you on a fun and educational tour of the farm.
Discover what daily life is like on a Scottish farm. There are so many different things to see and do here in any season. You can hand-feed the animals, including cows, sheep, goats, and Lucy, the micro pig. Collect eggs from the henhouse and take the friendly alpacas for a memorable walk. And children will love hearing stories from this farming family and learning where some of their food comes from. There are refreshments and farmhouse baking available too.
You can even treat the family to a bed and breakfast or self-catering experience here – the perfect opportunity to relax in idyllic rural Angus.
9. Redwings Mountains Horse Sanctuary
Set in 220 acres of beautiful paddocks and woodland, Redwings Mountains Horse Sanctuary is home to horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. Based in Glenogil, around 20 minutes drive from Forfar, the centre offers a fantastic and unique family day out.
There are signposted walks around the site to meet the lovely residents. No feeding is permitted, but everyone is welcome to give these friendly animals plenty of attention – they love a good scratch!
This stunning location also offers a chance to experience local wildlife, including red squirrels and mountain birds.
After a relaxing stroll, you can enjoy a warm drink and tasty snacks in the Nosebag Café. The on-site gift shop has a wide range of souvenirs to take home, with all proceeds supporting the hundreds of animals in Redwings’ care. You can even adopt one of the friendly horses and donkeys to help support the fantastic work done at the sanctuary.
10. West Links, Arbroath
Is there anything better than an east coast seaside town? Arbroath is the perfect place to spend a fun day with the family and West Links offers something for all ages.
Families with young children can bounce around at Jumping Joeys, a fantastic soft play centre. There is equally as much fun in store at the nearby playpark. It offers a host of colourful play equipment, as well as crazy golf, a paddling pool, a road train, and mini racing cars.
There’s more entertainment at Pleasureland – the largest indoor funfair and amusement arcade in Angus. The whole family will love the games and rides on offer, as well as the sites, sounds and smells of a traditional fairground.
Take a walk along the attractive esplanade to enjoy the sea breeze and stunning views. And you can also enjoy a film at Chalmers Filmhouse, located next to the playpark.
More days out in Angus
There is so much to see and do here in Angus. Take a look at the variety of places to visit, plus our other Insider’s Guides.
Insider’s Guide to Places to Eat
Insider’s Guide to Nature and Wildlife
Insider’s Guide to Food and Drink
Insider’s Guide to Coast and Waters
Insider’s Guide to Cycling Routes
Insider’s Guide to Beauty Spots
Insider’s Guide to Walking Routes
Insider’s Guide to Visitor Attractions
Insider’s Guide to Hidden Gems