The weather dial is set to scorchio, and it’s a Bank Holiday weekend. With so much on our doorstep, Linked Magazine has put together some ideas to inspire you to get out and about in the sunshine this weekend.
Drymen Showfield (G63 0HY)
Saturday 27th May
At over 200 years old, Drymen Show is the grande dame of the local event circuit, and this year looks to be a belter with great weather forecast. Located within Drymen showfield, the gates are open to the public from 8am, with the showing classes kicking off at 9am promptly. As the day progresses, the road can get congested, so an early start is no bad thing.
There are the usual livestock and equestrian showing classes – although due to field improvements there are no jumping classes this year – and this makes for great spectating. A special treat is the Concours d’elegance demo mid afternoon in the Main Ring. This is meant to reflect the elegance of a bygone era, with lady riders in splendid costumes parading in the arena. Traditionally this would have been a navy or black riding ‘habit’, with a top hat and veil over the face. However, this equestrian niche has become a great excuse for grown-ups to dress-up in flamboyant Edwardian/Victorian costumes, ribbons and top hats. An immaculately turned out horse and rider are now order of the day, and this is meant to reflect an era when wealthy ladies would ride around Hyde Park, flirting with potential suitors.
Of course there are all the usual livestock showing classes and pens to check out, but there are plenty of other activities to keep everyone in the family amused:
- Sheep shearing demo (and opportunity to try)
- Pets competition (guinea pigs, chickens, bunnies, hamsters) entries up until Friday
- Strathendrick Pipe Band
- Helicopter Rides
- KG Hawks Falconry Demo
- Chainsaw Magic
- Ore Country Terrier Racing
- Kids Fancy Dress (mounted)
- Craft Tents
- Various stalls
- Fun Fair
Tickets can be purchased at the gate on show day. Children under 5 get in FREE.
Junior (under 16) £5.00
(2 adults and 2 Children)
Over 60s £5.00
Aberfoyle (FK8 3SX)
If you are the adventurous sort, why not consider flying 46 metres above the ground, and testing your nerve in the tree canopy of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park? Named Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience Regional Winner at this year’s Thistle Awards, its certainly a fantastic day out for adults (aka big kids) and kids over 10 years old.
Go Ape has made a lot of changes, so the course is very different – double the size – with both a ‘moderate’ and ‘extreme’ route to follow. That’s 1.17km of nerve-jangling fun. New obstacles and crossing keep things interesting. The zip wire remains one of the longest traverses in the country, so expect to scream like a little kid.
Top tips include; fingerless gloves, midge repellent, boots/trainers & sensible clothing
1 adult: 2 x 10-15 year olds (with a height restriction of 1.4m/4’7”)
£33 adult/£25 child
Monachle Mhor Farm, Balquidder (FK19 8PQ)
Friday 26th May – Sunday 28th May
This gig has it all going on. This is a must for all foodies out there, with 5 renowned chefs cooking up a 5 course storm in the kitchen on the Friday night: Lorna MacNee, (chef of the year), Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles, Rosie Healey, of Alchemilla, Carina Contini, Maxine Clark, chef/author and Marysia Paszkowska of Monachyle Mhor. This is strictly limited to 100 lucky folk, so there’s a good chance you’ll not win this particular lottery place. However, fear not, as there is much more than a hearty sit-down feast going on. There is delicious Festival Food being cooked daily 12 noon ’til 10pm, while you relax in the sun and immerse yourself in the party atmosphere. Music and theatre abound, there will dancing and stalls selling lovely products, and frankly you’ll not get a much nicer backdrop for the your bank holiday weekend.
There are options to stay at the hotel, glamping in bell tents and if you fancy pitching up for the weekend (literally), you and your tent are welcome in the bottom meadow in between Lochs Voil and Doine. £75 adult weekend camping, under 16’s go free. Includes hot showers and day entry. All is bookable online.
Take a hike. We are surrounded by such beautiful countryside, and some fabulous hills, so flex those couch-tattie limbs, pack a picnic (and a map, a spare warm layer, sunscreen, a mobile phone….etc) and go explore what is literally on your doorstep. There are challenging munros to conquer, but there are also family-friendly smaller hills that make for a superb day out. Even better, choose a little hill that is going to deliver on a top view. Now, I could wax lyrical here, but actually Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park already have, and have a great rundown of the available wee hills within the park.
Hills that are closer to Glasgow can get a bit mobbed on bank holiday weekends (e.g. Conic Hill), so my own advice would be to head a little bit further afield to miss the masses.
Wear sensible kit, bring lots of water, a big picnic and breathe deeply.
Strathyre FK18 8NA
Friday 26th 6:30pm – 12:30am, Saturday 27th – 1pm – 1am, Sunday 28th 2pm – Midnight
A great option if you like things small, local and folky. This is the biggest little music festival, and attracts some great Scottish artists. There is so much going on, you would be better having a wee look at their website, but this community event has loads of bands, workshops, stalls and banter in abundance.
Strathyre Music Festival has two stages, the Free Open Festival Market Place in the Car Park area immediately in front of the village shop. The Festival main Venue will be in the Forestry Car Park. Festival passes are required to access the Music and Bar Tent.
Aside from the beer-swilling and toe-tapping, there is lots going on to keep the family happy;
- Lorraines Cakes
- Strathyre Stone
- Keip Crafts
- Indian Head Massage/ reflexology
- Henna Tattoo artist
- Inverlochlarig Venison
- Wee Steel- Steel Drum Band Work shop
- Local hand made soaps
- Olly Bobbins
- Wheel of fortune
- Trossachs Flowers
- Highland dancing
- McLaren Pipe Band
- Grey Earl
Unleash your inner Bear Grylls, and head off into the countryside to do a bit of wild camping. It costs nothing, and is good for body, mind and soul.
Go yourself, with family or go with friends, but aim to just kick back and relish the peace and solitude. Now this is opening a can of worms with recent changes to Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park camping policies, but there are SO many beautiful places out there, if you wild camp responsibly. Borrow a tent or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, take a tarp with you and bivouac in some isolated spot where you can watch the stars as you fall asleep.
With the recent dry spell lighting a fire is unadvisable unless it is somewhere well removed from grass and trees.
Now there is a caveat with wild camping – LEAVE NO TRACE – so anything that you carry in with you, returns home with you. If you think its a good idea to take some alcoholic refreshments with you, you’d better be prepared to haul the empties home. When you poop in the great outdoors, it’s absolutely correct that you dig a wee hole with a trowel and poop where you’ve scooped. It should also be 100metres from any water source. Ladies will need to bring any used sanitary products home as they must not be buried or left – animals dig them up and they can cause serious problems for wildlife.
Get a map out, and drop a pin. There lots of outdoor space to explore.
Kids will remember their adventure forever, and it instils a sense of wonder and respect for the great outdoors. There is a good guide here on what to bring and how to build a temporary shelter.
A Battle Won
27th & 28th May
Wallace Monument, Stirling FK9 5LF
Definitely one the kids will savour. Watch as costumed actors bring to life the main events of William Wallace and Andrew de Moray’s victory in 1297 at The Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Meet important figures from the battle and find out more about this historic day in Scotland’s past, when Wallace and de Moray faced King Edward I’s army.
From their arrival in Stirling – the gateway to the Highlands – to the dramatic final scenes, this performance is an exciting way to learn more about The Scottish Wars of Independence.
11:15am, 12:00pm, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm and 4:00pm
Test your bravery with our NEW gruesome games for modern day warriors:
- Storm the Castle – Grab your cannonballs and take aim at the castle’s walls.
- Knock the Knight – You’re under attack! Use the bow and arrows to fight the enemy knight.
- Hook the Eyeball – Not for the faint hearted, use the rod to try to hook the eyeballs.
- Toss the Body Part – A gory twist on the traditional bean bag toss, toss the body part into the holes of the other team’s skeleton.
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