Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park, Scotland
On our last day in Scotland H exclaimed that he was tired of visiting castles! We were making the push from Oban back to Edinburgh to fly home in the evening. We knew right then and there we should find something fun for the kids to do to end our trip. It would be perfect if that place also tired the kids out so they slept, or were at least calm, on the trip home.
The Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park fit the bill. This park is part drive-through zoo, part regular zoo and part amusement park. Turns out tons of people had the same idea we did. This was the first time on our trip we waited in line for anything.
We started our visit by driving through the “safari” part of the park. I’ve actually never been to anything like this, but know they exist everywhere. You actually drive right into the enclosure with the animals. I was really on the fence about doing this, but the kids enjoyed it and it was an experience. There are signs everywhere reminding you to roll your windows up and not get out of your car!
The monkey section made me the most nervous. The monkeys would actually jump out of the trees and onto the cars! Luckily we did not have any on our car.
After completing the safari we parked the car and headed to the playground. There are several large playgrounds full of fun for the kids. The huge wooden fort was fun for both kids and dad. Unfortunately, the forts don’t have anything inside them – they needed some obstacles and climbing structures. Jeff did have to give O a boost to get into the fort.
Our kids’ favorite thing was the pirate ship playground with a huge sand pit. The park hides gold coins (plastic) for the kids to find and provides plenty of buckets and shovels. If you find a gold coin, you can redeem it for a prize from the treasure chest in the gift shop. Park management would not tell me how many coins they hide each morning or if all had been found on our visit day.
There are also some amusement park rides that cost a separate fee. There were these tractors our kids wanted to ride but they kept eating our Euro coins. The amusements manager was happy to refund it, but that sort of took the wind out of our sails.
Jeff and H enjoyed the large slide that you ride down on a burlap sack! This attraction was free. O fell asleep so the big boys went to the Sea Lion show and poked into a few other animal enclosures that are best seen on foot.
We spent so much time playing that we actually missed a whole section of the park including the boat ride around monkey island and the birds of prey show! You could easily spend a full day enjoying everything here.
We did grab lunch at the cafe at the park. It was nothing special but edible and fit the bill. They had hot and cold options including kiddo boxes where you pick a sandwich, juice and two extras. An outdoor grill section of the cafe was serving hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches. Most people seemed to have packed a lunch, and that likely would have been our preference had we not been flying out in the evening.
We left the park with O still sleeping and H followed suit shortly after. It meant they were not tired for the flight but they were well rested and sometimes that is all you can ask for.
Our drive to the airport took us over the fourth estuary and gave us a great view of The Fourth Bridge, a UNESCO world heritage site for having the largest spans when it opened in 1890. We got another great view of the bridge as our plane left Edinburgh for our quick (90-minute) flight home.
We just wanted to make sure you knew that VisitScotland provided us with an ASVA attractions pass during our visit. All opinions are our own.