10 National Lottery funded summer activities

National Lottery players help to fund plenty of attractions and local projects throughout Scotland that not only improve the well-being of people and communities where they are located, but are also great places for you and your family to visit during the summer holidays. To save you some homework, I’ve compiled a list of 10 of these attractions you can visit this summer.

1. Put the pedal to the metal at Free Wheel North’s cycle centre 

Free Wheel North group with their recent People’s Projects win

Free Wheel North is a charity that teaches people of all ages to cycle in order to create a fairer, healthier society. Members of the public of all abilities are welcome to visit the cycling centre in Glasgow Green and try out a range of different bikes, including trikes, hand-crank cycles and tandems.

2. Uncover secrets of the universe at the Aberdeen Science Centre (formerly ‘Satrosphere’)

Photo of Aberdeen Science Centre building

The Aberdeen Science Centre is a pioneer of interactive science discovery in Scotland. Established in 1989, they promise to transport visitors, from all ages and backgrounds, into the heart of discovery. Similar venues we have helped to fund around Scotland include Glasgow Science Centre, Dundee Science Centre and Dynamic Earth.

3. Explore nature at the Scottish Seabird Centre

Scottish Seabird Centre's visitor entrance.

The Scottish Seabird Centre is a charity situated at North Berwick harbour, which is around 30 minutes from Edinburgh. Visitors can control remote cameras to see wildlife in its natural habitat, as well as go on boat trips and attend events and exhibitions.

The Kelpies, Grangemouth

4. Take a stroll around The Kelpies

Did you know that each of The Kelpies measure up to 30 metres tall and weigh over 300 tonnes? In 2007, The Helix was awarded £25m of National Lottery funding to create a new green space within the Falkirk area and help connect its 16 communities. What do you say – yay, or neigh?

5. Brave the quarter pipe at Muir of Ord Skate Park

Muir of Ord Skatepark 1

Visiting the Highlands and feeling bold? Venture out to the Muir of Ord Skate Park, which features a mini ramp, quarter pipes, flat banks, a spine, driveway, rails, hubbas and ledges. Other National Lottery funded skate parks include:

  • Cowie Skate Park, Stirlingshire
  • Penicuik Skatepark, Midlothian
  • Knockhill Park, Renfrewshire
  • Bught Park Skate Park, Inverness

6. Watch salmon leap at the Falls of Shin visitor centre

People standing on balcony overlooking Falls of Shin

The Falls of Shin is a popular Highland visitor centre that re-opened after it was closed down due to a fire four years ago. Designed in the shape of a salmon to reflect the fish who can regularly be seen leaping at the Falls, visitors can also enjoy a coffee break at the new café and shop.

7. Float down the canal at The Falkirk Wheel

A photo of the Falkirk Wheel from across the water.

The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s first rotating boat lift, and connects the Forth & Clyde and Union canals. It is also situated very close to the aforementioned Kelpies, in case you were planning to play “National Lottery attraction bingo” (note: I just made this up, it doesn’t exist and there’s no prize). The Wheel is a magnificent feat of engineering.


8. Watch the world go by at the new Riverside Walkway in Govan

Sir Alex Ferguson recently returned to his hometown of Govan to open this new riverside walkway to members of the public. The walkway benefits from unrivaled views of the river and is a great place to visit if you enjoy scenic walks, smooth cycling or simply sitting and watching the world go by.

9. Take the kids to Eoropie Dunes Park

Photo taken just outside the gated entrance to the child play area at the park

Eoropie Dunes Park is set in four acres of natural grassland and sand dunes on the edge of Eoropie village, in the far north of the Isle of Lewis. As well as the play facilities available, there are many slopes and natural streams for children to explore and play in. Rabbits are a familiar sight at the park, though do keep an eye out for the less common black rabbit!

10. Travel back in time at The National Museum of Scotland

A shot of the light-filled atrium of the Grand Gallery that houses the UK's single largest museum installation, the Window on the World: a four-storey, 18-metre high display of more than 800 objects.
Graeme Pow / via flickr.com

Based in Scotland’s capital, the National Museum of Scotland ranks as the most popular museum in the UK outside London. Last year the museum received nearly £5 million from Heritage Lottery Fund, our sister National Lottery distributor, to open ten new galleries showcasing science, technology, art, design and fashion. Well worth a visit!

If you do visit any of these National Lottery funded attractions during your summer holidays, please feel free to share any photos with us on Twitter using the #NationalLottery hashtag! 

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