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Getting Lost at Dalkeith Country Park

Last week we visited Dalkeith Country Park; an estate with 1000-acres of farmland and forestry owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. There are walking trails, cycling routes, horse riding, fishing, an adventure park for children and now also a retail and wellness space called the Restoration Yard. Oh and horses, cows and deer!     dukeofbuccleuhestate

It’s a grand estate as you can see, and a working one as well. It was originally a 12th century castle but was completely reconstructed during the early 1700s – and now it’s a study centre for the University of Wisconsin which I find a bit odd!

oldbridge

The Montague Bridge is designed by Robert Adam and built in 1792. It’s nicer from the other side but I didn’t get down there this time unfortunately.

lanaandherbag

Lana insisted on bringing her little Hello Kitty bag – the cutest thing ever <3

jumping

She’s really into jumping at the moment, both on her own and with the help of others…

restoration yard dalkeith

We started by visiting the Restoration Yard (more about it here) and having a quick sandwich and salad lunch.

bridge

After lunch we walked over to newly opened Fort Douglas playground. It’s free for under 2-year-olds and parents, £3 for 3-5-year-olds and £5 for 6-12-year-olds. Won’t bankrupt you in other words!

fortdouglas

There are treehouses, suspension bridges, slides, climbing walls and secret tunnels – every child’s dream!

fortdouglasplaypark

Luckily there was also a park for the wee ones as Lana is too little for the other stuff.

playpark

She didn’t want to get off this thing and just kept going round and round until we could see she was too dizzy to even see straight haha.

see-saw

Fun times with auntie JoJo.

archery

If you want to find out if you or your kid is good with a bow check out the archery field catering from 6 years upwards.

rollinghaggis

Zorbing is something I’ve wanted to do for ages, but I want to try the kind where you roll down a hill. One day!

walk

After a while we had enough of screaming children and decided to go for a calming walk in the countryside. Matthew found a trail online that we decided to follow.

horses

We didn’t walk far until we bumped into these gorgeous animals. I was quite taken aback by how big they were and was a bit hesitant to pet them at first. But when I did I really enjoyed it – and I think it was the first time I’ve done it as well!

horsesatdalkeithcountrypark

Lana on the other hand didn’t show any signs of being afraid, she just kept trying to feed the horses with her little straws. At one point the horses just zoned out completely and it looked like they were sleeping with their eyes open – is this what horses do Arnella? 🙂

happy

Happy to be in the countryside and enjoying some sunshine instead of the rain that was forecasted!

mazza

Matthew’s feeling the breeze in his hair.

coos

I watched this calf drinking milk from its mother for ages – I could really relate to the mummy-cow!

farm

An abandoned barn overgrown by flowers.

reflections

We finally made it to the forest trail that was supposed to take us back to the the old bridge and the estate. River Esk was putting on a nice reflection show for us.

dalkeithforestpath

It was nice being in the forest – Lana loved it too!

buggy

We quickly realised that the trail was getting narrower – until we had to carry the buggy.

dalkeithforest

We decided to just keep going anyway. Thank god we had the lighter buggy with us!

lafamilia

A rare Aikas-Adams family photo.

whistling

Auntie JoJo doing magic tricks.

break

After walking and walking we finally reached a dead end and had to go back or take our chances crossing a field with cows…We turned back and tried to find another route but there was nothing. Eventually we just sat down and waited to get rescued…

food

But since no one came we just walked aaall the way back again! This is the second time we get lost in these same woods, so it’s pretty obvious the place is cursed. After six hours in the wild we all slept like babies!

x Nina x

Nina Äikäs

I’m a Swedish-speaking Finn who left Finland for the lovely and thrilling London town in 2011, but after meeting an equally lovely and thrilling Scotsman I somehow now find myself in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. In February 2015 our gorgeous little girl arrived and made us a happy family of three. Follow my blog and get to know us!

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