Things to do near Sandylands Holiday Park Scotland

We have just returned from a week at Parkdean’s Sandylands Holiday Park in Saltcoats Scotland and had a wonderful time exploring the area. We found that the site itself was very small compared to other Parkdean complexes with very little to keep us entertained and so we ventured off site on a number of occasions. If you’re already on site and are finding the same or are thinking of booking, then here are our recommendations for things to do near Sandylands Holiday Park, Scotland, some in walking difference and others you will need a car for.

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Things to do near Sandylands holiday park within walking distance

Assuming you have no mobility issues then there are a few things you can do in the area that are within walking distance of Sandylands Holiday park.

Saltcoates Beach

If you leave the holiday park at the main entrance and turn left when you get to the main road, go over the hill and turn left again you will see a bridge going over the train tracks, this leads you to the start of the Saltcoats shoreline. You can access some of the beach here, although this part is more stone than sand but still great for exploring with children. To get here it is only a 15 minute walk and that was with a 3 year old, I highly recommend you ignore the reviews that state this walk is an hour!

If you want to explore the beach some more, or fancy more of a sandy beach then continue to follow the shoreline in the opposite direction to Sandylands and within 10 minutes you will be on a lovely sandy beach perfect for building sandcastles.

Town centre

To get to the town centre you can either go from the beach and just walk inland or if going straight from the holiday park the easiest thing to do is ignore the bridge at the train tracks and follow the road up the hill and round the bend, this will lead you to the town centre. There isn’t much to see here but there are a few shops, a subway and places to stop for a drink. It’s an option for something to do to pass sometime and good if you are staying self catering but don’t have a car as you can pick up some essentials for the caravan here.

Arcades

At the far end of town and opposite the beach you will find some arcades. These are free to enter and then have a number of pay to play machines inside including the 2p machines and some £1 to play games. There is also a coffee shop inside if you want somewhere to stop for a drink. This is about a 20 minute walk from Sandylands, unless of course you have stopped at the beach or the town on the way.

Cinema

Just up from the arcades and on the main stretch of promanade you will find a cinema showing all the latest films, perfct if you have bad weather on holiday and need to pass sometime or entertain the kids. There is also a cafe and a restaurent inside, both of which are open to the public even if you aren’t using the cinema. It is also worth noting there are toilettes in here too, super helpful when you’re out with a toddler!

Fair ground rounds and inflatable fun

On our visit we found there were a number of children’s rides, trampolines and inflatables next to the cinema. They are all pay to play but I am unsure if they are if they are there all year round or just during the school holidays.

Park with a view

Next to these rides we discovered a brilliant park with the most amazing view of the Scottish coast line. There is play equipment for all ages and lots of benches so it’s worth a trip to see the view even if you don’t have kids. It’s also a great spot for a picnic if you want to make this a day of exploring away from the Sandylands Holiday Park.

Things to do near Sandylands Holiday Park if you have a car

We did all of the above in a couple of hours (we didn’t watch a film) and had a wonderful time exploring Saltcoats. The highlight for us was the park which we did return to again during the week. However, we love to explore new places and so as we had the car with us we also visited and would highly recommend all of the below, especially as these are all free things to do near Sandylands Holiday Park.

Largs

Largs is a sea side town a 30 minute drive from Sandylands Holiday Park, the town itself is bigger than Saltcoats with a few more shops but not many high street names that you would recognise so not worthy of a visit for those that want to go clothes shopping. However there are some lovely little craft shops, an ice cream parlour and chocolatier, perfect for browsing and gift buying.

Parking is a bit tricky in Llargs as most road sides are 1 hour only so I recommend you head to the sea front and use the pay and display car park as it is in a great location and not overly expensive.

Right opposite the pay and display car park you will find a mini fair where you pay £2.50 a ride, we didn’t use this and I am unsure if it is there all year round but if your kids love rides it might be worth a visit.

Largs Beach

This beach is right next to the car park mentioned above and again has spectacular views. It’s also perfect for collecting sea glass which is a great way to pass a few hours with the kids as they hunt high and low for the coloured gems.

If you are looking for somewhere to have a drink or even meal in Largs then we would recommend The Paddle Streamer which is a Weatherspoons. These often get bad reputations but this one is pretty nice, especially if you can bag one of the tables out the back or by the windows as it gives you a brilliant view of the sea, islands and the the ferries coming and going which kept the kids entertained.

Walk to the pencil

If you don’t mind a bit of a walk then you can walk down the sea front of Largs to the pencil. There isn’t a lot to do when you get there except look at it but the walk is nice and the views are lovely.

Park with a view

One thing we have noticed about Scotland is that they have the most scenic parks and Largs is no different. About half way between Largs town centre and the pencil is a park. It’s perfect for breaking up the walk with children and has something for everyone. I even found myself sitting on the swings and taking in the view.

There is also a ferry from Largs that takes you across to he Isle of Cumbrae, we didn’t do this due to time constraints and obviously it isn’t free but everyone we have spoken to says this is well worth a visit and we will certainly be doing it on our next visit.

Biglees Waterfall

Biglees waterfall is about a 20 minutes drive from Sandylands Holiday Park and is a little tricky to find, however that is part of the fun. The sat nav or google map will take you up a path that leads towards the Scottish hills and then suddenly stop. Park up and listen really carefully for the water (or ask others for directions if you see anyone) and then follow a small, rather hidden path down towards the brook. Once at the brook walk against the flow of the water and you will find a beautiful hidden gem of a waterfall. When we went it was very quiet, only us and one other family there the whole time we stayed. The water was shallow and safe enough for them to paddle in and they also found a rope swing to the side that they loved playing on. It is so relaxing here and an absolute must visit if you have a car. Top tip – pack drinks and a picnic plus towels or spare clothes and enjoy.

Lynn Falls Waterfall

Lynn Falls is a much more popular waterfall, with a designated car park and circular route. The walk is safe for adults and children and is very popular with dog walkers too. It is a beautiful walk with lots of things to see along the way as well as some benches should you need a rest. The waterfall itself is very impressive and much bigger than Biglees Waterfall.

Dunure Castle

Dunure Castle is now just ruins on the coast line but they are free to explore and worth a visit. Again they are surrounded by beautiful views. You can also explore the area and play on the stoney beach whih our kids really enjoyed doing.

Whatever you decide to do we hope you have a wonderful time at Sandylands Holiday Park and exploring the surrounding areas.

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