Adventure to Aberdeen: The Den and The Glen
It might be winter still, but we didn’t let that stop us from driving out to visit one of Aberdeen’s favourite kids attractions, The Den and The Glen. Surrounded by beautiful natural scenery on Royal Deeside, The Glen is a child friendly park full of fairytale and nursery rhyme characters. It also has a recently refurbished soft play called ‘The Den’ which has everything from a mini basketball court to large race slides.
Equally as impressive is the grand castle entrance, with its many turrets and flags looming above as you enter. It quickly reminded us of The Land of Far Far Away from one of our favourite family movies, Shrek. Once we paid our admission we set off past the large toy soldier guards and down the steep hill in search of our first stop, the animals!
It certainly feels like you’re descending into an imaginary world, round every bend there seems to be something to see, whether it’s a fairytale house, Cinderella’s carriage or even Humpty Dumpty precariously perched on a long brick wall. The paths are all very well maintained and though The Glen looks a little dated in places, it’s clearly well looked after.
First stop on our walk through the grounds was to meet the goats, chickens, rabbits, pigs and ponies. There’s also a big old tractor in this section where kids can climb up and pretend to be farmers, plus trains and cars to play drive. Afterwards the little ones will love racing up the hill to the white castle, which offers some stunning views which are not to be missed.
From way up top we spotted a large play ship and flying fox, which we decided to walk to next. As we passed the Teletubbies and Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house it’s hard not to notice that some of the statues are a little tired and in need of some TLC. Yet the kids see past all this and instead are fully immersed in their imaginations as they hunt for all their favourite fictional friends.
This is where the charm of Den & The Glen (previously known as Storybook Glen) lies. Here and there might need some upgrading, but judging by all the smiling little faces running in and out of the houses and hurtling down the slides, the kids don’t seem to mind at all. Instead what they love most is to have infinite space and freedom to have fun and explore!
To make it more entertaining for older kids you could turn the free map into a scavenger hunt, where whoever finds the most of the listed characters wins! There’s plenty of treats at the cafe that would make a great prize. Though if it’s a warm summer’s day then we highly recommend bringing a picnic with you!
Once you’ve paid admission you also get access to The Den/soft play, where after your walk you can grab some much needed lunch or hot drinks at the cafe. For those with babies and toddlers there’s a special designated area for them. It’s a great way to end the day and somewhere we’ll definitely return to, only next time we hope we won’t need such thick winter coats!