Vogrie Country Park is just 12 miles from Edinburgh city centre and is a wonderful place to spend a day whatever your age. Yesterday, on the bank holiday, the mini members of the Spotlight team were packed into the car, armed with lunch, bikes, footballs etc with the aim to spend the whole day there. Entry to the park is free and as a general rule the park opens at 7.30 am and closes at dusk. It was scheduled to close at 9pm last night, making it suitable for an evening visit in the summer months. Dogs are welcome here.
There are several reasons why I like Vogrie and first and foremost, is the suitability for children. Open spaces galore and encouragment to run around like children should do, with very few places out of bounds. There are toilets in the main car park (now £1 entry through barrier system) but also at the main adventure playground. Perfect for when kids just need to go.
Picnic tables are dotted around the park, but the Vogrie House itself houses the excellent Cedar Tree Cafe (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays apart from school holidays). This option is not a strain on the purse strings with reasonably priced food, juice and ice creams. Baby changing facilities are also in here.
On the whole, the park is pushchair and wheelchair friendly, but you can pick up one of the excellent maps for free to plan your time and route suitable for you.
The adventure playground is excellent for all ages, complete with wood chips on the ground. There are also carved wooden sculptures dotted around the park as well as over sized chairs to clamber upon and a 3 metre tall bicycle.
Woodland walks take you over the River Tyne and through well marked paths lined with huge trees. It doesn’t take long to get part of the park to yourself, so easy to get away from the noise of children if you prefer. There are ponds and puddocks to wander round and a 9 hole golf course (must be booked in advance).
Two barbecue areas available within the park which must be booked seven days in advance. The neighbouring events field is a 1 hectare enclosed area which can be hired for events and other informal activities. Not operational on our visit, the Vogrie Miniature Railway is run by the Esk Valley Model Engineering Society (EMES), and runs throughout the summer on Sunday afternoons (weather permitting), from 2 pm – 5 pm.
A thoroughly enjoyable day out, which keeps youngsters amused for hours.