Callendar Park Roman playground

{Scotland} A Day Out at Callendar House & Park

Happy Museum Monday! Today’s review actually features more than just a museum – we have a historic house museum, a playground, and a park with an activity trail for you, all in one single destination day trip! Callendar House and Park at Falkirk was one of these places that hadn’t been on my radar, as for some reason it never pops up when you search for things to do from Edinburgh by train. But then, after we’d been to the Falkirk Wheel at Easter, I was searching for other things to do in Falkirk and voila! There it was.

Callendar House and Park Falkirk

When you’re walking from the train station, the first thing you come to is the playground. It’s got a Roman theme to it – think Roman fort and carved wooden Roman statues – which in case you’re wondering is because Callendar Park contains a section of the Roman Antonine Wall (which I forgot to take a photo of…)

Callendar Park Roman playground

My favourite part was the hopscotch that had Roman numerals! A clever wee touch for keeping in with the theme.

Right next to the park is a toilet block, a kiosk selling ice-cream (among other things), and an area with lots of picnic tables, so it was the perfect spot for us to stop off for lunch. We had brought a packed lunch with us, and followed it up with a round ice creams which we then ate as we wandered across the park to Callendar House.

Callendar Park ice cream kiosk

Callendar House is a mansion within the grounds of Callendar Park. It’s oldest part dates back to the 14th century, but in the 19th century it was extended and redesigned in the style of a French chateau.

Callendar House

Inside, across several floors you’ll find a number of permanent displays, including the story of Callendar House from the11th to the 19th centuries; an exhibit about the Antonine Wall and the Romans (of course); and several galleries about Falkirk and the local area was transformed during the beginning of the industrial era.

There are a few interactive activities for children to get their hands on, including building a Roman wall, constructing a clock, and an audio interactive that plays different pieces of music. The highlight, however, was the chance to get dressed up as a Roman!

As well as the exhibits, there’s also the beautifully restored 1825 Georgian kitchen, which apparently used as a film location for the hugely popular Outlander TV series, though I’ve never seen the series myself. There were some masks of faces that visitors could put on to pose for photographs in the kitchen – I can only assume they represent actors from the TV series, so that you can recreate your very own Outlander moment!

Callendar House Georgian Kitchen

After an interlude in the very nice tea room, we ventured back outside in to the park, where we first walked around the loch (note to self: next time remember to bring some bird food to feed the ducks!)

Callendar Park Callendar Loch

Once we had circled the loch, we walked along the Natural Play Trail, which was added to the park a few years ago. The trail, which is roughly half a mile long, starts next to Callendar House, leads around the back of the house along the edge of the woods, and ends next to the playground (or vice versa, if you’re starting at the playground end). There are various stops along the way, including a zip line, climbing frame, stepping logs, stilts, and balancing beams of different sizes. These are interspersed with carved wooden benches and sculptures.

After that, it was time for us to head back to the train station, but if you want to make even more of a day of it, there’s also more walking trails through the surrounding Callendar Woods. And to help you stay hydrated, there’s a tap to top up your water bottles too, right outside Callendar House.

All in all, we had brilliant day out, and I only wish we’d made it here sooner!

How to get there

By train: Falkirk High and Falkirk Grahamston train stations are both around a mile away. It took us about 25 minutes to walk from Falkirk High.

By bus: There are a few bus routes that stop at Callendar Park. The closest is F16 on Seaton Place, or the 1, F25 and X38 on Callendar Road.

By car: There are three free car parks at Callendar Park, on Estate Avenue and Seaton Place.

Visitor information

Opening hours: Callendar House is open Wednesdays to Mondays from 10am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays. The park is open any time.

Cost: Free admission to Callendar House and park.


Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.