Bring on the beach baby!

Rhona Maxwell

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Last week Freya and I spent an afternoon at the beach. Nope, not Broughty Ferry, or St Andrews, not even that teeny weeny one in Stanley that the locals like to keep a secret (soz!). I’m talking about the genius idea that is the Indoor Beach at Glendoick Garden Centre which is now open for the rest of the summer! Freya also invited her BFF Alexandria along with her grown up, mum Vicki.

Like many things pre-baby the now annual indoor beach at Glendoick seems to have completely passed me by until I had children of my own. Turns out there’s a massive sandpit filled with that lovely soft ‘magic sand’ and everything little ones need to enjoy themselves- buckets & spades, beach balls, hula necklaces...they had it all going on!Glendoick Beach sign

On arrival we were greeted by a great, big “Beach This Way ->” sign which saved any awkward ‘oh, hi, yes, lovely plants…do you know where the beach is?’ conversations having to take place. We certainly weren’t the only ones doing the same thing, there was another little girl (who’d brought her own Hello Kitty beach toys) quite happily dumping sand on her mummy’s head when we arrived, and plenty who came and went over the couple of hours we stayed.

Shoes off and our two toddlers happily got stuck in- Freya is still pretty wobbly on her feet and seemed glad of the cushioned landing surface to practice her walking on! Sandcastles were built, chases were had, beach selfies were taken and it was smiles all round.

Glendoick Beach Freya/Rhona selfieAfter almost an hour on the sand we had all worked up an appetite- two very helpful staff let us know that anytime we wanted it we could enjoy food & drinks from the café at the tables set up right next to the beach. I noticed this also doubled up as a kind of viewing area where grandparents were having their pot of tea while getting to watch all the action on the sand.

Freya and I brushed ourselves off and headed to the café where we were delighted to find a whole range of little person friendly food, including healthy options. She got to pick and mix 4 different items including mini sandwiches, freshly prepared fruit, individual cheese portions and snacks.

Vicki and I went for one of the 3 different soups they had on that day, and both managed to resist the temptation of the gorgeous cakes on display (although from previous experience, I highly recommend the Lamingtons!).

After another wee post-lunch play on the sand we headed back out into the finest Scottish summer weather. Having only gone 3 miles from Perth we had found the perfect thing to do on a rainy day (and no need to wrestle with the kids to wear their sun hats/ sun cream!).

Glendoick Garden Centre is centred around their famous rhododendron nursery, has an award-winning foodhall and café, gift hall, toys, books, homewares and clothing. I’ve been many times before (mainly for the aforementioned Lamingtons), and already know it makes for a great day out but with the addition of the indoor beach over the summer I’m sure we’ll be back even more often.

Glendoick Beach Freya/Alexandria necklacesThe beach is open every day now until the end of Summer, and every day during the school holidays there is also a Bouncy Castle set up 11am-3pm (ish)- weather permitting!

More information on the beach at Glendoick here>

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