What’s on this April

by Sara Barton, 22nd March 2024
Trimontium fort site | nr Melrose
What’s on this April

An early Easter and half-term holidays mean the first half of April is jam-packed with events focused on family friendly activities. Pay a visit to one of our farm attractions with newborn animals nestled in hay with their mums and frolicking about in the new spring fields. You might even get the chance to feed some of them. Many of our cultural venues move up a gear with plays and music filling our various venues. Outdoorsy folks should check out the Galashiels Walking Festival or take a tour to the site of the most northern Roman fort in Britain. Whatever you choose to visit, we’re sure you’ll have a super time this spring in the South of Scotland.

Easter and Half-term events

Follow the Magical Unicorn Trail at Caledonia Park where 10 delightfully designed unicorns have been made by local school children. Find out all about where each is from and fascinating facts about unicorns. Runs till mid-April. At Dalkeith Country Park there are kids Easter activities early in the month with craft workshops, gingerbread house decorating and Easter cookie decorating workshops. Don’t miss the 1km Bunny Fun Run which the whole family, including the dog, can do! At Abbotsford, little ones can let off some steam doing the March Hare Trail, created to celebrate the first anniversary of the Witch Corner folklore trail. Solve the brain teasers for an edible treat! At Bowhill House there is a new outdoor adventure fort promising endless climbing and sliding opportunities being unveiled over the Easter weekend! And there is a new walk taking in the two lochs and woodland areas around Bowhill, dedicated to the fascinating history of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, whose history can be traced back to a gamekeeper located at Bowhill in the 1830s, James Kerrs.

Easter Bunny cycling in front of Dalkeith Palace with children running behind him
Don’t miss a variety of Easter events at Dalkeith Country Park.

Farm visits

April kicks off the start of many of the region’s farm visit experiences – why not head to Jackson’s of Jedburgh for their very popular seasonal farm experiences, which this April includes an Easter trail, bottle lamb feeding experiences alongside all the usual farm fun with tours. Or perhaps a visit to Kitchen Coos and Ewes for one of their Insta Coo Tours? Get up close and personal with their fabulous herd of Highland Cows. The Outdoor Play area at Erniespie Farm is open for the season, so pick a sunny day and head on over. Once the young ones are tired out, time for calming down so head to the animal barn to visit new arrivals and then perhaps enjoy much needed refreshments. Also opening at the start of April is Galloway Alpacas with a variety of meet and trek options appropriate for the whole family!

Will you feed a newborn lamb this spring?

Cultural events

Eddi Reader will be celebrating 40 years playing live music at her show in Dumfries in the middle of the month, while at the Crichton Central, The Canyon will take you back to the tunes of the 60s by the likes of David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash along with Neil Young. Two Bards and a Songbird plus Workshop offers a unique opportunity. The show is a celebration of song, inspired by the two bards – William Shakespeare and Robert Burns – performed by Jessa Liversidge. In addition, Jessa is offering vocal workshops during the afternoon helping singers work on vocal technique and creating harmony using some of the material from the show. Finally, the Swallow Theatre season kicks off with Alison Skilbeck’s Uncommon Ground, which premiered at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe to glowing 5 star and 4 star reviews.

picture of singer Eddi Reader
Eddi Reader will be performing in Dumfries this April.

Get out your walking boots!

This spring’s Galashiels Walking Festival is run by the social enterprise the Hike & Bike Hub, with a small team of passionate, knowledgeable and trained volunteer walk leaders. There will be two or three walks each day of the festival with at least one classed as moderate-strenuous, aimed at walkers who enjoy longer, hillier walks. But don’t despair if that is not for you as at least one walk each day will be classed as easy-moderate for those who enjoy a shorter route. Participation is on a donation basis.

For those who like a little history thrown in with their walks, how about a guided walk from Trimontium Museum in Melrose to the Trimonium fort site? Find out what life was like at the fort, which dates from 80AD for those who lived and worked there. Guides share what clues have been found to explain life at the fort through the fascinating discoveries made during various archaeological digs over the past century.

Guided walks such as this one to Torwoodlee Tower, on the Torwoodlee Estate are just one of many on offer during the Galashiels Walking Festival.