If you like the idea of adding a bit of education into a family day out but your kids are on high alert for the very mention of the ‘E’ word, VisitScotland have your back this spring. Their pick of fantastic informative attractions cover everything from fairy tales to earth-sciences and they all have one thing in common: even the most keen-eyed kid won’t spot the learning moments cunningly mixed in with all the outrageous fun.

Sound good? Have a closer look at VisitScotland’s top seven educational experiences masquerading as phenomenal family attractions.

© VisitScotland - Jacobite steam train, Glenfinnan Viaduct

1/7 Follow the real fantasies on Scotland’s Storybook Trail

Unless you’ve spent the past two decades or so on a desert island, you’ll know J.K. Rowling wrote quite a bit of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone while living in Edinburgh. But did you know you can ride the Hogwarts Express for real in the Highlands of Scotland? The train, which stars in several Harry Potter movies, is actually the vintage Jacobite Steam Train which runs daily April-September from Fort William to Mallaig across the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct. It’s best to book ahead for this very popular attraction.

And Scotland’s literary connections don’t end there. The Isle of Struay in Mairi Hedderwick’s marvellous Katie Morag books is based on Scotland’s real-life Isle of Coll. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island was inspired by Fidra Island in East Lothian. Peter Pan’s creator, J. M. Barrie, was born in the town of Kirriemuir in Angus. And Dundee is the birthplace of comic legends like Desperate Dan, Oor Willie and the Bash Street Kids. If Oor Wullie is your favourite, there’s even a charity bucket trail coming soon.

Scotland’s Storybook Trail has been created by VisitScotland to let families explore the country’s extraordinary way with words and discover who wrote what, when and where from the Scottish Borders to the Outer Hebrides. Now it’s easier than ever to turn a day out into a fairy tale or even pack an entire holiday end-to-end with page turning adventures.

Find out more about Scotland’s Storybook Trail with VisitScotland