Storybook Glen

Guide to Storybook Glen Maryculter Aberdeen with prices, opening times, history of the nursery rhyme characters amusement park, contact details and how to get there

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» Storybook Glen

As the name suggests Storybook Glen Maryculter Aberdeen is dedicated to characters from storybooks, lovable characters from nursery rhymes, television and classic children stories:

Nursery Rhyme Characters

It and their nursery rhyme characters can be found at Maryculter, about 5 miles from Aberdeen and can really only be accessed by car, along the South Deeside Road, or by an organised bus trip. The car parking is free and is ample for both. The only down side is there is no shade so leave pets with a friend rather than in the car. Only guide dogs are permitted into Story book Glen.

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Depending on how hot the sun gets it opens from March 1st - October 31st from 10am until 6pm every day. From November and until 28th February it opens daily (weather permitting) from 10am until 4pm.

Land of the Trolls

It is well spread out in the bonnie grounds of Deeside and you will need a good three hours to enjoy the sculptures and admire the views. The creators of the site have cleverly used the bonnie natural scenery and there are water features and trees aplenty. This in itself is a treat worth taking time over. For example to get to Troll land, you cross a shaky wooden bridge over a gentle flowing burn. The land of the Trolls is hidden amongst huge trees, as indeed is the entire park. This gives the added advantage of seclusion and isolation, but fear not I was a big brave boy in Troll land. As with all the statues they looked more cute than fierce. The trees also block the noise and although it was busy, it was very quiet and peaceful.

We are the classic 2.4 children family (two kids and a wife), but sadly, there is no family ticket to be had and huge savings made, although group discounts are available. However the prices are reasonable enough: those under one are free, so to take advantage of this try and take two bairns along with you! A site map and guide book is available free when you buy a car sticker, which bears the legend: "I have been to Storybook Glen - and lived happily ever after!" There is also a humpty dumpty and wizard of Oz scene to colour, but I let the kids do these.

The site was built in the 1980s and opened in May 1984 by local lass 5 year old Kate Reid during a special ceremony. It is hard to believe this beautiful park was once bogland set in a rocky gorge. Stonemason Bob Adams hewed out a gorgeous setting full of wonderful character for young and old to enjoy. Our two wains could hardly contain themselves as they ran from character to character, trying to work out who they were. Fortunately, the site map described each one for silly daddies like me and each area had a discreet plaque describing who the characters were meant to be.

It is certainly spread out, and is not a walk for the faint-hearted. Although there are ramps that make it accessible for wheelchair users, some of the ramps are very steep, and I suspect the ramps are really there for prams and buggies. It rained while we were there (aye most unusual for Scotland!) and some of the ramps and steps got slippy as wee Mr B found when he went head over heels and landed on his padded area. For this reason I would have liked to have seen banisters and handrails along the steeper paths.

Old MacDonalds Farm

One of the things I loved is the attention to detail. At Old MacDonalds Farm, his tractor bore the registration plate of EIEIO. His house was furnished in the style you would expect a farmer's house to be. The three bears cottage had plates of porridge (although someone had been eating them!). The Trolls cooking pot has feet sticking out of them much to the anguish of wee Miss B who thought they'd come alive and cook her.

Children could sit on the cars, of which there are loads, such as Postman Pat's red van and noddy's and big ear's cars. So there's lots of photo opportunities. Indeed, when Mrs B had finished taking my photo's sitting on them she took one or two of the children. At the seaside, I love those wooden boards where you stick your head through and the painting on the other side makes you look as if you're the fat laddie or the skinnie pudding in the bathing costume. Well each area in storybook glen Aberdeen had these. So today Mathew I was Garfield, the Incredible Hulk and Superman.

Real animals have been thoughtfully intermingled in fenced off areas with storybook characters. So, Mary was in with the sheep and old MacDonald had some pigs. All looked very happy and well cared for.

Scattered throughout the area are swings and slides for the wee ones to burn off their energy. There are lots of benches for weary travellers to sit down but unfortunately, and I would think this is a major let-down, visitors are not permitted to eat anything in the park. So picnics are not permitted, except on the grassy area in the car park. This is a shame because it really is pleasant and idyllic and a picnic would have been a charming way to spend part of the day. However there is no litter and the flowerbeds are bonnie and the restaurant is very nice.

The restaurant is licensed (that's all I needed to know!). It also sells snacks and food. I thought it would be expensive since they didn't let you take picnics and they had a captive audience, but it was reasonably priced. Meals for children are about £2 and adults £4. Since we were going to the chippie for haggis suppers later we had 2 cokes, a cup of tea and a hot chocolate, two tattie crisps (two bags of crisps) and twae hame made cakes (two home made cakes thought I'd start educating you in the Scots language, you have understood aye, bairns and wains so far?). This came to £6. The cakes were pure dead brilliant so they were.
The restaurant was decorated like a castle, again was quiet and peaceful, and was very clean. The toilets were also clean; both sexed toilets had baby changing facilities and little stools for the wee ones to climb on. There was four different sizes of urinals for varying heights. So wee Mr B didn't have to use the sitty down toilet as he found one he could reach.

Not even Mrs B singing each nursery rhyme out as we saw the characters could spoil the day. The exit didn't even go past the shop, which to anyone with children and a budget will find a blessing. The shop was separate and sold the usual souvenirs and postcards (25p each). The souvenirs were variously priced and items under £1 could easily be purchased.

In all it is a super day out for all the family, we may return before the wee ones get too old to appreciate its beauty.

For Easter they usually give a free Easter egg to every child who buys a ticket over the weekend.

Each Christmas there is a Santa Grotto where children can visit Father Christmas from 11am to 3pm.

Storybook Glen Maryculter

Storybook Glen
Kirkton of Maryculter
South Deeside Road
AB12 5FS

Tel: (01224) 732941

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