The Easter Holiday weekend is almost upon us, so we have put together a list of 10 great FREE days out in Ayrshire and beyond.

Eglinton Park

A jewel in North Ayrshire’s outdoorsy crown, Eglinton Park truly is a natural beauty, steeped in history.

The park sits in the ground of the old Eglinton Castle, the ruins of which can still be explored. Meander through the park’s vast grounds, over its bridges, through the maze, forest and beautiful open areas.

The children’s playparks are also a delight. Take a picnic and sit at the benches while your children swing, slide and climb around you.

If you are caught short and don’t have a picnic, nip into the Tournament Café for a quite bite.

Dean Park

Visitors to the newly revamped Dean Park are in for a real treat. The park offers a pleasant walk around its vast 200 acre grounds taking in the ancient castle ruins, woodlands and the newly installed lake which is always busy with geese and ducks.

Kids can burn off energy in the brand new adventure playground and learn about sustainable living in the Rural Life Centre.

Families can recharge with a bite to eat in the café inside the Visitor’s centre before checking out the park’s exciting summer programme ahead of the June holidays.

Ardrossan Beach Front

On a sunny day Ardrossan beach is hard to beat. The one-and-a-half mile promenade which ventures into Saltcoats is a beautiful walk where kids can run, cycle or scoot safely far back from the busy road side.

The beach front swing park is a favourite with youngsters who can switch between the swings and the sand.

There are plenty of picnic benches for families wanting to self-cater or for those wanting to eat out there is plenty of option ion the form of the Lauriston and Oscars, amongst others. Failing that, pop along to one of the town’s many chippy’s and enjoy a fish supper on the shore.

Irvine Beach Park

Another striking beauty spot right on our doorstep. Irvine’s Beach Park is constantly packed with families, dog walkers and horse riders all taking in the breathtaking views over the Firth of the Clyde.

The Beach Park is a great spot for a family day outdoors. If the weather is dry, pack a picnic and a ball/kite/racket and head down for some fresh sea air.

Take a walk around the boating pond, along the sand dunes on the beach and up to the famous Dragon. If you want to eat out Irvine Harbourside is not short of options with cafes, coffee shops and ice cream parlours dotted all along the harbour front.

This weekend visitors are in for an ‘eggstra’ special treat with Coastwatch holding a free Easter Egg hunt on Easter Saturday 20th April at 12 noon. The hunt is open to kids of all ages. Hunters should gather at 12, for a 12.15pm start.

Each child will receive an Easter egg at the end but they must register first. To register phone Coastwatch Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm on 01294 271855 with name, address and number of kids. The hunt starts and ends at the Pavilion, going through Beach Park and back along beach

Maritime Museum

The museum is home to Scotland’s national maritime collection, and offers families a great day out. Visitors can explore Scotland’s ‘Cathedral of Engineering’ - the vast, former Linthouse shipyard building

Children and adults alike will be fascinated to discover historic vessels such as Spartan, Scotland’s last Scottish-built puffer, the harbour tug Garnock and Carola, a steam yacht built in 1898

Kids will also enjoy the opportunity to test a model foam boat on the indoor boating pond or sail their own on the outdoor boating pond.

Learn about Scotland’s importance to maritime history, and about the people that built and sailed Scottish ships around the world.

Pop across the road to fill rumbling tums with great, homemade food from the Puffer café and enjoy views of the River Irvine Estuary.

Dumfries House

While there is plenty of things to pay for at Dumfries Ouse, entrance to the main grounds is free. Families can enjoy unlimited access to the adventure playground. For the little ones there’s the toddler play area.

Visitors can also enjoy an array of woodland walks and the newly restored magnificent Category A listed Avenue Bridge which connects the House with the new Arboretum and Walled Garden. Pick up your map of the estate at the Visitor Centre on arrival.

The Coach House Café is open for hungry visitors or for the more frugal among us, there are plenty of picturesque picnic spots to choose from.

Dippy at Kelvingrove

Dippy, the Natural History Museum's iconic Diplodocuscast, is currenty on a natural history adventure across the UK.

The incredible prehistoric creature is on view at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and entry is completely free – but hurry he will only be there until May 6.

Explore the 22 galleries and discover everything from art to animals, Ancient Egypt to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and so much more. The museum also has a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and displays.

Enjoy a free tour or at weekends and holidays take part in one of the many family activities.

Castle Semple

Castle Semple Loch is a 1.5-mile-long inland freshwater loch at Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire.

The loch has an RSPB bird sanctuary which is located on the loch's southern shore and this Bank Holiday weekend will be hosting a few fun family events.

From Friday, April 19, to Monday, April 22, the site will offer visitors an Easter themed treasure hunt.

Visitors can explore the woodland trail and search for hidden eggs and try to match them up to the creatures that may have laid them, before returning to the visitor centre to claim their reward.

The event runs from 10am-4pm over the Easter weekend.

There is free car parking, toilets, picnic sites, sign posted walks, wildlife watching opportunities and a Countryside Ranger Service

From high heather moor, woodland glen and rocky shoreline or freshwater loch there are many formal and informal outdoor learning opportunities for kids and adults alike.

If you’re feeling active there is also the opportunity to for a walk, cycle, wildlife watching or just simply relaxing by the loch with a picnic

Calderglen Country Park

Calderglen Country Park is a four-star tourist attraction which has a Zoo and Tropical Conservatory, Ornamental Gardens, Nature Trails and Walks, Courtyard Cafe, Toddlers' Play Area, Adventure Play Area and an 18 hole golf course.

The park, in East Kilbride, extends along a scenic wooded glen forged out by the Rotten Calder River, a tributary of the River Clyde. The Glen extends over 5km and has many attractive waterfalls and important geological features.

While there is a small charge for the Zoo and Conservatory (Adults - £1.45, Children - 50p, Under 3's – Free), the nature trails and children adventure playground and toddler play areas are all free.

There is also a café, exhibition gallery and a golf course to fill your day.

Glasgow’s Transport Museum

Riverside Museum is Glasgow's award-winning transport museum. With over 3,000 objects on display there's everything from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams and cars to a Stormtrooper.

Get hands on with the interactive displays. Walk through Glasgow streets and visit the shops, bar and subway. Climb aboard a train, tram or bus and get a real feel for old public transport. Discover Glasgow's rich shipbuilding history, explore the car and motorbike walls and help put out a fire with our interactive fire engine.

There are over 90 large touch screens panels full of images, memories and films that tell the fascinating stories behind the objects. There really is something for all ages to enjoy at the Riverside Museum.