THIS summer a Borders attraction will welcome some exotic critters as part of a special series of interactive sessions.

Brought to Floors Castle, Kelso, by ZooLab, the sessions will give youngsters and their families the chance to be hands on with some amazing creatures.

There will be six Animal Encounters sessions throughout the summer, all with different themes.

The themes include: 

  • Animal Explorer
  • Witchcraft and Wizardry
  • Native Species
  • Weapons and Armour
  • The Zagaro
  • Creepy Castle Critters

Sarah Laird, marketing manager at ZooLab, said: “Expect something a little wilder at Floors Castle this summer as we bring our animal encounters to the Gem of the Scottish Borders.

"Where history meets wildlife, you’ll get up close with fascinating creatures in the estate’s enchanting surroundings.

"It's an extraordinary experience that promises excitement, education, and unforgettable moments for the whole family!”

The first session, Animal Explorer, takes place on Saturday, June 29.

Guided by a ZooLab expert, participants will get the chance to handle small creatures like snakes, tarantulas and giant snails, all while learning some fun animal facts.

Border Telegraph: Snakes, scorpions and snails will star in the events at Floors CastleSnakes, scorpions and snails will star in the events at Floors Castle (Image: ZooLab/Four PR)


Then the first Animal Encounters event in July will be the Witchcraft and Wizardry event on Saturday, July 6.

The Witchcraft and Wizardry session will take guests back to medieval times at Floors to meet witches, wizards, and their animal familiars - including bats, cats and rats.

On Saturday, July 20 visitors have the chance to learn about some of the UK's best-known critters by meeting their bigger, exotic cousins, like the corn snake, tarantulas and treefrogs.

The July events will end with Weapons and Armour on July 27.

This event will compare the ancient battlements of Floors Castle and human weapons and armour with the natural defences animals such as scorpions, snakes, and cockroaches.

Then the final events will be held on Saturday, August 10 and Saturday August 24.

On August 10 ZooLab will host The Zagaro: A Storytelling Session.

The Zagaro will take youngsters on a journey through a deep, dark wood where the hero meets weird and wonderful creatures as they complete a quest.

Border Telegraph: Visitors will be able to get up close to some interesting creaturesVisitors will be able to get up close to some interesting creatures (Image: ZooLab/Four PR)

And ending the series will be Creepy Castle Critters, which will guide visitors on a tour of the historic castle and meeting the small beasts which may have once roamed the halls.

In an effort to make the Animal Encounters sessions as accessible as possible, the Floors Castle team and the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe have created inclusive experiences for children with additional support needs (ASN).

The ASN session offer a calm and engaging environment for young people to experience a variety of animals with trained ZooLab rangers who will help to reduce anxieties and provide a positive experience for all.

Annabel Roxburghe, the Duchess of Roxburghe, said: “As a patron for Meeting of Minds in the Borders, a local charity supporting local families raising children with complex or additional support needs, I am wholeheartedly looking forward to the upcoming ZooLab event here at Floors castle! 

“We will ensure designated times and specific sessions tailored to enable children, including those with special needs, to engage with and learn from the animals from ZooLab.

"Our commitment to inclusivity drives us to provide as many opportunities as possible for children with complex or additional support needs, to participate in enriching experiences and not have to miss out on any of the fun. 

“These events aim to foster joy and learning for all participants and reflect our dedication at Floors Castle to creating inclusive spaces for diverse communities in the Borders and beyond.”

Standard tickets are £12 per child and includes one accompanying adult per child.

Tickets for additional adults are £10,

Options to join the ASN sessions for any of the six Animal Encounters events can be selected at the checkout.

Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

For more information and full details, please visit: