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Scotland's very own Jurassic Park roars into Highlands

Dinosaur Kingdom officially opened at Landmark Forest Adventure Park on Wednesday.

Scotland's answer to Jurassic Park has roared into the Highlands.

Dinosaur Kingdom officially opened at Landmark Forest Adventure Park on Wednesday.

Based in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, more than 20 moving, roaring and real-life-sized dinosaurs are now 'roaming free' in the ancient pine forest.

Dinosaur Kingdom: The new attraction opened on Wednesday.
Dinosaur Kingdom: The new attraction opened on Wednesday. Charne Hawkes Photography

Visitors can now get close to all of their favourite characters from the Jurassic Era, including triceratops, stegosaurus, velociraptors, and even the dreaded Tyrannosaurus-rex - all 50 terrifying feet of her.

Alongside the monstrous dinos, an oviraptor will show off her tiny hatching babies as velociraptors hunt down a lumbering herbivore.

Park: Visitors can now get close to all of their Jurassic Era favourites.
Park: Visitors can now get close to all of their Jurassic Era favourites. Charne Hawkes Photography

Opening the kingdom's "colossal, reinforced gates", Dr Neil 'Jurassic' Clark, curator of palaeontology at The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, said: "It's a little known fact that many of these incredible creatures actually made Scotland their home over 160 million years ago.

"Since the first Scottish dinosaur footprint was discovered on the Isle of Skye in 1982 there have been discoveries of a whole host of dinosaur tracks there."

"Very recently I discovered dinosaur footprints on the mainland for the first time. Interestingly, these are pretty close to Landmark to the north of Inverness."

Hatched: Dinosaur Kingdom is fun for the whole family.
Hatched: Dinosaur Kingdom is fun for the whole family. Charne Hawkes Photography

As well as watching the dinosaurs close up, younger visitors will very soon be able to enjoy rides on mini dinosaurs and have a go at digging for a fossil dinosaur skeleton in a giant sand pit.

Danny Fullerton, general manager of the adventure park, said: "These animals are very realistic. It is mesmerising to watch as they move and call to each other.

"Plus, they are seriously huge. Two of the dinosaurs - the fully fleshed out versions of diplodocus, like Dippy who recently took Kelvingrove Museum by storm - are each 90-feet long. That's as long as three London buses."

Terrifying: The new attraction is part of a £1m development.
Terrifying: The new attraction is part of a £1m development. Charne Hawkes Photography

Dinosaur Kingdom is part of a £1m development plan to improve visitor experience at the park.

Mark Tate, CEO of Cairngorms Business Partnership, said: "It's fantastic to see Landmark investing around £1m in improving their visitor experience.

"I have no doubt that Dinosaur Kingdom will be a major success for Landmark.

"We already know that the national park attracts lots of repeat visitors, so it's great to see Landmark putting yet another stake in the ground for Aviemore and the Cairngorms as being one of the finest destinations in the UK if not Europe."

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