There may be many reasons you might want to visit Scotland – and they don’t all have to include walking in the footsteps of Jamie Fraser from Outlander (#IYKYK). In fact, there is so much to do in this beautiful country – aged like a fine whiskey – that you can happily go with the kids and still get a sense of escapism for yourself (without travelling back in time through stones.). Here are our top picks:
Where else to start, but in the magical capital city? A hearty mix of new and old amalgamates into a truly unique experience that will enchant both young and old alike in the form of sidewalk magicians and musicians backdropped by the medieval Old Town and Edinburgh Castle, which you should definitely spend time exploring. Come nighttime, you can take the kids on a History of Witches Walking Tour, which is sure to provide a thrill or two!
If your trip is in the spring or summer, the kids will also love frolicking in Princes Street Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens. And if you’ve got a ship enthusiast on board, they’ll be enamoured by the Royal Yacht Britannia you can spot at the shore.
Be aware, however, that while the cobblestoned streets and endless staircases make for picturesque views no matter where you are in the city, Edinburgh is not the most accessible place to get around if you have children of pram age!
It’s not every country that boasts an obviously not real incredibly-terrifying living, breathing monster, and your kids will get a real kick out of following the legend! Taking a boat tour of the Scottish Highlands is just one thing you can do to get close to it that the kids will love, as well as sailing by the incredible Urquhart Castle.
In between the hunt for Nessie, you can enjoy a range of family-friendly activities in Inverness, such as swimming and ice skating.
West Highland Way
If your family isn’t afraid of a hike, this 145km of lush trails is a must-do on your Scottish trip. You’ll all be dazzled by the sensational views, incredible wildlife, and beautiful flowers on the way. Just don’t forget your walking boots! Explore the West Highlands
James Bond Castle
If you’ve got some James Bond fans in your party, the scenic Eilean Donan Castle will not disappoint as it’s where The World is Not Enough was shot (among other things!). Explore the castle
Isle of Skye
One of Scotland’s most tranquil islands will give you ample time to appreciate your stunning surroundings, as the kids have fun splashing in the natural blue and crystal-clear Fairy Pools. Visit the Isle of Skye
Make sure you tick off all the kid-friendly treasures in Scotland’s second-biggest city by booking a ticket for a hop-on-hop-off bus. This will allow you to see all the top sights, museums, and a range of epic parks, such as Glasgow Green, the city’s oldest park, and Victoria Park, boasting a children’s maze.
- Loch Lomond. There are several ways to get the most out of this corner of Scotland, and – depending on how long you have here – you can do them all! For an abundance of red squirrels and red deers, incredible area walks, a quiet lake to kayak on, cycle paths, horse riding, and breathtaking views from every angle, look no further than the Trossachs National Park. There is also a great beach here that – weather permitting – you can spend some time relaxing on and/or indulging in some water sports!
- Highlands. Cairngorms is the UK’s largest park and you can let the kids enjoy all there is on offer here, such as year-round festivals, endless hikes, skiing, mountain biking, white-water rafting, birdwatching, and the UK’s only free-range reindeers, while you enjoy a whiskey tour – all details can be viewed here! We don’t know about you, but that’s what we’d call a win-win.
- Head to Moray Firth – home to some of the country’s finest beaches – for a spot of dolphin watching and other marine life!
- Nairn is another of Scotland’s favourite seaside destinations, and the kids will love building sandcastles, paddling in the water, and playing games.
Any fan will know that JK Rowling is Scottish, so if you’ve got any wizarding fans among you, you could do a lot worse than holidaying here! Between visiting the café where she first started writing the series and watching the Jacobite steam train that doubles as the Hogwarts Express chug past, your little ones will be simply spellbound.