What better way to experience Scotland than through the eyes of a local? Run by those who know it best, these unique guided tours are the perfect way to enjoy family days out in Scotland.
For the adventurers
There’s nowhere better than Scotland to get some fresh air with the whole gang.
On the west coast, Wilderness Scotland have designed a sea-kayaking trip for families. This 4-day tour suits all skill levels and explores the stunning waters around the Sound of Arisaig, near Fort William. You’ll be accompanied by an expert guide to teach you the ropes and help you all get the most out of your adventure.
If biking is more your thing, head to the Scottish Borders for an adrenaline-fuelled mountain biking tour with Bike Valley Scotland. They offer bespoke skill sessions for families as well as personal advice and routes that take you through the beautiful Tweed Valley.
Those with older teens should try trendy stand up paddleboarding. Set against the backdrop of dramatic cliffs and the striking Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven Paddleboarding run castle and cove tours and trips up the River Dee. There’s also plenty of marine wildlife to spot, including seals and dolphins.
Meet the local wildlife
Scotland is home to some amazing creatures, so give your family a chance to meet our nature friends with these expert tours.
Younger kids can see some adorable animals on the Balnuith Alpacas tour. The family-friendly farm is on the outskirts of Dundee and home to alpacas, donkeys and miniature horses. Or why not travel to the Highlands to visit the famous Cairngorm Reindeer Herd? These gentle creatures are Britain’s only free-range herd of reindeer, so it really is a once in a lifetime experience for the kids (and adults).
For families who want to see animals in their natural habitat, a beaver safari is for you. Learn about the history of beavers in Scotland and spot these playful animals from the riverbank. You can also see kingfishers, otters and more on the Perthshire Wildlife guided tour.
If you’re after an unforgettable experience, venture out to sea with Basking Shark Scotland. Based in Oban on the west coast of Scotland, they run a range of exciting boat tours. Make it a competition to see who is first to spot basking sharks, dolphins, golden eagles and seals. You can even dip your toes in, with guided swimming or snorkelling tours. The boat trips are suitable for families with kids aged eight and over, or you can arrange your own private charter for younger children.
Experience Scotland’s culture
Create memories with Scotland family tours around towns and cities, from street art and treasure hunts to dog-led tours!
Street art tours are a great way to find out more about the people who live there. Join a local guide on the Glasgow Street Art Walking Tour to see some world-renowned street art, as well as some hidden gems.
Nuart Aberdeen is the only street art festival in Scotland, showcasing local artists across the city. Download the map and explore the unique tour for free and at your own pace. You can also take part in the Painted Doors tour, where artists have transformed some of Aberdeen’s doorways into pieces of art.
Walk around the capital
There are plenty of walking tours in Edinburgh, but for sheer cuteness we recommend Wee Walking Tours, where Sawyer the golden retriever joins you on your travels! For families with older kids, a visit to the Real Mary King’s Close is a winner. Discover the spooky myths and legends of previous tenants of the historic close, set in the atmospheric labyrinths beneath the Royal Mile.
Solve a mystery
A treasure trail is a great way of keeping younger kids entertained, whilst also letting the grown ups explore! Become a pirate for the day in St Andrews or solve mysteries in North Berwick with a chance to win some real treasure and admire the picturesque streets of the seaside towns.
Create some magical memories
Celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories by paying homage to one of our most magical tales. You can join the free Potter Trail tour, taking you through the twisting streets and hidden closes of Edinburgh to see where JK Rowling was inspired to write the Harry Potter series. For a little extra magic, book an extended tour with a real-life family-friendly conjurer. Pre-booking is essential, and you’ll need to bring your own wand!
The magic doesn’t end there. Finish off your trip with a warming hot chocolate at your own bespoke potion making class or catch the real-life Hogwarts Express! Departing on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Edinburgh, the Jacobite Steam train tour takes you through the stunning Scottish Highlands and across Glenfinnan Viaduct – a must-visit for all fans of the films.
Looking for more inspiration? Find out more about holidays in Scotland with your family.
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