Summer is on the horizon and planning a family break in Scotland is on the cards. There is so much to do in Scotland, and plenty of things that the kids will love. Keep them entertained for days with everything from gorge walking, kayaking and treetop trails, to magnificent castles, adventure playgrounds, and fascinating science centres.
With so much on offer in Scotland it can be hard to narrow down the options. We've put together 5 Scotland family holiday ideas to get you started.
1. Explore the Aberdeenshire Coastline
Now is the perfect time to pack up the family and explore the outstanding coastlines, rivers, and lochs of Aberdeenshire. You can also get involved in an exciting array of watersports too. Boasting its very own Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail, here you can uncover 165 miles of coastline, featuring beaches, hidden coves, and amazing natural formations.
Aberdeenshire also has its own Castle Trail. Home to over 260 castles, fortresses, and stately homes, it's no surprise that the Aberdeenshire region is known as 'Scotland's Castle Country'.
Explore pretty coastal towns and harbours such as Stonehaven, Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Cruden Bay. All of which offer a quaint and welcoming atmosphere, alongside things to do and places to visit that the family will love.
2. Relax in a tranquil woodland in the Scottish Highlands
You can't beat the peaceful surroundings of a Scottish woodland or Caledonian pine forest. Offering the perfect family destination with a wealth of outdoor activities and adventures to get stuck into, you can't go wrong with a family trip to the Highlands.
Tire the kids out with woodland walks, or get in touch with your wild side at Landmark Forest Adventure Park in the Cairngorms National Park. You could explore cycle routes, or try something new with horse riding, ziplining or even dog sledding at Cairngorm Sled Dog Centre.
There are plenty of accommodation options in the Highlands that allow you to immerse yourself in nature, such as cosy log cabins, glamping pods, remote youth hostels, camping, or even unique stays in tipis, yurts, wigwams and treehouses!
Explore our 7 Days in the Highlands for Kids itinerary to help get you started.
Visit the Scottish Highlands.
3. Immerse yourself in the hills and glens of south Scotland
Known for its rolling hills and swooping valleys, the south of Scotland has gentle landscapes to introduce the wee ones to hill walking and exploring. Located between East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, the Lammermuir Hills are a great place to start.
With 344 routes, there are many attractions to see. Visit the impressive hill forts at White Castle and Addinston, take woodland walks through Pressmennan Woods and the Yester Estate, and riverside walks along the Dye Water and the River Tyne.
In Dumfries & Galloway, head to the Galloway Hills where you can uncover a range of peaks and vantage points. With 183 hills all varying in height, choose your favourite and get climbing. There are immense views to see at the top with landmarks such as Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Man and even Northern Ireland sometimes visible.
If you're feeling like something a bit more adventurous, head up The Merrick - the highest point in south Scotland - a Corbett that stands 843 m high. There are also plenty of family-friendly accommodation options in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway to choose from.
Browse our 7 Days in South Scotland itinerary for more ideas.
Visit South Scotland.
4. Make a splash in the Outer Hebrides
The Outer Hebrides is home to hundreds of hidden bays and pristine beaches that are often compared to beautiful Caribbean beaches. An island adventure is perfect for a family getaway with watersports and all the nooks and crannies of the islands to explore at your own pace.
With very little light pollution, the islands are also a great place to try a spot of stargazing. There are a variety of vantage points for stargazing in the Outer Hebrides, including Gallan Head, Gravir, and Tolsta, to name a few.
A great way to get your bearings and also explore some smaller islands is on a boat trip. Hop on board a charter boat and sail to the uninhabited island of St Kilda, or venture on sailings to the Shiant, Flannan and Monach Isles. If the wee ones love wildlife, why not take a sea tour offering bird watching, dolphin and whale spotting?
5. Enjoy a getaway in one of Scotland's cities
Scotland is home to seven incredible cities, each with its own personality, character and charm. Starting in the north, the Highland capital of Inverness is a compact city with a wealth of iconic attractions on its doorstep. Explore the legendary Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, stay close to home and enjoy the history and views from Inverness Castle, or visit Culloden Battlefield and learn about its turbulent past.
Moving east, Aberdeen is filled to the brim with intricate architecture, historic monuments, and boasts unique ties with the sea. Visit the harbour where you might be able to spot dolphins playing in the water, keep an ear open and you might hear the warming tones of 'Doric', the local Scots dialect, or learn more about the city's past at Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
Heading south, Dundee is an incredible city renowned for its design and creativity. Home to the V&A Dundee, McManus Art Gallery & Museum and a range of other innovative feats, there's plenty to dive into here.
What about Scotland's ancient capital, the 'Fair City' of Perth? This bustling, cosmopolitan gem is situated on the banks of the River Tay and encompasses everything you need for a family break. Or travel west to the vibrant city of Glasgow where you'll never be lost for something to do or experience. A creative hub of art and music, home to city centre gardens, full of great places to eat and drink, Glasgow is also one of the best shopping destinations in the UK.
En route to Glasgow, head to Stirling where you can delve into the detailed history of this wee city. Learn about William Wallace, enjoy fantastic views from Stirling Castle, and visit cosy pubs and friendly cafés along the way.
Last but definitely not least, Scotland's capital city offers a getaway full of culture, history, and beautiful architecture. Edinburgh is home to some world-class attractions, as well as tranquil green spots where you can escape and soak up the welcoming atmosphere of the city.