Sands Caravan and Camping Park, near Gairloch, Highlands

Thinking of planning a family holiday in Scotland where your kids can enjoy the best of the great outdoors? Then you'll need some brilliant family-friendly accommodation!

Here are some wonderful camping, glamping, holiday parks and hostels ideas, featuring places which have been tried, tested and loved by parents, and are in superb countryside or coastal locations. There are great budget-friendly options too, and often thrilling activities are close by, perfect for filling those long summer days.

Why it's great for families:

With great camping comes great responsibilities - picking the right pitch, sorting pegs and tent poles, helping set up the tent and fetching water are just some of the things wee ones often love to help with. When night falls, you can look to the heavens and spot shining stars, and no meal is more fun than a BBQ breakfast!

3 child-friendly campsites

Wester Bonnyton Farm, Aberdeenshire

'Outdoor play facilities were excellent. The indoor play barn was so much fun. The ponies and chickens were also a hit. Free wifi was great.' Kirsty J, Pitch Up

Head to Banff where kids can discover the delights of Wester Bonnyton Campsite. Banffshire's Coast is also known as Scotland's Dolphin Coast, so be sure to pack the binoculars! Half an hour away is Cullen beach, a wonderful spot for keen paddlers and beachcombers.

Balloch Dee Campsite, Dumfries & Galloway

'What an absolute gem, total delight. Beautiful facilities with a really personal decor. Farm animals wandering around site, if you help with the horses you can ride them, open fires encouraged with ready made fire pits. Lots of space when you pitch, kids tents at no extra cost. Dog friendly too.' KatieMarsden, TripAdvisor

Balloch O'Dee is not far from Newton Stewart and kids can get a real taste of country life. The owners welcome visitors to help with the animals and other farm chores and, unlike many campsites, dinner can be cooked over an open fire!

Drumshademuir Caravan & Camping Park, Angus

'Absolutely amazing camp site would definitely recommend, toilets very clean and checked regularly, kids loved it made some great friends' SARAHJW1605, TripAdvisor

Located in between Kirriemuir and Glamis, Drumshademuir Caravan & Camping Park has a great outdoor play area and an on-site restaurant, and there are two roomy glamping pods for hire as well. Just 30 minutes' drive is Ancrum Outdoor Centre which offers brilliant outdoor activities. It's also a great place to base yourself as you follow our Fife and Dundee for families itinerary.

Find more about camping and caravanning in Scotland.

Why it's great for families:

Wigwams, yurts and pods; glamping accommodation is essentially just big wendy houses and play tents, and what's not to love about that?! They may be small spaces, but they are big on the fun factor. Often it's the discovery of ingenious space-saving design features which excite both kids and grown-ups, such as finding that the seating magically transforms into a comfy bed.

3 family glamping ideas

Loch Tay Highland Lodges, Perthshire

'We stayed for 5 days in a premium wig wam at Loch Tay Highland Lodges. The wig wams were really clean and ideal for myself, partner and 5 year old. Plenty of space inside and perfect for a base to explore the area.' Wirral_MerseysideVic, TripAdvisor

With basic wigwams, premium wigwams and glamping domes, there's a range of options to suit your family's needs and budget at Loch Tay Highland Lodges. At the marina, you can try lots of on-the-water activities, including RIB boat rides, fishing, sailing, and canoe and kayak hire, and on land, there's a kids' play area, disc golf, a putting green and archery.

Mangersta Croft Wigwams, Outer Hebrides

'The wigwams are cosy and comfortable and extremely clean and well thought out - little touches like DVDs, some kitchen basics like cooking oil, some herbs and seasoning and kitchen towels for self catering is really useful. We are a family of 4 with two small hyperactive kids and we all slept like logs for all three nights we were there.' Iulyj, TripAdvisor

For many, the best family holidays start with a ferry journey, and if you're thinking about an island glamping escape, consider Mangersta Croft Wigwams on the Isle of Lewis. There are two wigwams and a shepherd's hut on this working croft which is also home to cattle, sheep and chickens. Discover the hidden beach, and with options for loch and sea fishing, the kids might even can catch their own supper!

The Loft, Moray

'Went as a family with a 3 and a 1 year old. They loved the 'little wooden house', the fire pit, the soft play area and the chickens! There are plenty of activities to do on site and lots of local beaches and woods to roam in. Good place to take a dog too.' Luke P, TripAdvisor

Located on a farm not far from Forres is The Loft, a fantastic activity centre which also has wooden wigwams and a campsite. For that extra special under the stars experience, take advantage of their fire pit and marshmallows pack. The Loft has a huge range of activities to try on site, such as water walkers, grass sledging, archery and quad bike hire.

Find more about glamping in Scotland.

Why they are great for families:

Many holiday parks are made with families in mind. Sites are generally safe places where kids have room to roam, whether it be pedalling bikes, riding scooters and skating on roller blades. Holiday homes and lodges are perfect as a home-away-from-home. Many are surprisingly roomy, ideal for longer stays and getaways with the grandparents and other relatives.

3 holiday parks for happy memories

Tralee Bay Holidays, Argyll

'This was our first visit to Tralee Bay and it certainly wont [sic] be our last. We stayed in the Woods 6 Lodge with my parents and our two boys. The Lodge was absolutely beautiful, well equipped and had everything you could need. There was a wonderful view, gorgeous beach and lots of great walks.' Fee C, TripAdvisor

Tralee Bay Holidays is one holiday park where families return to time and time again. Located not far from Oban, there's a range of accommodation options from caravans to luxury lodges, and facilities include a zipwire, playpark and BBQ area which overlooks the sea. The surrounding area has fantastic coastlines to explore, lovely forest walks and nearby islands, perfect for day trips.

Sauchope Links Park, Fife

'This is an absolutely beautiful site. Amazing views, spotlessly clean and lovely staff. The outside pool is great and my children went in every day. Fab little park too where they met lots of friends. A 5 minute walk to Crail which has restaurants and lovely local shops.' J W, TripAdvisor

As well as beach huts, glamping domes and pitches for tents and tourers, the coastal Sauchope Links Park boasts well-equipped lodges. Kids can enjoy the rocky shoreline, outdoor play area, games room and the open air pool. Nearby, you can try some thrilling watersports and beach activities in places such as Elie and St Andrews.

Strathyre Forest Holidays, The Trossachs

'We stayed in a Silver Birch cabin (no 7) which was lovely and purchased the entertainment pack for our 4 night break. […] At night when darkness fell it was easy to forget that we were amongst other cabins. We put out some seed for the birds on our deck and every morning we had a couple of cheeky visitors, a red squirrel and a robin.' Lyndsay M, TripAdvisor

Located only a few miles from Callander, Strathyre Forest Holidays offers lovely woodland cabins, surrounded by nature. For kids, there are some brilliant things to do. Head out with a forest ranger to learn survival skills and identify animal tracks, take advantage of bike hire, fish on the loch, or have a go at some adventure activities, such as paddleboarding and Segway safaris.

Find more holiday parks in Scotland.

Why they are great for families:

Youth hostels are amongst the most budget-friendly accommodation options, which means you can save money, or spend more on fun activities, and often they can be found in some of the most fantastic locations. For most family groups, private rooms are usually more suitable than dorm accommodation.

3 hostels where families will feel at home

The Sail Loft, Aberdeenshire

'From the warm welcome upon arrival to the amazing surroundings of beach and coastline, it was evident this was somewhere special. The facilities didn't disappoint, everything is modern and well thought out, especially for families. […] There is everything you need in the kitchen to cook for the whole family, and the lounge area with books, games and toys is the perfect place to gather and realx [sic].' Quine 183, TripAdvisor

Located in the charming fishing village of Portsoy, The Sail Loft is a brand-new bunkhouse where a great deal of thought has been put in to accommodating families. Its facilities are a notch up from those of most hostels, with its pretty walled garden and hot tub. Around this area, you can see lots of coastal wildlife, and the Salmon Bothy Museum is nearby, too.

Lochranza Youth Hostel (SYHA), Isle of Arran

'A great youth hostel. Very clean room with double bed, 2 bunkbeds and a single. […] The kitchen was very well stocked with pans, plates and utensils etc and it has a lovely dining area too. This was my first experience of a youth hostel and I would definitely stay there again. My daughters played games in the lounge as there are books and games in there along with a tv.' Isla J, TripAdvisor

Lochranza Youth Hostel on the Isle of Arran has both dorms and private family rooms (for families with under 5s, only family room options are available). Red deer, red squirrels, grey seals, otters and golden eagles are often seen from the hostel garden. Keep kids busy on Arran by visiting standing stones or experience an off-road safari.

Aviemore Youth Hostel (SYHA), Highlands

'My 9 year old son, my husband and I had a great time staying here recently. […] Watched the red squirrels, rabbits and the nest cam of the local Peregrine falcon. Friendly helpful staff and great to be able to cook meals with your other residents and swap the days stories in front of the fire.' dianneb6411, TripAdvisor

Aviemore Youth Hostel has both multi-share and private rooms available, and it's a great place to connect with nature; it is home to a Scottish Natural Heritage visitor centre, with a Peregrine falcon nest cam and helpful information about Craigellachie National Nature Reserve. The surrounding area has fantastic activities and attractions - find out more in our Highlands for families itinerary.

Find more hostels in Scotland.

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