Travelling in Scotland with kids

What does Responsible Travel recommend?

If it's water parks and children's clubs you want, go on a Club Med. If getting muddy while mountain biking down remote trails, fishing off quiet islands and canoeing all the way to Loch Ness is your thing, go for Scotland. Get them dancing at a ceili or prancing at the Edinburgh Festival for Scottish cultural extravaganzas. But all in all, just get them out there and let them go a bit feral and wild. You won’t find that on the timetable at Club Med.

Activities for families in Scotland

What to do with little ones

At CairnGorm Mountain you can hire mountain bikes, have a bit of skills training, put your bikes on the funicular train which brings you up to the summit, and cycle all the way back down. And then hear that old familiar cry of 'Again, again, again!'. There are lots of other trails around to enjoy as well when you are there, but this one is CairnGorm cool.
Canoe down the Caledonian Canal - with plenty of places to rent an open canoe, this is wonderful paddling. Although you can't canoe through the locks, you have to engage in 'portage' or carrying the boats around the locks. There are also campsites (and pubs) along the way for the more ambitious. Definitely one for midge nets at dusk though.
Do the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - usually associated with one man Hamlets and smutty stand up, the Festival is actually very child friendly. There are shows aimed at children of all ages, as well as streets full of entertainers, buskers and general madness. Book accommodation well in advance as it gets pricey. And come down from the madness with a few days in the countryside for a truly heady mix of Scotland.
If you'd like to chat about Scotland or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

Tips for families asks the experts

Andrew Bateman, Director of one of our suppliers, Scot Mountain Holidays:
"The weather can be more of an issue with a young family. Try to remain flexible as to where you go. Generally the weather is a lot better in the East Highlands and the Cairngorms National Park, where there are also a lot of family activities."
Robert Kidd, Director at one of suppliers McKinlay Kidd:
"Scotland has always been a superb place for a family holiday but you need the right approach, and not worry about the weather and having lots of attractions."
Tim Stenton, wildlife photographer and author Moray Firth Dolphins: “Along with a few other places in the world like South Africa and Western Australia, the Moray Firth, is an excellent place to watch cetaceans from the land. Other than the impacts of getting to the locations, land based will always have a lower environmental footprint - both in terms of CO2 emissions and impact on the animals than boat based watching. It is also cheaper, more suitable for younger children with no risk of being seasick."
Photo credits: [Trail: gajtalbot] [CairnGorm biking: CairnGorm Mountain Ltd] [Caledonian Canal : Dave Conner] [Edinburgh Fringe Festival : Lauren Liston] [Dolphins: Keith Yahl]
Written by Catherine Mack
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