Family Days Out In Scotland
I was born and raised in Scotland, but for some reason I had never been north of Aberdeen, or West as far as the Islands. So we decided it was time to explore the Highlands & Islands, and see what Scotland REALLY has to offer, and what we found was absolute, natural beauty!
As the Highlands don’t have a very big selection of hotels, finding accommodation for a family can be tricky…but not if you rent a motorhome/RV. And what an amazing experience that provided!
Best Things To Do in Scotland With Kids…
We stayed at Inverness Glamping, right at the start of the NC500 route, and it was absolutely fantastic. Like staying in nature and a luxury hotel combined. Roasting marshmallows on the roaring fire pit outside your pod, and enjoying the (cold) Scottish air.
Glamping isn’t necessarily a Scottish thing, but it certainly makes you feel more part of the countryside on your visit.
9. Ardvreck Castle
A derelict castle, in one of the most scenic locations in Scotland. A gorgeous loch, with amazing sandy beaches, surrounded by rolling hills, pretty streams, and falling waterfalls. If you want to see Scotland in all its natural beauty, this is it.
Park in a lay-by at the side of the road, and walk on down to have a play in the ruins or on the beach.
- Parking is free. As is access to the castle.
8. Camping at Sango Sands Oasis
This was by far our favourite camping ground, as you can literally park right on the cliffs edge, overlooking a fantastic white sands beach and blue ocean. I can’t name another Scottish campsite where the views are so spectacular.
Not only are the views great, but the location is also fantastic, as it’s situated just 1 miles from Smoo Cave, and Cocoa Mountain (a fantastic little hot chocolate restaurant).
- There are many things to do around this location.
- Visit the popular Cocoa Mountain for a Hot Chocolate.
- Visit Smoo Cave.
- Visit Balnakeil Beach and/or Balnakeil Bay.
7. Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye has so much to offer, including Dunvegan Castle, Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls, the Fairy Pools and the Fairy Glen.
Accessible by a short bridge from the mainland, Skye somehow offers completely different views to the ever so close mainland and is definitely worth a quick (or extended) visit.
- There is a Fish & Chip shop right after you cross the bridge. Friendly and delicious. (We also had to try it again on the way off the Island!)
6. Duncansby Stacks
Time is with the weather! We arrived with gale force winds that were battering our Motorhome/RV as we got closer to the cliff edge.
Despite the weather, we parked a little further away from the edge, and braved a quick run across a vast sheep filled field to see the stacks, and we weren’t disappointed. In fact, if anything, the dark grey stormy skies even provided a more dramatic view of the stacks and made for a perfect photo.
5. Eilean Donan
This Castle is stunning! A fantastic looking castle, situated on a small island, with a gorgeous bridge as the only route across. The scenery surrounding is breathtaking, and even if you only stop for a photo, the stop will be worth it!
4. Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle
Everyone wants to see Nessie, so this is a tourist spot for sure. But the vastness of the Loch means that tourists are spread, and you never feel overcrowded.
The castle is fun to explore, scenic views out over the loch, and a good feel of what living in a Highland Castle truly feels like.
- Keep your eyes open for Nessie. #webelieve
3. Callanish Standing Stones / Isles of Lewis & Harris
Visit the Calanais Standing Stones from Disney’s Brave. Unlike the crowded stones of Stonehenge, you can get up close and personal at these stones, and depending on the time of day, have the whole site almost exclusively to yourself. Not just happy with one stone circle? There are several for you to visit all within walking distance of each other.
Don’t write off the rest of the island, as the drive here is stunning, and a visit to the gorgeous Luskentyre Beach provides one of the best drives in Scotland. And look out for those Heilan Coos on the road!
- Visit the Callanish Stones at sunrise or sunset for unbelievable views.
2. Glenfinnan Viaduct / Hogwarts Express
For those Harry Potter fans, and even for those who are not, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is a sight to behold as that steam train comes rolling across.
Meet it at the station, and enjoy a bite to eat in the old train carriage railway cart (no longer attached to the railway) for some traditional treats and lunch. Or follow the train in your vehicle, as it meanders majestically through the rolling Scottish mountains.
Visits to the site are free, as is parking, or your can actually catch the train for a more fulfilling Harry Potter experience.
- The train only runs at certain times of year, so check before you go.
- Parking is VERY limited, so get there early to find a space.
1. Dunrobin Castle & Gardens
Dunrobin Castle & Gardens is one of the most immaculately kept castles in the whole of the UK. The drive down the path to the castle itself fills you with awe, and it only gets better from there. The castle and rooms are kept in perfect condition, and give you a real view of what it would have been like to have lived within these walls. The perfectly manicured gardens are a dream to walk through, with various fountains, layouts and garden games such as croquet available to play.
If you want a castle that’s good for all ages and an incredible day out, then Dunrobin is the one for you.
- Find the (free) croquet in the gardens, and play croquet at a Scottish Castle.