There’s just something about Scotland that keeps us coming back year after year. Even when the weather is dreich, as Hagar, A Modern Military Mother’s Scottish husband would say, it’s a green and gorgeous country steeped in history and soaked in not just rain, but atmosphere. And, with adventure and attractions galore for all the family, we don’t need much encouragement to head north across cross the border. Here are just five of our favourite Scottish family destinations:
An obvious first choice, we know, but Loch Ness is simply a must. It’s less than an hour away from where we recently stayed in a Scottish lodge in Nairn Lochloy, so we spend the day hunting for Nessie.
There’s sonar imaging equipment on the cruise boat we’re on. Unfortunately, we don’t see any sign of the legendary creature, but we do pass by the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle and our little ones are able to have their photographs taken at the wheel.
If there’s one thing Scotland does well, it’s castles. There are big ones, small ones, ruined ones, and supposedly-haunted ones. But, for sheer romance, you can’t beat Cawdor Castle. Linked with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, this 14th century castle is a fairytale of a place that wouldn’t look out of place in Disneyland. Our little ones loved exploring The Big Wood, where we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of red deer.
While big cities and children don’t always go hand in hand, Glasgow is one of the exceptions. The Glasgow Science Centre on the banks of the River Clyde is delightfully hands-on, while the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses a weird and wonderful collection, with everything from dinosaurs and a Spitfire hung from the ceiling to Sir Roger the stuffed Asian elephant.
For traditional bucket-and-spade brigade fun, Southerness is not to be missed. A vast expanse of sand stretches either side of Southerness point, meaning you’re sure to find a perfect, peaceful spot to build your sandcastles. And Mabie Farm Park is just nearby, where you can feed the animals and your children can have a donkey ride. Our favourite attraction though was the Choo Choo Express where a mini road train pulled by a quad bike splashes you through puddles around the farm.
Named one of the top five islands in the world by National Geographic, Fair Isle is the place to head to truly get away from it all with only your nearest and dearest. Sitting between Orkney and Shetland, it’s one of the most remote, yet still inhabited, islands in Britain. Our little ones loved the adventure of travelling on the Good Shepherd ferry to get there and found the different way of life fascinating. You can see locals hard at work spinning, weaving and knitting the traditional Fair Isle pattern. Norse settlers called the island Fridarey, which translates as “the island of peace”. We have to agree – there can be few better places to leave the stresses of the daily routine behind.