A family holiday in Scotland is a journey to another land where they have their own language, customs and culture.
But it’s also reassuringly familiar in many ways too and packed with incredible natural wonders, amazing cities and some of the biggest, strangest, wilderness spaces in Europe.
There is no other UK national park larger than the Cairngorms. The lochs that scatter the country are so unimaginably deep and mysterious they have monster legends. You can sail to remote rocks where only birds are in permanent residence or visit beautiful islands with world-class hotels and Michelin starred restaurants.
And for all the magnificent grandeur, soaring peaks, great glens and fabulous coastline, Scotland is easy to get to and even easier to get around.
You can drive from the south to far north east of Scotland in under eight hours.
The country has over 300 islands – only 130 are inhabited.
25% of the UK’s rarest bird and wildlife lives in the Cairngorms National Park.
There are astonishing Highland Games from Cowal to Braemar all summer long.
Barra Airport is the only one in Europe where planes land on the beach.
Scotland has almost 10,000km of coastline and its island beaches are compared to the Bahamas.
From St. Andrew’s Day to T-in the Park, Scotland has hundreds of festivals large and small all year round.
The Cairngorms is the UK’s largest national park and covers an area of 4268km² in the Scottish Highlands. Only 16,000 people live in this vast space and mostly in towns and villages. Five of the six tallest mountains in Scotland are here and the landscape includes glaciers, granite tors, rivers and glens – only Canada has more Arctic features.
Land of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, dolphin spotting on the Moray Firth and gateway to gorgeous Kyle of Lochalsh and Skye, Inverness is a great Highland city and a fantastic holiday for kids.
• Whether you visit to spot porpoise or monsters, Inverness can put you up anywhere from country house hotels to cosy chalets and holiday parks.
Scotland’s largest city and one of the great Victorians, Glasgow is filled with museums and galleries, acres of parkland, amazing buildings, fantastic sports facilities and the best shopping streets in the country.
The capital of Scotland, home of the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood House, the Royal Mile and all the country’s national museums, Edinburgh is also one of the loveliest cities in Europe.
Argyll is an enchanting land of enormous forests, dazzling rivers, mountain roads, huge glens and ancient towns and villages. If that isn’t magical enough, head for the Western Isles and set the kids free.
Scotland’s extensive road network covers the entire mainland. There are domestic flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow to several island airports. From roll-on-roll-off boats to major voyages, the country has regular ferry services in every area. And you can get around by tram, train, bus and underground in the city.