Lochs, mountains, castles, buzzing cities, beautiful islands, and even its own language – Scotland has got it all for families…
… but it’s reassuringly familiar in many ways, too, and packed with incredible natural wonders, amazing urban goings-on and some of the biggest, strangest, wilderness spaces in Europe.
There is no other UK national park larger than the Cairngorms – it’s 4528km² in area,. 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, Caribbean-looking white-sand beaches and Michelin-starred restaurants.
And despite all the grandeur, soaring peaks, great glens, fabulous coastline and wilderness, 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 less than eight hours.
The country has nearly 800 islands – only 94 are permanently inhabited.
25% of the UK’s rarest bird and wildlife lives in the Cairngorms National Park.
There are fascinating and thrilling Highland Games, from Cowal to Braemar, all summer long.
Barra Airport is the only one in the world where scheduled planes land on the beach.
Scotland has almost 10,000km of coastline, and its island beaches are sometimes compared to those of the Bahamas.
From St Andrew’s Day to T-in the Park, Scotland has hundreds of festivals, large and small, year-round.
The Cairngorms is the UK’s largest national park and covers an area of 4,528km² in the Scottish Highlands. Only 16,000 people live in this vast space, mostly in towns and villages. Five of the six highest mountains in Scotland are here, and the landscape includes glaciers, granite tors, rivers and glens – only Canada has more Arctic features.
• This is the 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, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’ offers accommodation options ranging 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.