Amazing islands for family holidays in Scotland this year

seonaidmcgill
29th April 2021

Thinking about family holidays in Scotland this year? Put Scottish islands into the mix. There are over 790 of them and they come in all shapes and sizes. Many are famous for beaches, at least one’s known for a TV show; several have ancient abbeys; some have vast colonies of seabirds; plenty come with castles, and they’re all lovely. Take a look at six of the best for family holidays in Scotland this summer.


Amazing islands for family holidays in Scotland this year

© VisitScotland – Sunset Over The Isle Of Arran

1/6 Isle of Arran, Firth of Clyde

Arran is the seventh largest Scottish island and still only 20 miles long by 10 miles wide. Known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’ it’s the island for mountains, glens, beaches, pretty villages, a mighty castle, quaint churches and several ancient standing stones. You can easily do it in a day, but Arran’s very beguiling so you might want to add it to the list of slightly longer family holidays in Scotland: kids are especially tricky to tear away once they get into the way of island life here.

What not to miss on the Isle of Arran

How to get to the Isle of Arran

Find out more about family holidays in Scotland with kids

Amazing islands for family holidays in Scotland this year

© VisitScotland – Tobermory, Mull

2/6 Isle of Mull, Argyll & the Isles

For one of the most unforgettable family holidays in Scotland think about the Isle of Mull. It’s only 46 minutes by ferry from Oban, just long enough for the kids to get plenty excited, possibly spot dolphins or basking shark and get an eyeful of the dramatic Duart Castle overlooking the Sound of Mull. It’s a fittingly enchanting sail to the Inner Hebrides’ island that’s famous for the colourful harbour town of Tobermory, Calgary Bay; views of the otherworldly Treshnish Isles and unforgettable boat trips to Fingal’s Cave. There’s always plenty for families to get up to in the great outdoors here. You can even bag a Munro. And if you feel like a gentle day out, the ferry from Mull to the island of Iona takes 10 minutes.

What not to miss on the Isle of Mull

How to get to the Isle of Mull

Find out more about family holidays in Scotland with kids

Amazing islands for family holidays in Scotland this year

© VisitScotland – The Calanais Standing Stones

3/6 Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

On the Isle of Lewis you’re in for another of those family holidays in Scotland that’s packed with adventure. Expect kids to be fascinated by the traditional Gaelic culture and awed at the wildlife and even wilder landscape. The beaches here are some of the loveliest in the UK and it’s the only place in the world to see the Calanais Standing Stones.

What not to miss on the Isle of Lewis

How to get to the Isle of Lewis

Find out more about family holidays in Scotland with kids

Amazing islands for family holidays in Scotland this year

© VisitScotland – Tangasdale Beach, Isle Of Barra

4/6 Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides

For escapist family holidays in Scotland, you want Barra: the most southerly island in the Outer Hebrides. This magical little island is loved for its white sand beaches and transparent blue seas. The quaint little harbour town of Castlebay has the added fascination of medieval Kisimul Castle. And if you want to give kids complete freedom, they can walk and cycle just about everywhere on Barra.

What not to miss on the Isle of Barra

How to get to the Isle of Barra

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Amazing islands for family holidays in Scotland this year

© VisitScotland – Skara Brae

5/6 Orkney

Made up of over 70 different islands, Orkney packs in enough excitement to fill endless family holidays in Scotland. It’s the archipelago for enormous sea stacks and some of the highest cliffs in Europe. It’s also strewn all over with Viking legends. Several of the world’s most important prehistoric discoveries have been made here. And if kids are up for spotting puffins, Orkney is very much the place for that too.

What not to miss in Orkney

How to get to Orkney

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Amazing islands for family holidays in Scotland this year

© VisitScotland – St Ninian’s Isle, Shetland

6/6 Shetland

No other family holidays in Scotland bring you closer to Viking legends and Iron Age history than breaks in Shetland. Amazing for walking and cycling too, Shetland also has some of the country’s most dramatic and unusual scenery, a remarkable coastline and beaches you’ll find hard to believe.

What not to miss in Shetland

How to get to Shetland

Find out more about family holidays in Scotland with kids

Looking for more Scottish adventures? Check out quirky ideas for family holidays in Scotland. And don’t forget to follow Family Traveller on Facebook and Instagram for more travel inspiration, news and updates – or just to say ‘hi’.

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