Unless you’re one of the very few people who live on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, it’s going to take you a long time to get to the Isle of Skye, but its sheer remoteness is at the heart of its appeal.
When you cross over the Skye Bridge from the Scottish mainland, you immediately find yourself in a place that feels as remote from the rest of the UK as Spitsbergen, Norway. Mountain peaks, narrow roads through glens of heather and mirror-like lochs are everywhere. It’s a bleak beauty, but it’s also breathtaking.
The island is for older, hardier children. Little ones won’t fare well in the extreme weather conditions this far north, and they’re unlikely to want to go out walking for long.
Walking, of course, is what people come here for. The seafront town of Portree, with its boat-filled harbour and pastel-coloured cottages, makes a great start and end point for several spectacular (and relatively easy) jaunts on the northern coast of Skye.
A stroll around Loch Dunvegan, during which you’re likely to encounter seals, dolphins, sea eagles and even otters, will ensure your children will be passionate about the outdoors for life.
How to get there: easyJet flies from London Gatwick to Inverness; from £47 return.
Travel time: If you drive up from Edinburgh or Glasgow, it’ll take you most of the day. If you’re flying to Inverness, the island is a further two-hour drive away.
Where to stay: The Three Chimneys (01470 511258) in Colbost, on the shores of Loch Dunvegan, is owned and run by acclaimed proprietors Shirley and Eddie Spear. It occupies a series of converted crofters’ cottages and has won countless awards for its restaurant’s fresh-out-of-the-water approach to seafood. Family rooms from £295 per night, including breakfast.