A family holiday anywhere with snow and ice is exciting. Add the amazing technicolour wonder that occurs when you see the Northern Lights into the mix and you’re well on the way to most magical winter holiday ever. Here are the best and easiest places in Europe to amaze your kids with the phenomenon – you can explain the science later.
Some say you can see the Northern Lights from Edinburgh’s Calton Hill. They don’t mention that buying a house in the city’s probably cheaper than a hotel while you wait. Truth is, you have to go much further north in Scotland for frequent sightings - out on the Shetland Islands there’s so much of the Aurora Borealis they nicknamed it the ‘Mirrie Dancers’ centuries ago.
But, best by far for kids is Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. Easy to reach and most fun while you’re hanging around for nightfall, the UK’s largest national park has vast dark skies, virtually no sodium glare and high, high mountains: only perfect Northern Light conditions. It also happens to be a fantastic area for family skiing holidays, a bit of a winter sports legend and home to several herds of reindeer. Who needs Lapland this winter?
How to get there: Fly London Gatwick to Inverness with EasyJet from £109 return.
Journey time: The flight from London to Inverness is 1 hour and 40 minutes. Aviemore in the Cairngorms is 40 minutes from Inverness Airport.
Where to stay: Hilton Grand Vacations Club