Families visiting Scotland will be hard pressed to narrow down an itinerary. With national parks to hike, castles to explore and beautiful beaches to swim in, there are endless amounts of things to do with kids. Kirsten Maxwell of Kids Are A Trip shares five Scotland bucket list ideas that families will love! 

Scotland Bucket List Ideas for Families

1. Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city is perfect for families. The city has an Old Town and New Town, and it is easy to travel between the two on foot. Start with Edinburgh Castle, high on Castle Rock, and take in the gorgeous city views. Kids will enjoy exploring the castle’s nooks and crannies, as well as the Prisons of War (a good look at prison life circa 1800) and Mons Meg (one of the largest cannons built in the Middle Ages). Head down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace (the Queen of England’s residence in Scotland) and let the kids roam the gardens. Hike up Arthur’s Seat for stunning city views. If traveling with younger ones, Calton Hill is a better option. Don’t miss the Camera Obscura and its fascinating optical illusions that will blow kids away. Check out Radisson Collection on the Royal Mile or Kimpton Charlotte Square for family-friendly accommodations.

Edinburgh Castle Bucket List Scotland-Kirsten Maxwell Travelocity

Edinburgh Castle | Photo: Kirsten Maxwell

2. Inverness

Inverness is a charming town centrally located to several family-friendly attractions. Within the town itself, kids will love the Inverness Botanic Garden with its beautiful waterfalls and koi pond. Of course they will love exploring Inverness Castle and nearby Whin Park with its awesome playground, boating lake and miniature train ride. No trip would be complete without a boat ride on Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle, searching for Nessie along the way. Older children might enjoy a visit to nearby Culloden, site of the Jacobite Rising in 1745, and now a breathtaking memorial to the fallen soldiers. If you want a great hotel for kids, consider the Best Western Plus Lochardil House or the Loch Ness Country House Hotel.

3. Aviemore

Aviemore is a very popular family destination. Located in Cairngorms National Park, it offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Families can enjoy hikes, zip lining or cycling during the summer, and skiing and other snow sports during the winter. There’s a steam train, a reindeer park and even a 13th-century castle at Loch an Eilein. Within the National Park, families will find Loch Moorlich featuring stunning beaches bordered by forest, and all types of water sports from kayaking to windsurfing. Aviemore is the main town, but there are plenty of lovely villages in the area with family-friendly accommodations.

4. Isle of Skye

This is a destination on many family’s radars, and for good reason. It’s stunning and there is plenty to do for kids. The main town on the island is Portree, a charming fishing village surrounded by cliffs, that can be overrun with tourists during the summer season. Find a home base elsewhere on the island and make time to see Dunvegan Castle and Dun Beag, a stone tower that dates to the Iron Age. Kids will love the Fairy Pools, stunning crystal blue pools and waterfalls, and the Fairy Glen for hiking. Don’t miss Coral Beach in Claigan, made up of crushed coral that makes the water a stunning shade of blue when the sun shines just right. There are a couple of museums kids will love too. The Skye Museum of Island Life showcases the island’s history and thatched roof homesteads. There’s also the Staffin Dinosaur Museum with its awesome collection of fossils.

Isle of Skye Old Man of Storr-Kirsten Maxwell Travelocity

Isle of Skye Old Man of Storr | Photo: Matt Thornhill on Unsplash

5. Dumfries & Galloway

Dumfries & Galloway might be the most overlooked region of Scotland. It’s truly a shame, because families will love exploring this area. Galloway Forest is the only Dark Sky Park in the UK, meaning it is perfect for nighttime astronomy observations at the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory. Grey Mare’s Tail is a spectacular waterfall and hike just outside Moffat. Don’t miss two unique castles, Caerlaverock (in the shape of a triangle), and Threave, which you have to reach by boat. Head to the Mull of Galloway, the southernmost peninsula of Scotland and climb the lighthouse for stunning views, then explore the gardens, beaches, and walking trails. This is one area of Scotland you won’t want to miss because there are a ton of outdoor adventures for kids. Consider staying at Craigadam Country House Hotel, a farmhouse with comfortable accommodations and delicious meals in their dining hall.

Caerlaverock Castle Scotland Bucket List-Kirsten Maxwell Travelocity

Caerlaverock Castle | Photo: Kirsten Maxwell

Other Scotland bucket list destinations for families should include: the Isle of Arran, Trossachs National Park, Glencoe and Fort William area (home to Ben Nevis and the Jacobite Steam Train) and North Berwick.

Looking for other Scotland ideas? Don’t miss How to Experience the Best of Scotland in 5 Days!



If you are planning a trip to Scotland with your family, there are plenty of places to explore. Here are some of our favorite spots to add to your Scotland bucket list. - Kirsten Maxwell Travelocity
Kirsten Maxwell

Kirsten Maxwell

Kirsten Maxwell

Latest posts by Kirsten Maxwell (see all)

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

Pin It on Pinterest