It is so easy to forget that we have some stunning locations in the UK for a family holiday. Inverness, Scotland is not usually the first place that springs to mind to many when looking for to get away with the kids. Some of us tend to gravitate to where the weather is stable, seeking sun and heat. However when we have toddlers and young children in tow sometimes just a little fresh air and beautiful scenery is all we need. We headed to Inverness at the beginning of the year, albeit without kids (an anniversary short break away) and had such a great time that we are now looking at booking a family holiday there.
Inverness is easily accessible (by train, plane or car) and comes with real adventure.
The adventure begins at home; kids cannot help but be enchanted by the mystery that is the Loch Ness Monster. A little research, storytelling, and maybe some drawings too – everyone can have a go at drawing what they think Nessie might look like!
For a family stay these child-friendly holiday cottages in Inverness offer the perfect base for exploring the area. There are six cottages to choose from, with an ice cream parlour and café on site, children’s play area and optional meal delivery service. This is where we will be staying when we return.
For a quiet getaway try this luxury B and B – not really kid friendly but perfect if you want to get away with your partner for a few days. The complimentary afternoon tea and cakes is to die for and the breakfast delicious too. We had a loch view bedroom and I even had a relaxing spa treatment. They can also organise a driver to take and collect you for dinner. Their recommendations are good too. Well worth a treat if you have a special occasion coming up.
On our list of child-friendly places to visit in and around Inverness on your next family holiday are:
This wonderful historic castle sits on the edge of Loch Ness and is worth a visit, you really can imagine life here through the ages, try and watch the short video before you go through to the castle, it will give you a true sense to its history and is short, educational and extremely good! Make sure you stay untill the end. There is a small cafe here too, so after the children have played knights and princesses you can sit down to a nice cuppa and cake.
Logie Estate – Logie Steading
We visited here when we had a short adult-only break and will definitely be back with Freddie. The Estate is home to a café and few small individual artisan shops and galleries, there is a play park for the children and picnic area and river walks. It’s a sweet place to visit and will tick many boxes, ideal for a bit of shopping, bit of eating, bit of playing and bit of walking.
If you want to explore the water a little more closely than from the bank there is a white water rafting centre just up the hill from Logie Steading. Ace Adventures offers an assortment of outdoor activities including family white-water rafting, disc golf, canoeing, kayaking, cliff jumping and more. Ages 5 and up
This lovely child-friendly beach is backed by sand dunes and is perfect for families. Nairn Beach has views across the Moray Firth to the Black Isles and you might even spot a resident dolphin or two!
Glen Affric is one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland. It is truly mesmerising. With stunning lochs, mountains, waterfalls and beautiful walks, it’s perfect for a hike. There are a variety of walks and climbs for most abilities, the ground is uneven and there are rocky sections on some of the walks. This guide to Glen Affric will help you decide if your family want to attempt any of it. We went to Plodda Falls and were not disappointed; we will definitely be hiking around the Glen on our next visit. Be aware that phone signal is almost non-existent here so take good provisions for hungry kids.
If you are not partial to hiking but want to enjoy some mountain views, hop on the CairnGorm Mountau Funicular Railway. It is Scotland’s only funicular railway, there is a restaurant located at the top with panoramic views from over 3,500ft. You can of course climb the mountain or take a bike on the train and cycle down. There are options for all abilities here from children through to adults.
Highland Wildlife Park
The Highland Wildlife Park is part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and home to over 1000 animals. They work not only on conservation projects in the UK but all around the world helping to safe guard endangered species. A fabulous day out for the family if you want to see some animals up close.
Loch Ness Exhibition Centre
Loch Ness itself is an awe inspiring tale and you can learn more about the history of the Loch, facts and myths in the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre. We didn’t visit this time round as we thought we would wait until we come back with Freddie. It has some great reviews (and a few not so great) on TripAdvisor- we can’t wait to learn more! Many of the boat trips here are also child-friendly so you can explore the loch by boat taking in the beautiful scenerey.
Frankie and Lola’s
Need a break from the weather and want to endure a soft play? Frankie and Lola’s has a jungle themed and town themed frame depending on age and toddler toys out mid week for tiny visitors. They have a strong emphasis on providing quality locally sourced food so that the adults don’t feel left out too.
Inverness restaurant - our pick - Mustard Seed Restaurant
We ate in some lovely pubs during out stay all offering wonderful food and excellent service, we couldn't fault any but we really did enjoy the Mustart Seed restuarant in Inverness town, a local independently owned restaurant, not only was the food and wine excellent but so was the vibe and decor, it was a great end to our short holiday in Inverness, Scotland and we can't wait to go back. They also have a grat children's menu too.
For more inspiration on any of our family holiday destinations, villas, cottages or resorts please feel free to contct us.