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1st time in Scotland..that with a 5 year old

We are a couple with a 5 year old. Our Scotland itinerary thus far is:
Day 1: Fly from Bristol to Inverness by afternoon. Rest of the day spent there.
Day 2: Isle of Skye tour with Rabbie's.
Day 3: Travel from Inverness to Edinburgh in the morning. (Question: Which journey is better..train or bus..keeping in mind fare and scenery? I looked up Megabus. Are there better options? Which rail options should I look at?)
Day 4 & 5: Within Edinburgh. (Question: What are the 'must dos' with my 5 year old?)
Day 6: Perhaps a day trip. I looked up Rabbie's 1 day tours (Question: Do you suggest other tour operators?) but am unable to understand which will suit us most...this, keeping our child in mind. So, perhaps minimum castles, not a 2+ hours single stretch of onward bus journey, not too strenuous walking trails (the length is not an issue). The St Andrews & the Fishing Villages of Fife tour and Loch Lomond National Park, Kelpies & Stirling Castle tour seem interesting. (Question: Which one would you suggest? Or, will another one be better?)
Day 7: Fly back home from Edinburgh.

Posted by
5678 posts

Okay, I'm a little worried about a five year-old on a whole day tour of Skye. (And I really cannot imagine taking them on the day trip to the Highlands). There is a lot of bus time and not much, I don't think, for a young child, but hopefully someone can speak to this from direct experience. Maybe I am wrong. I think would consider exploring the area around Inverness.

You can take a public bus to the Battlefield. There is a visitor center for you and lots of space for running for the 5-year old. I dont' know if there is a bus, but I bet a taxi would not be that expensive to take you over to Fort George. It's a fascinating place with history, beautiful views, room to run. Maybe you can get the taxi you to take you to Clava Cairns for a few minutes between the Battlefield and Fort George.

In town the Ness Island Walks are lovely and have playgrounds near by. Wow, it looks like there is a children's Railway on the Ness Isles. If you have a very rainy, what the heck maybe you skip the history and go for meeting Scottish parents and children. Check out this page for more.

I would recommend the train for your trip to Edinburgh. Buy your tickets in advance so that you get a better rate. Train travel is much better with children than the bus. You can get up and walk around. Also, in my opinion its easier to see the gorgeous scenery.

In Edinburgh, the Castle is great for everyone! I also love Dynamic Earth. You might you've seen all this science stuff in the US, but it's got this Scottish perspective which is great. And there are hands on activities for kids. Some people like the museum of Childhood. If you are energetic climb Arthur's Seat. If you have a bit less energy, climb Calton Hill. Edinburgh zoo has panda's.


Posted by
5678 posts

Hi again. Please use Googlemaps or some other mapping tool to see how long the driving time is for the bus tours. I mapped the Rabbies Highland Loch, Glens and Whiskey tour and it was over 4 hours of driving. The Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Tour is over 8 hours of travel time. And you only see the very southern tip of Loch Ness.

I traveled to Scotland with a 7 year old. Had a wonderful trip. Here are some tips. First, look up the minimum age for Rabbie's tours. Age 5 may be acceptable. Then, think of kid-friendly things to do. Examples - castles, boat trips, Britannia in Edinburgh, etc.. Then, plan your trip. Rabbie's day trips worked very well with our 7 year old. How many days total do you have? We did two weeks in Scotland alone. You don't seem to allow time for Inverness. Perhaps, eliminate Inverness. "Base" in Edinburgh. You can probably do the Rabbie's Isle of Skye trip from Edinburgh. It takes time to train from Inverness to Edinburgh. You lose much of the day on the train.