Please sign in to post.

Scotland Trip with Children (Tweens)

Hello, We are planning a short trip to Scotland after spending a week in London. We will fly to Inverness for two days and then head to Edinburgh for two and a half days before flying home. We will be using public transportation and tours, as we aren't comfortable renting a car. We have three daughters (ages 9, 11, and 14 years) with interests in outdoors/hiking/biking, dance, music, art and history.

Does anyone have recommendations for tour or attractions for children? (They haven't gotten into Harry Potter.)

We quickly realized that we don't have enough time to see everything on our list. Based on being in Inverness, we want to see Culloden, CaraCairn, Lochness & visitor center, Urquhart castle. We are considering a full day tour to Isle of Skye with stop at Eilean Donan castle. In Edinburgh, we are focused on seeing the big sites. Maybe going to Stirling castle.

We'd appreciate any thoughts. Thank you in advance.

Posted by
17 posts

Rabbies has tours out of Inverness that might work for you. They have great reviews & if you book the tour you go, no last minute cancellations. Links are to Trip Advisor's site.

Skye & Eilean Donan

Clava Cairn, Culloden but not Loch Ness

Posted by
23087 posts

I'd book through the Rabbies website so the company doesn't have to pay the substantial TripAdvisor commission. It might even save you money, too; I haven't checked.

Posted by
7 posts

It’s too bad you won’t have a car.
See if you can get a tour on Skye that includes the Fairy Glen. It’s easy hiking and it’s magic. if you can get to Plockton, it’s small, walkable and McCallum’s seal yours was awesome. We saw seals, otter and Great views, the town is where Hamish Macbeth was filmed. We were fans of the show and had to visit. It’s got great fish and chips and pretty harbor with palm trees.
Falkirk is near Sterling. I would strongly recommend visiting the Kelpies which are huge, gorgeous sculptures of the mythical water horses located on a canal with a visitor center and some vendors, the Falkirk wheel has a lot to see and do and you can even take a ride on it, Stirling Castle is once of my favorite and there is a very nice building as you enter to the left that has been restored and has many kid activities. I would also see if any of the places you visit have an afternoon tea. Since the girls enjoy dance there my be a Ceilidh you can attend. It’s folks dance they think became square dancing in the US. it’s fun. My nephew who lives over there suggests the Guile and the Livingston outlets for shopping and the Edinburgh zoo. We loved the zoo and the Penguins do come out and parade. They have some really cool animals. The National gallery museum in Edinburgh is really interesting and the Edinburgh Botanical Garden was lovely and did have activities for kids. The national gallery is near Greyfriars. Have the kids watch Disney Greyfriars Bobby then go see the statue. The view from the roof garden at the museum is awesome.

Posted by
23087 posts

The National Museum of Scotland is a large, modern museum with exhibits appealing to both children and adults. I saw lots of happy family groups there, along with solo adults.

I'm not a castle fan and even skipped Edinburgh Castle, so I don't speak from personal experience, but you have so little time in Edinburgh, I wouldn't head back out to Stirling. Won't Edinburgh Castle be sufficient?

Posted by
3017 posts

I'll second what acraven said about the National Museum of Scotland (perfect place to get in out of the weather!) and about not spending time going to Stirling (I'm sure it's a lovely place, but save it for a future trip).

Along the Royal Mile is Mary King's Close -- your daughters might be very intrigued by that. See

Posted by
5675 posts

I love Edinburgh Castle for the views if nothing else. Also, you can see the Scottish regalia there. I always go to the war memorial as well, but maybe not for children. There is a pet graveyard which is moving.

BUT if any of your children are interested in science, then think about Dynamic Earth. It is always packed with Scottish Children and covers the typical things a museum of its sort does in the US but with a Scottish and UK spin. There was a bit on glaciation of Scotland where you go down a glen which I liked, But like US museums it is hands on for kids. I love the Museum of Scotland, but depending on your kids' interests Dynamic Earth might be more their cup of tea. And don't worry you won't be bored.

Posted by
2336 posts

The other thing is to get a daily bus pass, good for 24 hours, and ride the double decker buses upstairs.
If your kids have never been upstairs on a bus, it's quite thrilling for them....and cheap!
And, Mum and Dad get to rest their feet......

Posted by
9 posts

Hello! Thank you for all the wonderful recommendations. They helped me refine our itinerary. And, every post made me more excited for our summer travel adventure!

We will spend our first day in Inverness using public transportation (and taxis) to see local sites. I've noted bars/restaurants for live music and traditional dancing (Ceilidh). The second day we will take a tour to Isle of Skye. To get to Edinburgh, we decided to hire a tour guide/driver, so we can visit Glencoe and the Kelpies along the way. We'll stay in Edinburgh for two and a half days and not venture outside the city. We'll focus on Edinburgh castle and save Stirling for another trip. The kids are excited for a potential ghost tour, the Real Mary King's Close tour, and the mentioned museums.

Thank you!