Scotland Family Adventure: Travel with Kids - Part 2

Family Travel Tips for Scotland: A Complete Itinerary

Exploring Edinburgh and the Enchanting Aviemore Region  – Ultimate Guide to a Family Adventure in Scotland – Part 1

Our journey’s first chapter in Scotland concluded just as we arrived on the Isle of Skye – the crown jewel of our Scottish visit.

The Isle of Skye, the largest of the Inner Hebridean islands scattered along Scotland’s western coast, is undeniably one of Scotland’s most exquisite destinations. Its landscapes are nothing short of dramatic, enchanting, and appear as if they were plucked from the pages of mythical tales!

Practical Tips for Your Family Travel in Scotland:

Flights to Scotland: We booked our EasyJet tickets to Manchester about 11 months in advance for a two-week stay. You can also reach Manchester with El Al flights. Keep in mind that it’s approximately a 4-hour journey to Southern Scotland from there. Another option is to take a connecting flight to Edinburgh, Glasgow, or even Inverness.

Accommodation: Our trip was divided into the following stays:

Car rental: An excellent search engine is economy car rentals. They also work with smaller rental companies that sometimes offer lower costs in the market. There is an option to cancel up to 48 hours before picking up the car.

Day 6: Exploring the Isle of Skye

Discovering the Natural Wonders of Trotternish Peninsula

According to the forecast for the next two days, today’s weather is expected to be overcast but not rainy, while tomorrow there’s a storm on the way!

We need to make the most of today…

We set out to explore the northern half of the Trotternish Peninsula. From UIG, we headed towards Duntulm Castle. Right from the start of our journey, we were greeted by breathtaking bays, and of course, plenty of sheep.

Duntulm Castle is situated in a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean, amidst lush greenery where sheep graze peacefully. It’s not really a castle as we know it but rather the ruins of an old castle, abandoned somewhere around 1700. Upon arrival, we parked right next to it. There’s a cattle gate that you can pass through, and after a short walk, you reach the area of the ruins.

Exploring the Dinosaur Footprint at Staffin Beach

From there, we continued to the next stop: Staffin Beach. Staffin is a charming fishing village located next to a stunning bay, where the footprint of a dinosaur was discovered. The drive to Staffin is breathtaking, and we couldn’t resist stopping at various points to capture the scenery.

Upon reaching Staffin Bay, we immediately began our search for the dinosaur footprint, guided by a couple who had previously explored the area. There’s no way we would have found it without their assistance. Regardless of the dinosaur footprint, Staffin Beach is a truly mesmerizing spot that we highly recommend stopping at.

Admiring the Majestic Beauty of Kilt Falls

Next on our journey was Kilt Falls. Kilt Falls can be considered Scotland’s skirt. It’s a massive cliff that drops into the sea surrounding the island, but due to its volcanic nature, it has frozen into folds, hence its name.

Kilt Falls is a waterfall that descends vertically from the cliff towards the sea. The falls are renowned for their breathtaking beauty. While the place attracts many tourists, it remains remarkably peaceful and serene, with a Scottish musician playing sweet tunes on the flute and a truly unique landscape.

Hiking to the Majestic Old Man of Storr

It was time for a hiking adventure, so we headed towards the Old Man of Storr.

The Old Man of Storr is a gigantic, approximately 50-meter-high rock pinnacle that prominently stands out in the area. This rock formation was shaped by ancient landslides. The trail leading to it is one of the most beautiful on Skye. Along the way, you’ll witness stunning views of the sea, surrounding lakes, massive rock formations, and an opposing island.

We made it to the base of the Old Man of Storr, but unfortunately, we couldn’t proceed to the higher viewpoint. The path became too steep and challenging due to serious rock scrambling, so we spent some time at the elevated point and then descended.

Exploring the Charming Harbor Town of Portree and Its Surroundings

From there, we continued to Portree, the central town on Skye. Portree’s harbor is small and charming, with colorful houses that extend right to the water’s edge. Fishing boats are anchored in the harbor, and small boats come and go from the slipway. The town’s streets, climbing up from the waterfront, are filled with lovely shops.

After a refreshing ice cream break at the harbor, we embarked on a short but delightful trail within Portree known as “The Lump.” The trail is easy, short, and incredibly scenic. Along the way, you can spot Scottish pine trees and, if you maintain a quiet demeanor, even catch a glimpse of rabbits. The path encircles the hill near the hospital and leads out by the Royal Bank. We spotted one rabbit and enjoyed a stunning view of Portree Bay.

Due to an upcoming storm tomorrow, we decided to return to Uig and also make time for the Fairy Glen, which is located very close to our hotel.

The kids were already tired from the entire day, so we stopped at the hotel for some rest and then headed to the Fairy Glen. The Fairy Glen, one of the most unique places on the island, is filled with lush green hills, ponds, plenty of sheep, and stone circles. I’ll let the pictures from there speak for themselves.

Day 7: Seal Watching and Rainy Day Fun

Exploring Dunvegan Castle and Getting Up Close with Seals

We woke up to a gray and drizzly morning, and according to the forecast, it was going to be rainy and stormy. We set out towards Dunvegan Castle to take the boat tour to the Seal Colony. Even an hour before the opening, there was already a long line outside. We purchased the family ticket for the castle and hurried to the ticket booth to buy boat tour tickets. We didn’t wait long and boarded the small motorboat.

The boat brought us close to the Seal Colony, and we could see them up close. The kids were extremely excited and wanted to document every moment with all available camera equipment. It was quite cold due to the weather, and it kept drizzling, but that didn’t dampen the experience.

After we finished the boat tour, the rain intensified, and it became rather unpleasant. According to our plan, we were supposed to travel to do the Nest Point trail, but the rain was too disruptive and uncomfortable. We decided to wait and see how things cleared up before entering Dunvegan Castle for a tour.

When we finished the tour, it was still raining heavily. So, we took a stroll through the beautiful gardens of the castle. Highly recommended! The gardens are charming, well-maintained, and a pleasure to wander through. We enjoyed it immensely. It was still raining… What to do? We deliberated and finally decided to sit in a café for lunch and postpone our decision.

After a break for lunch and the persistent heavy rain, we decided to return to the hotel and unfortunately had to abandon our plans for the day, including Nest Point and Coral Beach.

On the way back, we took a scenic detour recommended on the forum. It was a narrow, less-traveled road with minimal traffic that traversed the northern part of the Isle of Skye. The road was exceptionally beautiful but somewhat narrow. We passed through stunning landscapes of the island’s interior, cliffs, green slopes, and sheep. The road was labeled as B855 and connected Bracadale to Portree.

Later in our trip, while exploring the Glencoe area, we again relied on scenic routes on rainy days for driving tours. The views on these scenic routes are far more extraordinary than regular highway drives and are highly recommended to incorporate into your journey.

Towards the end of the road, very close to Portree, we came across A.C.E Target Sports. It’s a really cool place that offers activities like target shooting, air rifle shooting, clay pigeon shooting, and more. The kids were eager to try air rifle shooting, but everything was already booked for the same day. We were very impressed with the owner and the place in general, so we signed up for the next day at 10 AM, just before leaving the island.

The rain persisted, so we drove directly from Portree back to our hotel in Uig. We took advantage of the time to do some laundry, play board games, read, and even engage in some sports.

The view of UIG Bay and some pictures from the hotel:

Day 8 - Journey to the Enchanting Glen Coe Valley

Today we’re leaving Skye and heading to the Glen Coe area. I felt a bit of regret due to the half day of rain which caused us to miss a few beautiful places on the island. However, the rest of the family was already excited about the upcoming air rifle shooting session.

Initially, the men in the family underwent training and then really started to enjoy themselves. It was a very successful and professional activity, and even our 8-year-old son had a great time and did very well

Exploring Neptune's Staircase: Engineering Marvel of the Caledonian Canal

We continued our long journey towards Glen Coe. The weather was changeable, and I hoped that the area we were heading to would be more suitable for touring. Along the way, we passed by the Nevis Resort, so we decided to stop there to take the cable car up and try one of the recommended trails. However, upon arrival, we found that the cable car was under maintenance, so we decided to head to Neptune’s Staircase instead. There, you can see how they overcame the differences in elevation when they built the Caledonian Canal (the canal connects Fort William with Inverness, so there’s no need to circumnavigate via the stormy sea). The boat enters a lock, the lock fills with water, the boat rises and then moves on to the next lock. This continues until it reaches the height of the ‘upper’ river, and then it continues sailing.

Another trail we took on the way to our next B&B was the Inchree Falls. Due to the extensive travel that day, we decided to combine the red and green trails for a short walk to experience nature. It was a lovely and easy trail. We saw many colorful mushrooms, ferns, beautiful waterfalls, and of course, the stunning views of Loch Linnhe.

It was already late, so we went straight to our next B&B, Pine Apple House, which was very family-friendly, cozy, and clean.

Top Recommended Accommodations in the Glen Coe and Ben Nevis area

Day 9: Discovering the Charm of Nevis Valley and Experiencing the Highland Games

Exploring Steall Falls: A Magical Harry Potter Hiking Adventure in Nevis Valley

The weather forecast for our stay in Glen Coe doesn’t look great. Therefore, when we saw that the first half of the day promised good weather, we decided to take advantage of the morning for a hike in the Nevis Valley to the Steall Falls, and then, in the second half of the day which seemed a bit rainy, to drive to Oban to see the Highland Games. In terms of distance, this isn’t the ideal plan since Nevis Valley is 40 minutes north of our B&B, and Oban is 40 minutes south.

Nevis Valley is located near the town of Fort William. The entrance to Nevis Valley is impressively dramatic! The valley is famous in Scotland and was used for filming scenes in ‘Braveheart’ as well as some scenes from Harry Potter. The hike to Steall Falls is an amazing nature trail. It’s an easy to moderate trail that takes about an hour and a half. Initially, you walk through an amazing canyon with waterfalls and flowing water from all sides, and at the end of the trail, the valley opens up, leading to the falls known as Steall Falls.

The waterfalls are located on the other side of the river. There is an option to cross to the other side of the river for a closer photo opportunity via a cable bridge that crosses the river. Our 10-year-old barely made it to the cables, so we decided not to try crossing. We returned to the parking area via the same stunning route. Overall, it’s about an hour and a half to two hours of a leisurely hike.

From there, we hurried to Oban to catch some of the Highland Games.

עמק בן נביס תכנון טיול בהתאמה אישית סקוטלנד

Experiencing the Thrill of the Highland Games: Traditional Scottish Sports and Culture

The Highland Games are held every year between May and September, every weekend (Saturday and Sunday), in several towns in the Highlands area. The games typically include competitions of traditional Highland dancing, running races, performances by Scottish pipe bands, and more. The most interesting part for us was the ‘heavy games’, which include competitions like stone put, hammer throw, caber toss, and weight throw for height.

We arrived in Oban and, to our surprise, quickly found parking. We managed to get there about two hours before the end, which turned out to be more than enough time. The atmosphere was really cool and fun. We enjoyed it a lot. When we left, we decided to stop for ice cream at the Oban harbor.

On the way back to the B&B, we decided not to take the main direct route but instead a side road that passes through the GLADRUM WOOD nature reserve and Port Appin. The route along LOCH CRERAN also offers a view of Stalker Castle. It’s a charming route!! We even finally saw some Highland cows. It was a very successful day!

Day 10: Exploring the Beauty of Glen Etive and Glencoe Lochan, and the Wonders of the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary

Exploring the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary: A Journey into Marine Wonders

We woke up to a very rainy day and a child with stomach pains. After breakfast and much consideration, we decided to leave our 10-year-old in the room (the hotel was very family-friendly) with a mobile device and took our 8-year-old to visit the SCOTTISH SEA LIFE SANCTUARY. The decision turned out to be a good one as the 10-year-old slept in the meantime and woke up feeling refreshed. Additionally, the rain didn’t stop, making it impossible to enjoy outdoor nature activities. The aquarium is very nice for a short visit. It’s situated on a stunning coast. We saw unique fish and a sea lion show. It’s very suitable for a rainy day.

The Beauty of Glen Etive: Scotland's Scenic Wonderland

From there, we returned to pick up our 10-year-old and decided that until it was clear whether there would be a break in the rain, we would go for a drive in Glen Etive. This is a driving trip of 11 kilometers each way (round trip). It’s on a narrow road where only one vehicle can travel, with a stunning scenic route, ending at Loch Etive. The road is beautiful, with roaming red deer, many other animals, and a stream flowing alongside the road. The children were a bit grumpy towards the end because the drive was very slow and time-consuming. The moment we entered the valley, the rain stopped. As soon as we left Glen Etive, the rain returned

Exploring the Serene Beauty of Glencoe Lochan in the Rain

From Glen Etive, we drove to Glencoe Lochan. Although it was drizzling, we ‘took a chance’ on the trail because it’s an easy and very short one. When we arrived at the parking area, it wasn’t raining, but the rain returned during our walk. The rain was bothersome, so we decided not to extend our walk to the longer trails and just circled the lochan. The lochan is charming even in the rain, with many birds, ducks, and reflections in the water.

We were quite fed up with all the rain and dampness and looked for a restaurant for an early dinner in Ballachulish on our way back to the B&B. When we arrived at the restaurant’s parking lot, we saw that the weather had cleared up and the restaurant was still closed, so we went for a very short walk near Loch Leven in Ballachulish. It was a very short and charming route.

לוך leven סקוטלנד

Day 11: Exploring the Hidden Valley and the Charms of Loch Lomond

The Lost Valley Trail: A Must-Do Hike in the Depths of Glen Coe

Today, we leave Glencoe behind, but woke up to the most beautiful weather of our trip!

How could we ‘waste’ such a day merely on transit? We set out towards the Hidden Valley trail in Glencoe.

The trail starts from the Three Sisters viewpoint in the valley. It’s a slightly challenging but rewarding and unique hiking path. Most of the trail runs alongside a flowing stream and involves a significant portion of unstructured paths and rock climbing. There’s also a point where you cross the stream. From the organized parking on the A82, you descend towards the stream, cross a small bridge, turn half left, and start climbing the path between the second and third sisters. After a somewhat steep ascent, the Hidden Valley reveals itself in all its glory. This trail was crowned as one of the most worthwhile of our vacation. The children particularly enjoyed its challenges.

After taking countless photos of the stunning Glencoe Valley, we began our journey towards Dunblane.

Dunblane was chosen as our next overnight stop to break up the return trip to Manchester. However, since the weather was so beautiful, we decided to extend our drive and reach Dunblane via the lake district – Loch Lomond. We stopped along the way in the beautiful town of Luss with its charming small houses. The children had some time to play and unwind in a playground there. Further along the drive, the road offered views of the beautiful Stirling Castle. In Dunblane, we stayed at the stunning Hilton hotel – DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel – and the children even got to enjoy its swimming pool that day.

Top Recommended Accommodations in the Lake District

More Fun Ideas for Loch Lomond - If We Had Time

♥ The Loch Lomond Aquarium. A fun and enjoyable experience for the whole family!

♥ Kayaking Adventure: Experience the Stunning Beauty of Loch Lomond in Scotland’s Famous Lake District.

♥ Bike Rentals in Luss for All Ages: Enjoy a Scenic Ride Alongside the Enchanting Loch Lomond.

♥ Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Experience SUP on the Serene Waters of Loch Lomond.

♥ Stirling Castle: A Must-Visit Among Scotland’s Most Famous Castles.

Day 12 - The Last Day of the Trip

Again, rain, rain. I decided to make time to visit the horse sculptures in Falkirk on the way back. This enormous monument, whose planning took nearly seven years and construction almost a year, features two 30-meter-tall horse heads. They are a grand tribute to the workhorses that were an important part of industry and transportation in this central Scotland area during the 19th century. The visit was an experience for both us and the children. From there, we continued to the boat lift. This is a modern technology that raises boats to a height of 25 meters. The wheel lifts the boats into the air to a significant height and allows them to pass between canals at different elevations. Due to the rain, the attractions at the site were not operational, but it was still possible to see how the boat lift works.

We continued our journey straight to Manchester with the intention of visiting the Trafford Centre. However, to our disappointment, when we arrived, we found that it had closed earlier than usual because it was Sunday.

So that’s it… another special and amazing vacation has come to an end! A beautiful country, with abundant water from all directions, stunning landscapes that surprise anew in every region. Kind and friendly people. Rich natural trails of all kinds, sheep and deer, and adorable Cocker Spaniels. There’s no doubt that Scotland has left us with a taste for more.

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