Home » Amazing 5-Day Scotland Itinerary for Families

Amazing 5-Day Scotland Itinerary for Families

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Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

Misty, mysterious, green rolling hills are a notable part of the gorgeous country of Scotland, but they are not all Scotland has to offer. This relatively small country boasts charming towns, unique outdoor experiences, and fantasy-inducing sights.

Our boys at St. Giles’ Cathedral near the Edinburgh Castle

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Great Itinerary for Families in Scotland

Scotland is best explored in two to three weeks, but if you are on a time crunch like we were, you can still enjoy many of Scotland’s best highlights in a few days.

Day 1: Edinburgh

  • Morning: Arrive in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.
  • Afternoon: Explore Edinburgh Castle, a fascinating historical site that offers stunning city views. Book tickets well in advance, as they sell out quickly!
  • Evening: Stroll down the Royal Mile, do a self-guided Harry Potter Tour, and enjoy vibrant streets with shops, street performers, and charming architecture.

Day 2: Edinburgh

  • Morning: Visit the dynamic and interactive Museum of Scotland, which has something for all ages.
  • Afternoon: Spend time at the Holyrood Palace and the surrounding Holyrood Park. Hike up Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, for panoramic views.
  • Evening: Enjoy a family-friendly ghost tour to hear spooky tales and legends of Edinburgh.
Exploring the Loch Ness

Day 3: Highlands

  • Morning: Drive or take a guided tour of the Scottish Highlands. The scenic journey is quite an experience in itself.
  • Afternoon: Explore Loch Ness and take a boat tour to search for the famous Loch Ness Monster. Visit the Loch Ness Museum, and learn all about Nessie!
  • Evening: Check into your accommodations in the Highland region.

Day 4: The Highlands

  • Morning: Visit the Culloden Battlefield, where the historic battle of Culloden took place. The visitor center showcases engaging exhibits, so make sure to stop in.
  • Afternoon: Head to the Glenfinnan Viaduct (also known as the Harry Potter Bridge) and take a train ride on the real-life Hogwarts Express. Tickets for the Jacobite Train are here. Sadly, even though we had purchased tickets in advance, this was closed for repair on our visit. However, I still recommend advance purchase of tickets, as they do sell out early.
  • Evening: Relax in the Highland scenery, perhaps with a gentle hike or family time by a picturesque loch.
Tour at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions for the day

Day 5: Glasgow and Back to Edinburgh

  • Morning: Wake early and travel to Glasglow, Scotland’s largest city. Enjoy walking the city and doing some shopping on Buchanan Street. Enjoy the fabulous street art.
  • Afternoon: Take the kids to a museum like the Sharmanka Kinetic Theater. Catch the show and enjoy the sculptures.
  • Evening: Return to Edinburgh, and prepare to head home.

More Things To Do in Scotland With Kids

We loved The Royal Tattoo in front of the Edinburgh Castle


✔️ National Museum of Scotland – Interactive museum worthy of several days of exploring.

✔️ Calton Hill – Quick hike for beautiful city views.

✔️ Princes Street Gardens – Kids will love the playground.

✔️ Camera Obscura and World of Illusions – This interactive museum is a hit with kids, featuring optical illusions, holograms, and a rooftop Camera Obscura, providing amazing views of the city. This was one of our favorite things we did in Scotland! It’s such a fun museum.

✔️ Dynamic Earth – An immersive science center that educates and entertains with exhibits about the Earth’s history, geology, and natural phenomena.

✔️ Royal Yacht Britannia – Tour the floating palace of Queen Victoria, which was in service for 40+ years. The tea rooms offer excellent food and scones.

✔️ The Royal Tattoo – This historical and hugely popular performance at Edinburgh Castle is a must-see if you are visiting at the right time of year.

✔️ Active Kids Adventure Park – One hour from Edinburgh, this farm complex has lots of activities for kids to get all their energy out.

Where To Stay in Edinburgh With Kids

  • Apex Waterloo Place Hotel – is located in Old Town Edinburgh. Some of the nearby landmarks are the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. There is an indoor pool that the kids can enjoy.
  • Virgin Hotels Edinburgh – is a 5-star luxury hotel near Grassmarket. They provide a free crib for your little one.
  • Murrayfield Hotel – is a 4-star hotel near Edinburgh Castle. Some attractions worth visiting are the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and the Royal Botanic Garden.
What it looks like inside Camera Obscura and World of Illusions with kids


✔️ Cycle to the Falkirk Wheel – This impressive engineering feat connects canals and is quite a sight to see. Rent some bikes as a family, and enjoy riding around.

✔️ Glasgow Science Centre – Engaging exhibits, planetarium shows, and hands-on activities make this a great destination for learning and fun.

✔️ Riverside Museum – Kids will love the old street car and play areas at this award-winning transport museum.

✔️ The Tall Ship Glenlee – Kids can learn how to care for a ship, including swabbing the deck.

✔️ Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – Explore an impressive collection of art and artifacts, including the famous Salvador Dali painting “Christ of St John of the Cross.”

✔️ Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park (Stirling) – Between Edinburgh and Glasglow, this extensive safari park showcases animals from around the world, a large adventure playground, and a sea lion show.

✔️ Falkirk and The Kelpies – You can visit the giant metallic horsehead sculptures between Glasglow and Edinburgh.

✔️ The University of Glasgow – Harry Potter fans will love the beautiful campus that screams Hogwarts inspo!

✔️ Glasgow Police Museum – A small museum where kids can learn all about the roles and responsibilities of police officers.

✔️Glasgow Quest Adventure – Purchase the activity and use the app for a scavenger hunt around the city.

Where To Stay in Glasgow With Kids

  • Carlton George Hotel is nested in the City Centre of Glasgow. This 4-star hotel provides family-friendly facilities to make your stay comfortable.
  • Native Glasgow – is an aparthotel in the City Centre of Glasgow. Each unit has its own kitchen where you can prepare and cook food for the family.
Fish and chips at House of Bruar


✔️ Nevis Centre Spectrum Indoor Playground – This is a good option for a rainy day and is close to the train station in Fort William.

✔️ Hiking near Glencoe – Explore walks and hikes in the area, such as the Lost Valley Hike.

✔️ House of Bruar – This is a great pit stop on your drive into the Highlands. Enjoy amazing fish and chips, shop in specialty stores, and explore a castle.

✔️ Aviemore and the Cairngorm Mountains – We stayed in Aviemore for a couple of nights. We loved the remote feeling and what a great base camp it was for the Highlands.

✔️ Highland Folk Museum – Free open-air museum. See how locals lived in the 1800s and 1900s.

✔️ Highland Wildlife Park Close to Aviemore and Newtonmore, this park has a drive-through section and a walk-through section.

✔️ Explore Fort William – It’s a cute town with some yummy food options and shopping. Jaffy’s Fish & Chips Takeaway and Deli Shop offers a great lunch, or check out Bloom and Graze for some sweets.

✔️ Black Isle. Grab some of the best ice cream in the world at Black Isle Dairy.

Where To Stay In The Highlands With Kids

  • Macdonald Aviemore Resort is close to the train station and theme parks. You can also do cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding, or check out other outdoor activities such as sledding.
Having a tea break at the Royal Yacht Britannia during our visit

Isle of Skye

✔️ Old Man of Storr Hike. This hike takes a little over an hour to complete, and you’ll enjoy a closer view of the ‘Old Man’ rock.

✔️ Brother’s Point Hike. Enjoy beautiful views of the water and wildlife.

✔️ Fairy Pools Hike. Older kids will enjoy a hike to the Fairy Pools, a series of stunning natural pools and waterfalls.

✔️ Isle of Skye Boat Cruise. Take in more of the amazing views by boat.

✔️ Fairy Glen Hike. Spot fairies on this easy hike for kids.

✔️ Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. Kids may be over castles at this point, but if not, this is another great option!

Where To Stay in the Isle of Skye With Kids

  • The Sligachan Hotel is a 3-star hotel on the Isle of Skye and has 21 rooms for single travelers, couples, and families.
  • The Bosville is a few minutes away from The Brother’s Point and Isle of Skye Oysters.
  • Duisdale House Hotel is in a rural area and near the beach. Some of the cultural highlights are the Museum of the Isles and the Giant MacAskill Museum.
Gazing over downtown Edinburgh


✔️ Highland Wildlife Park (Kingussie): Just a quick jaunt outside of Inverness, you can drive through this park to see a variety of animals native to Scotland and other parts of the world, including reindeer, bison, and Scottish wildcats.

✔️ Landmark Forest Adventure Park (Carrbridge) – An outdoor adventure park with treetop walks, water rides, and activities suitable for various age groups.

✔️ Moray Firth – Spot dolphins off this northern shore. Western Isle Cruises does one-hour tours of the bay, and you can see birds, seals, porpoises, dolphins, whales, and basking sharks on this wildlife cruise.

✔️ Dunrobin Castle – Opulent castle from the 1400s with falconry displays.

✔️ Culloden Moor – A visitor center and sober history lesson for the family await you here.

✔️ Urquhart Castle – Prebook tickets in advance and enjoy views over Loch Ness.

Spotting unicorns around the city, Scotland’s national animal

Where To Stay in Inverness With Kids

  • Kingsmills Hotel is a cozy, family-friendly hotel near Inverness Castle. Other recommended landmarks are Inverness Cathedral and Eden Court Theatre.
  • Ness Walk is a luxury hotel located in the city center. Want to explore the area’s natural beauty? Visit Merkinch Local Nature Reserve and Merkinch Local Nature Reserve, which are a few minutes away from the hotel.

Southern Scotland

✔️ Culzean Castle and Country Park (Ayrshire): This historic castle features picturesque grounds, a playpark, and family-friendly events.

✔️ Pony Trekking: Many places offer pony trekking experiences suitable for kids, allowing them to explore the countryside on horseback.

Where To Stay in Southern Scotland With Kids

  • Loch Fyne Hotel And Spa is close to Inveraray Castle. You can enjoy a body scrub, a facial, or a Swedish massage at their onsite spa.
  • Perle Oban Hotel & Spa offers a full-service spa and steam room. Some of the attractions nearby are the Oban War and Peace Museum and Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds.
  • The Beach House is in a rural area and on a lake. The hotel offers a full-service spa.
Grabbing some amazing ice cream from Black Isle Dairy

Loch Lomond

✔️ Balloch Castle – Castle surrounded by lush forests. You are not able to access the inside of the castle itself, but that won’t stop the kids from living in their imaginations.

✔️ Devil’s Pulpit – Easy hike along the top of a canyon.

✔️Queen Elizabeth Park – Try the Waterfall Hike with interactive displays to teach the kids.

✔️ Inchmahome Priory – Explore this 700-year-old monastery accessed by a boat ride.

✔️ Conic Hill Hike – It is a popular hike with stunning Loch Lomond National Park views.

Where To Stay in Loch Lomond With Kids

  • Duck Bay Hotel is located in Alexandria, near the beach. Some of the fun attractions nearby are the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre and SEA LIFE Loch Lomond Aquarium.
  • The Beach House is in a rural area and on a lake. The hotel offers a full-service spa.
  • Ingliston Country Club Hotel is located in a rural area. Some landmarks nearby are Glasgow Science Centre and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Enjoy the onsite British cuisine restaurant, Palominos Restaurant.
Walking up to the Edinburgh Castle at sunset

Tips for Traveling to Scotland With Kids

  • Remember you’ll be driving on the left side of the road. We’ve visited the UK several times and lived in New Zealand for six months and still, it’s a challenge. 🙂 It’s totally doable, but it can be mentally tiring and requires all of your attention.
    • On that note, also remember that roads are potentially much narrower than where you live!
    • If you encounter a single-lane road, pull off to the left (or let the other car do it). You may need to reverse until one of you can slide by.
  • There is a good reason Scotland is so lush and green: rain!! Take advantage of any good weather days to get outside. Also, pack for rain! Pack waterproof clothing, layers, and comfortable walking shoes for adults and kids.
  • Remember that the country of Scotland is actually quite small. It’s not hard to drive the entire thing! Each destination is only 2-3 hours, max, from each other.
  • If you’re renting a car, bring or rent car seats. They are required, and you’ll be driving a lot.
  • English is the primary language, but there may be differences in accents and dialects. Encourage kids to ask for clarification if they have trouble understanding locals.
  • The currency used is the British Pound (GBP). Inform kids about different currencies and involve them in simple transactions to help them understand.
  • Scotland uses the UK’s Type G electrical outlets. If you have electronic devices, bring appropriate adapters and chargers.

There is so much to love in Scotland. Enjoy!!!



Plan your trip to Scotland and get some budget-friendly tickets from Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

Find a hotel in Scotland from Booking.com, Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com)

Discover more of Scotland while having fun through exciting activities from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator

Need to rent a car to navigate the city? Visit Rentalcars.com.

Get insured while traveling with World Nomads.

Want to have a photo shoot while in Scotland? Book a professional photographer from flytographer.

Capture your best travel memories in Scotland as we do with a GroPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

Additional Reading

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12 Wonderful Ways To Enjoy Rio With Kids

14 Best Ways To Enjoy Copenhagen With Kids

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