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NOW CLOSED Ever been on a family holiday to Scotland? Or fancy going on one? Share your thoughts with VisitScotland - there are 5 fantastic prizes to be won!

(198 Posts)
AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 28-Feb-13 12:01:38

VisitScotland would like to hear from those of you who've been on a family holiday to Scotland - or are planning one. Here's what they say:

"This year we are celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland and invite you to come and celebrate our outstanding natural beauty throughout 2013. We are a family friendly nation with loads to offer on a family holiday; from wildlife like the bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth, to the capercaillie of the central Highlands and the thousands of seals and puffins inhabiting our beautiful coastline. For city seekers, we have seven, all with a wealth of things to see and do on a family break. Visit our website to start your planning today! Also check out Embrace Scotland which has over 2,500 quality assured self catering properties across Scotland."

They're interested to know where you think the best places are for children to visit? Which regions cater for children best? Are you better off wandering the great outdoors with them or visiting a specific attraction? Would they have more fun in the countryside, Highlands or Islands or in one of Scotland?s seven cities?

If you haven't yet been on a family holiday to Scotland but are planning one (or just daydreaming of an escape!), please take a look at VisitScotland's family web section for some inspiration and share your thoughts on this thread.

Good value breaks are easy to find with a range of passes to enjoy savings, and we have 5 of these to give away! Everyone who adds their comments will be entered into a prize draw to win one of:

~ 2 x family passes from the National Trust for Scotland with attractions ranging from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum to Crathes Castle, Garden and Estate. (worth £168, Valid for one year)

~ A 3 day family Edinburgh pass for entry into a wide range of tourist attractions in Edinburgh from Dynamic Earth to the Edinburgh Dungeon. (worth £158)

~ 2 x 3 day family Explorer Passes from Historic Scotland with attractions ranging from the Royal Castles of Edinburgh & Stirling to the ancient mystical sites of Skara Brae and Maeshowe on Orkney. (worth £116)

Also, if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a 4* break in Melfort Village, Argyll please enter the separate Mumsnet VisitScotland competition here

Piffpaffpoff Thu 28-Feb-13 13:21:57

I like the Aviemore area for things to do with the kids, there's the Landmark Centre in Carrbridge, the Cairngorm Funicular, the Museum of Highland life in Newtonmore (which is free!), the steam trains at Aviemore and lots and lots of family friendly walks and cycles all around. And then the beach at Loch Morlich too. More than enough to fill a holiday.

CMOTDibbler Thu 28-Feb-13 13:23:49

We like family holidays with a mix of activities - so some days walking, some at attractions, some in towns. And that helps to work around the weather too.

We are hoping to go to Scotland this year as a family - but dh would like to go to the islands, and I'd like us to go to Edinburgh (where I go fairly often for work and love), so we're fighting it out!

Skullnbones Thu 28-Feb-13 13:24:07

We actually live I'm Scotland and have weekends away here all the time. We have so much on our doorstep I don't see the need to go much further until the kids are older. We have done city breaks to country! And found most places to be child friendly too. We want to do the islands next. All I would say is bring a mac, it rains A lot

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 13:26:24

I second what PiffPaffPoff says. The Aviemore (and Kingussie) area is brilliant for kids. Also the west coast - boat trips from Oban etc, although that gets expensive. Personally the cities aren't for me, it's the Highlands all the way!

mercibucket Thu 28-Feb-13 13:29:28

I'd love to visit the highlands and also the shetland and orkney islands with the kids. The cities hold less appeal for a family holiday. I'm put off by the idea of all the midges though - are they that bad?

mercibucket Thu 28-Feb-13 13:29:30

I'd love to visit the highlands and also the shetland and orkney islands with the kids. The cities hold less appeal for a family holiday. I'm put off by the idea of all the midges though - are they that bad?

We holiday there every year always at the same place (visiting family), near Loch Lomond. Every year we find more and more to do even though we always stay in the same place, my tip for English people is to visit in the last two weeks in August after the Scottish children have gone back to school, we go at that time each year. People say to us that the midges will be bad, but we've never had any problems.

We have English Heritage and National Trust memberships, so use those in Scotland. THe children like all the ruined castles as well as the lochs and waterfalls, last year they enjoyed visiting Dumbarton and Kilchurn castles. We also enjoyed the Oban Highland Gathering.

We don't tend to visit the cities, we prefer outdoor activities on holiday, but inevitably the rain drives us indoors sometimes, we have enjoyed the Glasgow Science Centre, the Transport Museum (not been since it moved) and the Kelvingrove Museum with them.

leelo Thu 28-Feb-13 13:33:50

i also live in scotland. we mainly go on train journeys to largs, ayr, troon beach. but if we're feeling adventurous we get the ferry to Arran or Millport. usually we do day trips to Edinburgh to visit the castle or go to the zoo. we try to go to places with good places for children and easy places to eat and access to clean toilets. we love collecting interesting interesting things to show at school or make scrap books from our visits.

lisad123everybodydancenow Thu 28-Feb-13 13:35:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

firawla Thu 28-Feb-13 13:36:40

I've been to scotland before but not with the dc. Been to edinburgh, glasgow, inverness and the scottish highlands. Would like to go again as a family, I would probably think of edinburgh first. Where we went in the highlands was very very deserted and isolated, it was just someone's house and it wasn't really near anything so don't think that would be too suitable, but something like one of the islands off of scotland which is geared up for tourists etc then that could be good

firawla Thu 28-Feb-13 13:37:08

lisa i just changed it to email address in that space and it went through ok

MariusEarlobe Thu 28-Feb-13 13:42:32

I love Scotland, parts of it are stunningly pretty.
We like Edinburgh for the castle and the museums but dd is desperate to catch the sleeper train to fort William.

gazzalw Thu 28-Feb-13 13:44:03

Our DS was conceived in Scotland so it has a special meaning for us and obviously worked its magic grin!

We have been on one family holiday to Glasgow (staying with friends) when the DCs were a lot younger. The Wallace Collection was fab - we walked there (a long one) and not only enjoyed the art but also the house and the gardens. We had a fabulous time, did loads of walking, took in all the sites, managed to get to Edinburgh (which is just about my favourite city in the whole World) and even got out into the countryside to Loch Lomond.

Not sure whether its our combined Scottish ancestry coming out but there is something very special, historical and magical about Scotland - maybe it's all the majesty of the mountains and heather!

Now the children are getting older we would love to go up to the north of Scotland and have a fantastic walking based trip.

I grew up in Scotland but haven't been back for over 10 years shock
We live on the South Coast of England and it has felt a bit too far to travel with children and dogs. However, we are planning a trip this Summer - so excited!
Dh has 'done' the west coast extensively, but never been to Edinburgh, so we're hoping to 'do' the East Neuk of Fife and down to Edinburgh. Dd wants to go to Edinburgh Zoo and see the pandas! I want to take her to the Museum of Childhood.
I've been spending loads of time on the Visitscotland website looking for ideas - I can't wait to visit and show my family around. I know they'll love the beaches, particularly Tentsmuir and the West Sands. Am hoping all the bakeries I remember are still there and ice cream shopssmile
I'm so excitedgringringrin

racingheart Thu 28-Feb-13 13:52:42

We visit Scotland once every couple of years as close family live up there. Also, used to live near Scotland as a child so had many holidays there and happy memories of Galloway and Islay and Jura. We celebrated my dad's 70th by hiring a huge house on the east coast and getting the whole family back together. Blissful times.

These days we usually stay near Largs. Love Nardini's for fish & chips & ice cream, and Kelburn Castle with its enchanted wood. DC have loved it since they were tiny, because it's just different enough to feel foreign - different money, some different words and food, but familiar enough for them to feel comfortable. great place to holiday when kids are tiny. Largs has the best playparks I've ever seen.

Piggychunk Thu 28-Feb-13 13:56:16

We have been to the highlands for the last 2 summers. So Far our best day trip was to hire a boat on Loch Goil and spend half a day spotting seals and fishing.

haggisaggis Thu 28-Feb-13 14:07:27

Live in Scotland too but generally have 2 holidays a year in Assynt. Kids are older though so will put up with walking / geocaching and when teh weather's bad are happy to sit and chill inside (we self cater). When tehy were younger we woudl go to Aviemore which has a lot to keep kids occupied - Landmark at Carrbridge is fantastic (we will still make day trips there) as well as teh wildlife park and the funicular railway on Cairngorm. Also regularly went to Arran - it's a good spot for outdoors stuff, although again there is not much indoors if teh weather's bad.

Belmo Thu 28-Feb-13 14:11:30

Live in Scotland too, is that cheating?! Locally I love Mill Farm in Livingston, there's loads to do for wee people. The museum in Edinburgh is fab and free, and I love the zoo too although it costs a fortune.
Holidays we've been on and really enjoyed recently were Loch Ness (bit cliched and touristy but it was good!) and Ullapool.
Never been to any of the islands but I'd like to.

HazelDormouse Thu 28-Feb-13 14:11:32

I always liked holidays in North Berwick. Pleasant coastal town with the advantage that it is approximately half an hour train journey to Edinburgh city centre. Sunshine/mild weather - beach. Rain - Edinburgh (and no problems with parking the car).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 28-Feb-13 14:12:28

I live in Scotland too... When I was wee every holiday was to Arran, staying in a self catering cottage or sometimes a B&B.

Now the tradition continues.... We have a big family get together every year and I am introducing my toddler to all my favourite bits, and finding new ones. Brodick Castle is always great (good playground). The only slight issue is that lots of things are closed out of season.

OldBagWantsNewBag Thu 28-Feb-13 14:14:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

weenwee Thu 28-Feb-13 14:16:11

With a VERY active 2 year old, what do you recommend as a great place whether rain or shine? (We always get rained out, and he gets cabin fever like crazy!)

ClimbingPenguin Thu 28-Feb-13 14:21:33

We do family holidays to Scotland as I am a munro bagger.

Last time we stayed near Killin, which had lots of short walks to do as a family and mountains for me to go up. On the days I went up the mountains DH took children to some nearby castles and a safari park. Was about an hours drive for him but he managed to combine it with their naps (Were one and two). We stopped by Loch Lomond on the way up and also did a morning of doing one the boat trips.

We are off again in June (if I get round to booking it) and will be trying Fort William this time

orangepudding Thu 28-Feb-13 14:25:58

I've been to St Andrews on holiday a few times. I took my oldest when she was 10 months old - she's now 10.
Would love to go back as the beach was lovely. Would take a car and explore the Highlands, I think my children would love going to the islands too. As a family we enjoy camping but I worry Scotland will be too cold!

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