Scotland

Scottish Highlands Family Adventure

  • Overview
    Starts at

    $4590

    Duration

    9 days

    Activity Level

    Moderate

    Our moderate adventures are similar to our easy adventures, but you’ll spend more time on your feet.
    Minimum Age

    6

    Ideal Age

    8+

    Meals

    6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

    Explore the mystique, enchantment and magic of the Scottish Highlands on this family vacation. As your family travels around some of the most gorgeous wilderness in the world, you’ll search national parks and meet reindeer, visit Brodie Castle and kayak in clear water off a white sand beach. This is an adventure your family will never forget!

    A Taste of Wizardry

    Sip tea in the Elephant House, a cafe where an unknown JK Rowling wrote much of the first book. Visit the spired George Heriot school — or is it Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Walk the winding, cobblestoned Victoria Street – Harry Potter fans will know it is actually Diagon Alley, where wizards purchase their magical trappings.

    Friends Across Borders – Scottish Style!

    Not only will you meet local kids, you’ll learn to play their favorite game – Shinty! Known as the favored sport in the Scottish Highlands, you’ll learn the unique rules and features of this ball and stick game.

    Meet and Feed a Herd of Reindeer

    Take a mountain bike ride to Cairngorm Mountain, which is home to a vast population of friendly reindeer that you can cozy up to and feed by hand.

    Explore the Lowes Wildlife Reserve

    This 217 acre wildlife reserve is home to ospreys, otters, deer and woodland birds. Learn about their conservation efforts on a hike around the loch.

    Travel Back in Time at the Highland Folk Museum

    At this open-air museum, your family will experience what life was like in the highlands dating all the way back to the 1700s.

  • Itinerary

    Day 1

    Fly to Inverness, Scotland


    Days 2-3

    Cairngorms National Park

    Visit Brodie Castle

    Make a stop in Moray to visit the turreted Brodie Castle with its centuries-old family history.

    Meet the Reindeer of Cairngorm Mountain

    Take a leisurely hike to the hilltop location where free-ranging reindeer live. Standing in their midst, you can stroke their fur and hand feed them some of their favorite foods while you learn about their history in the park.

    Rothiemurchus Forest

    Cycle along ancient woodland trails through magnificent Caledonian Pine forest, looking for red squirrel and capercaillie birds.

    Cycling Cairngorms National Park

    Enjoy cycling in the national park, known for having both easy and challenging trails.


    Days 4-5

    Fort William

    Hiking Glen Nevis

    Enjoy the ‘best short hike’ in Scotland on a 2.5-mile jaunt through wildflower strewn meadows and dramatic views to the Steall Waterfall, the second highest in Scotland.

    Friends Across Borders: The Highland Game of Shinty

    Watch a demonstration of a sport that is played passionately in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland – shinty. This is a Celtic game that is very similar to hurling in Ireland. Watch as the locals show you how it is done and then have a go yourself!

    Sea Kayaking with Seals

    With its hundreds of islands, islets and abundance of marine mammals, the Sound of Arisaig is a perfect place for sea-kayaking. Board your sturdy vessel and paddle through the sheltered waters of Arisaig Bay, a photogenic wonderland, and delight in the company of gregarious seals. Keep an eye out for otters, dolphins and porpoises that frequent the area.

    The Morar Coast

    Head out along the famous ‘road to the isles’ and take a wander along the beautiful beaches of the Morar Coast to see what treasures can be found.


    Days 6-7

    Crieff

    Discover Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve

    Set out for the beautiful Loch of the Lowes, set in a 217-acre wildlife reserve. Interactive displays at the reserve’s Visitor Center offer a window into the natural history of the Loch. A hike around the lake provides opportunity to see ospreys, red squirrels, otters, deer and woodland birds while learning about the extensive conservation efforts of the region.

    Hike Glencoe

    Head to the dramatic scenery of Glencoe for a hike around a beautiful lochan surrounded by North American trees. This restful woodland was planted in the 1890s by Lord Strathcona for his homesick Canadian wife.

    Canoe Loch Tay

    Drive to Loch Tay and board canoes to explore the shoreline of this narrow, 15-mile-long body of water nestled in an emerald valley. Dozens of small farming communities once rimmed the loch, and their remains are visible from your boat. As you follow the shore, you’ll see ancient stone circles and standing stones that indicate much older settlements. Enjoy lunch on the shores of the loch.

    Visit a Crannog in Loch Tay

    Visit an ancient dwelling built on stilts in a loch, the oldest crannog home dates back 5,000 years! The beautiful Loch Tay holds eighteen crannogs, though most are now submerged. You’ll have the special treat of visiting one, reconstructed from the Iron Age, 2,500 years ago.


    Day 8

    Edinburgh

    Discover Harry Potter

    Meet up with your guide, a local expert. Spend the morning on a private walk to some of the sights that inspired the Harry Potter books – most of which were written in Edinburgh.


    Day 9

    Depart Edinburgh


  • Dates & Prices

    2020 Dates


    06/27-07/05

    Adult $4590
    Teen $4590
    Child $4390

    08/01-08/09

    Adult $4590
    Teen $4590
    Child $4390

    Additional Info

    Smart Traveler Advantages

    Book a trip 9 months ahead of the day that you want to leave and get a free GoPro and Travel Protection!

    Triple Discount

    $200 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults

    Single Supplement

    Additional $690 for single accommodations

    Alumni Discount 

    If you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices.

    Travel Insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We’ve received great feedback about Travel Insured – you can learn more about the benefits of travel insurance there.

    Price Includes

    All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bilingual guide throughout, all meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle.

    Guaranteed departure. Surcharge applied to groups smaller than 4 guests.

  • Hotels

    Grant Arms Hotel

    The Grant Arms Hotel is located in Cairngorms National Park. Amenities include Wi-Fi, a hair dryer, color TV and telephone. The hotel has a restaurant and lounge.

    Nevis Bank Inn

    The Nevis Bank Inn is located on the River Nevis in Fort William. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and hair dryer, and the hotel has a restaurant.

    Crieff Hydro Hotel

    The Crieff Hydro Hotel is located in Perthshire. Amenties include free Wi-Fi, a hair dryer, safe and TV. The hotel has restaurants, a pool, spa, gym and many kid-friendly activities.

    Bruntsfield Hotel

    Bruntsfield Hotel is located a short walk from Edinburgh’s city center. Amenities include free Wi-fi, a safe deposit box and TV. The hotel has a restaurant and lounge.

    Thomson Family Adventures will attempt to adhere to this itinerary and its hotels as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or availability) may necessitate changes in the accommodations.

  • Extend Your Trip
    • Extension
    Starts at

    $1790

    Duration

    3 days

    Activity Level

    Easy

    • Extension
    Starts at

    $2490

    Duration

    4 days

    Activity Level

    Easy

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Starts at

$5090

Duration

11 days

Activity Level

Active

Active trips revolve around multi-sport activities that keep your family outside and having fun! Your family will spend more time interacting with the elements and exploring than sitting on a beach or inside of a museum. These activities are not always physically demanding but they can be and do require a basic level of fitness.
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