Scotland

Scottish Highlands Family Adventure

  • Overview
    Starts at

    $4490

    Duration

    8 days

    Activity Level

    Moderate

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

    Recommended Age: 8+

    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

    Aviemore

    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 its 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!

    Fish and Chips Lunch

    In the tiny, picturesque village of Mallaig, enjoy a traditional lunch and take in the stunning views.

    Sea Kayaking with Seals

    With its hundreds of islands and 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 too, for otters, dolphins, and porpoises that frequent the area.

    Beaches of Arisaig

    Walk the ‘Old Road to the Isles’ to the beach of Airsaig with its large seal colony, and watch for porpoises and dolphins in the surf.


    Days 6-7

    Crieff

    Discover Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve

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

    Hike Glencoe

    The adventure continues today as we head to the dramatic Glencoe to 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

    Take a short drive to Loch Tay this morning and board canoes to explore the shoreline of this narrow, 15-mile-long body of water nestled into 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 also 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

    An ancient dwelling built on stilts in a loch, the oldest crannog home dates back 5,000 years! Visit Loch Tay to see a reconstructed crannog from the Iron Age.


    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.

    Farewell Dinner

    Say goodbye to your guide and fellow travelers over a farewell dinner.


    Day 9

    Depart Edinburgh, Scotland


  • Dates & Prices

    2019 Dates


    07/26-08/02

    Call for Availability
    Adult $4490
    Teen $4490
    Child $4290


    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

    Located in Cairngorms National Park, the Grant Arms is known as the UK’s Wildlife Hotel. Having been renovated to modern standards since Queen Victoria stayed here in 1860, the hotel offers 50 bedrooms with tea and coffee makers, color television, bathroom amenities and hairdryer. The restaurant features as much locally produced food as possible and prides itself on the availability of organic and free range options.

    Nevis Bank Inn

    The Nevis Bank Inn is in the perfect location to explore one of the most beautiful glens in the entire United Kingdom. No matter where you look, when you’re at the Nevis Bank Inn adventure and natural beauty are never far. The inn sits on the bank of the Nevis River, at the entry way to the Nevis Glen, and on the famed trail of the West Highland Way. The rooms are large and comfortable; the staff is friendly and helpful; and with free Wi-Fi and a delicious onsite restaurant, there is no better place for your family to stay in the West Scottish Highlands!

    Crieff Hydro Hotel

    This luxury yet family friendly hotel is set in the heart of Perthshire, in the midst of Scotland’s great outdoors. Enjoy fresh air and glorious surroundings! With spacious, comfortable rooms, pool, spa, gym and games there is nothing your family will want for.

    Bruntsfield Hotel

    A townhouse hotel overlooking the park, the 4 star Bruntsfield is a short walk to Edinburgh’s city center. All rooms offer comfortable bedding and duvets, safe deposit box, large screen television, bathroom amenities and no-charge Wi-Fi. The Bisque Brasserie & Bar offers casual gourmet dining.

    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.

  • Why Thomson

    Guaranteed Departures

    No matter what happens, once your family books a trip you’re going.

    Guides

    Be accompanied for your entire trip by an expert local in-country guide who will know all of the ins and outs of the adventure and destination.

    Small Groups

    With a small group you’ll have plenty of time for spontaneity and to develop a connection with your fellow travelers and guide.

    Smart Traveler Advantages

    Book your trip 9 months in advance and get access to all of the advantages that come with being a smart traveler; from Travel Protection to a brand new GoPro.

    Friends Across Borders

    Your child will have a cultural connection like no other by meeting kids the same age from the country you’re traveling by playing games, throwing a Frisbee, kicking a ball around, or just chatting. Ask us about our pen pal program.

From the Blog

Read the latest from our team, get inspired, and learn about the best family travel destinations.

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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.
Starts at

$6190

Duration

9 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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