Top family holidays to enjoy in Scotland this winter
Port Charlotte Hotel, Islay
Escape for an island adventure with the family in this boutique hotel on Islay. Hosting a rage of live music nights in the summer, the hotel is also a foodie destination all year round thanks to its recommendation in the Michelin and Good Food Guides.
Kids are sure to love the variety of wildlife, as well as being close to the sea. Why not take a walk or a horse ride at Machrie Bay for some wild Atlantic action and, if you have a camp stove, buy some scallops or prawns at a good price from Islay Crab Exports near the airport and fry them up al fresco while the kids play in the endless sands? A drive down to Portnahaven is a must. An Tigh Seinne serves up good hot food and a nice pint. Once you have polished that off, you can sit and watch the seals bob about in the harbour.
The Tree Howf Treehouse, Perthshire
Taken straight from Tarzan, The Tree Howf treehouse beautifully intertwines with the branches of an ancient ash tree, which the kids will love.
Furnished with a kitchen, rustic king sized bed, hot shower, toilet, as well as a spacious viewing platform, you’d be hard pushed to find a luxury you wouldn’t find in your own home.
Guests can test their cooking skills on the unique wood burning stove, or on the outdoor barbecue and fire pit if the weather is on your side.
Auchrannie Resort, Arran
This popular resort offers families a welcome break whilst only being about two and a half hours from Glasgow. Smaller children will no doubt enjoy the ferry crossing whereas older kids can look forward to a range of activities once they arrive at Auchrannie. As well as a spa and golf for Mum and Dad, kids can enjoy the resort’s special family prices and packages that include access to the leisure facilities and Playbarn.
The resort also offers half-day sea kayaking sessions for families (children must be aged 10 or over) with experienced, qualified instructors. The coastal waters are sheltered, fringed with stunning scenery and plenty of wildlife - and there’s no better way to explore it all than by sea kayak.
Cambo Estate, Fife
With the recently opened visitor centre that includes a cosy cafe, edible garden and chance to see inside stables, Cambo Estate is a great location for families this autumn/winter. The estate has a range of self catering accommodation including apartments, cottages and the Cambo Woodland Retreat, all of which are perfect for exploring the estate grounds and gardens.
The East Neuk of Fife also offers great road trip potential, from a chippy and trip to the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther and award-winning ice cream and glarious beaches in St Andrews to a heavenly hot chocolate and crepes in Pittenweem, there’s plenty to keep kids amused.
The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
Splash out on a five star family trip by staying in one of the capital’s most iconic hotels. With views of Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town and Arthur’s Seat plus a relaxing spa and well stocked whisky bar, there’s plenty for the adults to enjoy. Kids are not forgotten though, and can look forward to toy boxes, kid-friendly toiletries, a teddy turndown service, manicures and their own bathrobes and slippers.
Harry Potter fans will be thrilled to know that the hotel hosted J.K Rowling when she was writing the final book and has since named a suite in her honour, decorated, of course, in a suitably magical style.
Attractions such as Dynamic Earth, the Edinburgh Dungeon and the Camera Obscura will keep little ones amused when they are not living it up in the hotel.
Harvest Moon Holidays, East Lothian
Seven treehouses, which can sleep up to eight people, can be found on one of East Lothian’s most beautiful farms just 40 minutes from Edinburgh,
Harvest Moon’s safari tents have wood-burning stoves, en suite WCs and Hot showers. On site there is also a farm shop, BBQ and campfire facilities and a fun Kids Corner with chickens, ducks, bunnies, lambs and ponies all sure to entertain the children.
High Seas Hobbit Huts, Aberdeenshire
There are few places that look as comfortable as the Hobbit homes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and now you can experience your own little piece of Hobbiton with a stay in these wonderfully unique little glamping huts.
Based on a farm near Fraserburgh in north east Scotland, the insulated huts offer the perfect way to stay warm at night as well as being a great base for exploring Scotland’s rugged coastline - with stunning views over the Moray Firth, where you can often spot dolphins – during the winter months.
Sleeping two or four (depending on which one of the two you pick) the Hobbits come with showering facilities, a fire pit and even an award-winning toilet housed in a huge disused whisky barrel nearby.
Lazy Duck, Aviemore
Offering a range of different, eco accommodation, from a Lambing Bothy to a Hostel, the Lazy Duck is a small retreat only 20 minutes away from Aviemore. With the option to use the wood fired sauna and hot tub on-site, local and fresh (on your doorstep) produce available and many nearby walks, restaurants, beautiful views and distilleries, the Lazy Duck offers a quirky place to enjoy for a weekend or longer.
Kids will enjoy the great outdoors but when they get tired of running around, why not take them to the nearby leisure pool in Aviemore or check out Smarty Art, a ceramic painting studio just four miles from the campsite?
• READ MORE: Travel: The Treehouse’s at Harvest Moon Holidays