Scotland is blessed with natural beauty; rich cultural heritage; fascinating historic sites; and warm, welcoming people. Throw in lots of opportunity for outdoor activities, fun legends to explore and hotels that cater to the whole family and you’ve got the recipe for the ideal family vacation destination. Several of Luxury Scotland’s member properties help make traveling with the whole family easier and more enjoyable through luxury in-room amenities for baby, programs geared exclusively to kids and extensive outdoor activities best enjoyed together.
Families with an itch to get out and explore the rugged Scottish highlands will find plenty of ways to do so at the Torridon Hotel. Surrounded by stunning mountains and crystal sea lochs, the Torridon offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for families through their highly acclaimed Activity Center. Paddling trips through the stunning lochs in an open canoe or kayak are ideal for families with children age 8 and up. The coastline provides a unique and diverse environment to explore, with mountain views and clear water that is home to porpoise, dolphin and otter. Older children, ages 10 and up, will love gorge scrambling, a uniquely British pursuit that involves traveling through a steep sided gorge following the course of the river through sliding or swimming down rapids, floating down fast-flowing chutes and waves, climbing beside waterfalls, and jumping off ledges into deep pools. For those who prefer a gentler sporting experience, archery lessons are available for adults and children of all ages. This ancient sport is easy to get the hang of and fun for families to pursue together.
The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews is best known for its association with one of the oldest and most revered golf courses in the world. And with its unique Luxury Kids Programme, the hotel is also gaining a reputation for its keen attention to detail when it comes to the younger set. The special treatment begins with a customized check-in just for children, where they’ll receive a welcome pack complete with coloring book and pens. Once in the room, kids will love the Old Course teddy bear (theirs to take home) and toy chest full of treasures to play with, while parents with babies will appreciate luxury amenities like a massaging cot with changing sheet, baby bath set with thermometer and robe, and in-room bottle warmer. Older kids get the royal treatment at the Old Course Hotel as well, with a hotel “quiz” that allows them to explore every nook and cranny of the property looking for answers to clues, in-room PlayStation, and complimentary “mocktails” with dinner. And of course, this being St. Andrews, complimentary golf lessons at The Duke’s are available for children that meet the height requirement.
At the 5-star Rocpool Reserve Hotel in Inverness, families get the royal treatment both on and off property. While at the hotel, children are kept entertained with a host of board games, child-friendly DVDs and X-Box systems, all of which can be used in the room. Those who would like to explore the area and learn a bit of Scottish lore will want to check out the nearby Loch Ness Exhibition Center and journey out into the water with a Loch Ness boat trip in search of Nessie. The Exhibition Center takes visitors through seven themed areas that span from the dawn of time to the third millennium. Using high-tech, multimedia exhibits, guests can chart the history of the loch’s well-known monster before heading out on a boat excursion in search of a glimpse of Nessie. Arrangements for the Exhibition Center as well as the boat trip can be arranged through the hotel’s concierge desk.