We get asked a lot of different questions about family travel in Scotland, some not for the first time. To help you get the answers you’re looking for we have compiled this list of the most frequently asked questions.
If the query you have isn’t here, don’t worry! You can either join our Facebook group and ask our community of like-minded travellers or send us an email and we’ll be happy to help you – firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, yes and yes! Scotland is the perfect place for families from across the world because there really is something here for every age. Not only is there an abundance of things to see, do and experience, Scotland is also super friendly and welcoming to all.
Peak season in Scotland is from June – August, though certain areas such as Edinburgh, Skye and Glasgow are busy all year round.
Scotland is an all-year-round destination but it’s no secret that it can be a little wet at times. The summer months are the busiest period so we always suggest visiting in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn. The weather in spring particularly can be fantastic (for Scotland) and everywhere is a little quieter and more cost-effective.
That very much depends on you, there is far too much to go through to suggest just one place. Have a think about what it is you and your family are hoping for from your visit. Is it heritage, adventure, the Highlands or the Edinburgh Festivals? Once you have an idea, pay our destinations page a visit for information on the whole of Scotland including what there is for kids (and adults) to make each area worth a visit!
This depends on what you want from your accommodation. Consider what you need in terms of rooms or beds, the budget you have, and what you’d like to make your trip special. Accommodation can really add to the adventure of your trip rather than detracting from it.
For more help, advice and information have a look at our accommodation page.
The dreaded Highland Midge (mid-gee) is a tiny insect that you will generally find flying in a swarm, who will happily bite you if you’re out and about. They’re worse early in the morning and in the evening and annoyingly appear from late Spring through the summer.
Midges love wet areas, with moist soil that’s out of the wind. That covers much of the Scottish countryside! If you’re on a city break you’ll happily avoid them.
A bite will leave a small raised mark though some people react more strongly than others. These bites will itch but try not to, it just makes it worst!
There are numerous repellants available but locals swear by Avon Skin So Soft or Smidge. If you want to avoid repellants stay in the wind, by a smokey open fire or simply stay indoors at peak times, no one likes walking into a cloud of midges!
This question gets asked a lot, and because of Scotland’s size, it is deemed a country that can be driven round in a number of days, seeing everything and getting the full experience. This, in our opinion, is just not the case. Apart from there being so many different areas to visit, getting from one place to another is not as simple as it looks.
The best way to experience Scotland is to decide on an area you’d like to visit, decide on a base that means you can make the most of the area in question and then enjoy it to the full! For example, stay in Glasgow, visit Edinburgh, then travel on to Arran, or north to another base like Fort William and explore from there. But if you stay in Edinburgh and try to visit there and Skye in three days you will spend your whole time on the road and miss out on so many amazing things.
Health care will be available to you and your family but there may be a charge depending on which country you’re from. You can find more information on the NHS Scotland website.
As with any trip it is well worth making sure you have suitable travel insurance that will cover you, your family and your belongings. Double-check that all your equipment is covered, some cameras etc may not be due to their value.
Also, make sure you’re covered for any adventure sports you might be planning to try.
This does depend on where you’re coming from and what licence you have. Check this government website to find out if your licence will be enough on its own or if you require any further paperwork to drive or hire a car in Scotland.
Most car hire companies require drivers to be over 21 years old, drivers under 25 may well have an added “young driver” charge applied.
Remember we drive on the left here!
Over-tourism has become a hot topic in certain areas in Scotland. Skye, in particular, is known for being very busy in the peak season thanks to the narrow roads, lack of car parks, and very popular sites. This can really reduce the enjoyment of visitors and local alike.
We would always recommend trying to mitigate this by doing more than just a fleeting visit. Stay overnight and help the local economy, be respectful and park where indicated, try to visit popular sites early in the morning or later in the evening when they will hopefully be less busy, and try and visit off the beaten path sites instead!
We truly believe that a visit to Scotland can be complete WITHOUT a visit to the Isle of Skye. There are so many wonderful islands to visit in Scotland and we highly recommend you look into alternatives.
However, we also recognise Skye is a dream for many that they don’t want to let go of. It is obviously lovely in the summer months but it is also extremely busy, to the point of capacity.
Due to this, we would suggest visiting out of season to be able to enjoy every element of the Isle, and stay on the island so you’re not rushing around and only visiting top spots, and support local businesses.
Scotland is the perfect place to visit with a family, welcoming, friendly, and safe. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remain vigilant and apply common sense to your time in Scotland, just as you would at home.
Should you have any issues on your visit the emergency number in the UK is 999 or call 101 for non-emergencies. You can, of course, report any issue directly to a police station. You can find your local station here.
Should you have something you need to claim on your insurance you will need a police reference.
You can indeed, Scottish water is known to be some of the best in the United Kingdom.
That’s a tough question, Scotland can be a little wet and you can easily experience all four seasons in one day! It’s well worth researching the time of year you’re going to travel and make sure you have the correct clothing.
As Scotland’s favourite son, Billy Connolly says “I hate all those weathermen, too, who tell you that rain is bad weather. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little.”
We suggest layers, it helps you manage your temperature as the weather changes daily, a good waterproof raincoat. If you’re going into the Highlands then bringing walking boots or comfortable walking shoes is an excellent idea as well.
Remember, there will be plenty of places to pick up any clothing you might need when you get here and you may need to pack it all into a car boot.
We are Phil and Sonja, a married couple with a very active 15 month old! Sonja created Migrating Miss in 2015 and it has developed into a global travel information/inspiration site, and Phil has worked in digital marketing for the last 5 years, much of that also in the tourism industry.
We have brought our love and knowledge of travel, plus our desire to make sure we all get the most out each trip, together to create our little corner of the internet and share all our knowledge about family travel in Scotland.
We can’t tell you about your kids specifically. The first thing we’ve learnt as parents is that everyone’s kids are very, very different. Some sleep at night, some like to keep you up, some eat their veg, some definitely don’t!
We would never tell you how to look after your own children.Our aim is to provide you with enough information so that you can make your own informed decisions about what works best for you and make your trip the best it can be.
Our love of travel and Scotland has meant we have spent a lot of time travelling this wonderful country.
Sonja’s website, Migrating Miss, has seen her work on numerous Scottish campaigns with brands. Phil has been visiting Scotland since his childhood and has always enjoyed exploring everything it has to offer. He also worked within the Scottish tourism industry for several years.
After having our little boy we were looking for information to make sure we could carry on travelling and exploring, and we struggled to find one website that had everything we felt we needed, so we thought we’d start our own!
Hmmmm big question! Phil’s favourite place is the Outer Hebrides, specifically Harris and Lewis. Sonja’s is a little further afield and would be either Orkney and Shetland.
Each is truly unique and well worth a visit for all they have to offer.
Public transport is the best option from an environmental point of view as far as we understand it. However, it is worth checking that where you want to visit has public transport available.
Some of the more remote areas are certainly easier to reach by car, especially when travelling with your family.
Plus the ease of being able to travel as and when you choose is a definite plus, the increase cost, however, is not.
The Heilan Coo is the Scots for Highland Cow. These long-haired beauties can be found across Scotland and, for many, are the holy grail of Scottish photos, especially the baby ones!
Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish generally made from minced sheep’s liver, heart and lungs as well as oats, suet and a mix of spices. The above description would make many feel like it wasn’t for them but Haggis has a rich peppery taste with a rough texture that really is quite moreish.
If Haggis isn’t for you then never fear, there are now some excellent vegetarian options available for you to try.