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Scotland Travel Guide
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Boating & Sailing
Garden / Park
Food & Drink
Scuba Diving
Horseback Riding
Things to Do




Places to Visit

Kilchurn Castle


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

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Some countries are blessed with a combination of natural beauty, historical monuments and great weather. Scotland has it all, except the weather. Yet Scots, who have mastered the art of tourism like few others, will ensure there is no dwelling on such a minor detail. Here, family fun is assured no matter what Mother Nature has planned for outside. And the search for magic in the liking of Harry Potter is just the beginning. Hillwalking and historical sites, city touring and canoeing, island hoping and a great variety of museums make certain that a family holiday in Scotland is enjoyable and exciting.

Whether you plan to hill walk, horseback ride or bike through mountains and mores, sail or windsurf along miles and miles of untamed coast or relax on one of Scotland's many islands, families will quickly discover what has inspired painters, poets and writers for centuries over. The rugged natural beauty of the Scottish landscape will prove hard to forget long after your holiday is over.

And the Scots value each moment in history as much as every feature of their land. They will draw your attention to every stone, ruin and castle, making even the smallest feature significant. As you stroll through the country's historic sites and nearly 400 museums help older children as they wonder, what makes the Scottish national identity so strong?

Once you've taken in the landscape and uncovered the country's history why not give Scotland's cities a try. Glasgow, with its modern architecture, art galleries and fashionable restaurants, and Edinburgh's dramatic setting and elegance are sure to please even the most urban jaded families.

While your children may not be ready for "haggis" - a spicy sausage made of sheep or lamb innards, mixed with oatmeal, cooked in the animal's stomach and served with mashed turnip and potatoes -- hearty breakfasts and fresh seafood will ensure they are well nourished throughout the family holiday. The AA's (Automobile Association) Rosette ratings offer a reliable guide to restaurants. While children are not allowed in the bar area, a meal at a local pub offers an insight into Scottish social life.
History & Culture
A family vacation in Scotland provides an opportunity to introduce the children too more than Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express. It offers a chance to introduce the kids to Scottish history, culture and heritage. Learn about the Neolithic farmers who shaped the Scottish landscape. Read about stone circles and crannogs. Learn about the Celtic people and Gaelic language. Discover the arts and music of modern Scotland. Find out more about haggis even if you do not intend to eat one.
Online maps are a great family travel planning resource and a great way to get the kids involved in a family holiday. Teach the kids to use interactive online maps of Scotland to locate a city, street or attraction. Use Scotland maps to plan your itinerary before you depart and plot your route to via footpath and road.
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Take a journey through Scottish literature and explore Scotland through tartan myths and books. Learn more about Scottish authors such as Alexander Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Get recommended reading lists for family travel to Scotland and find age appropriate children's books that are designed to spark the interest kids and go beyond Peter Pan.
Music & Sound
There is more to Scottish music than bagpipes. Scotland has a rich tradition of music and song. Learn more about Scottish ballads, fiddle and accordion bands as well as strathspeys and reels. But don't limit your exploration of sound to music. Explore Scottish wildlife through song. Listen to Peregrine and Black Grouse as well as other species of birds and learn to identify birdcalls before you depart on a trip to Scotland.
There is more than the BBC in Scotland for news. Read Scottish news online and brush up on Scottish current events from politics to economics and from sports to entertainment. Discover what the Scots are reading.
Kids' Stuff
There are a variety of online resources that make preparing for a family holiday in Scotland fun. Use online resources to learn more about Scotland. From haunted castles to history and wave powered stations there's lots of neat stuff about Scotland that is interesting and exciting. Find out whose ghost wanders the halls of the castles you plan to visit. Discover how wave power works and why this and other types of renewable energy are important.
Associations and non-profit organizations can be a valuable resource as well as a means to get involved. Find out more about a few of the organizations involved in the conservation of nature and the environment as well as the preservation of Scotland's cultural heritage. Learn about entities that promote access and work to improve conditions for walkers in Scotland.
Travel Trivia
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Books for Kids about Scotland
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