Family Travel Ideas 2019

Looking for Family Travel Ideas? We’ve cast our memories back over 2018 and some destinations really stood out. So make a cup of tea, sit back, have a browse and get inspired for the year ahead.

For Something Magical … Shetland

Escape to St Ninian’s Isle on Shetland

Island hopping, seals, Vikings and breathtaking beaches. Getting to the UK’s most Northern archipelago on an overnight ferry was part of the adventure. Shetland’s not the cheapest destination to reach, but because of that it felt that a huge escape from everyday life. The kinda place where time seems to pass a little more slowly. Here’s the lowdown. Highlight – Searching for Vikings and Visiting Mousa Broch.

Glamorous City Break … Seville & Lisbon

Sizzling Seville

Seville worked especially well as it combined sights such as a remarkably beautiful castle or Alcazar, a quite outstanding park, alongside an uber cool ‘mushroom’ style sculpture in the city centre. Throw in a smart yet super family-friendly hotel, and this city delivered. For Seville info click here. Highlight – Beautiful and free Maria Luisa Park

A second solid option is Lisbon. Lisbon rocks. So much to see and do in a small, walkable city, with public trams and elevators that make public transport part of the experience. Discover the temptations of Lisbon here. Highlight – A day in the Belem region. Unmissable.

Glamping Joy … Morayshire

Snug as a bug in a rug, in Morayshire

If you want to stay cosy then we found possibly the warmest and quirkiest glamping pods yet. Read our post on Morayshire to discover more. We totally rate this place. Highlight – Toasting marshmallows over the campfire with tales of witches behind every tree, bush and pod.

Flying High – East Lothian

The beautiful Concorde

Our short break around East Lothian included sharing takeaway lobster with my 4 year old by the harbour. We found a mix of cool things to do, but head to East Fortune for all things aeronautical and spend hours in the National Museum of Flight. Read all about it here. Highlight – Boarding Concorde.

Scottish City Break … Glasgow

Mesmerising design of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Glasgow offers a lot for tots, but in 2018 we went on the trail of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – the main man in city for architecture and style. I thought this sounded possibly too grown up for young children, but certain attractions really worked especially well. Highlight – The free Scotland Street School Museum. Combines kids and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Unadulterated Family Fun … Aviemore

Experience the Vortex at Landmark

Have adventures as a family, with friends, with several families, with a mix of generations. Aviemore is the kind of place where it’s all possible. It’s always playtime here, with a mix of indoor and outdoor activities on offer. From Forest Adventure Parks and polar bears, to reindeer and steam engines. Read all about it here. Highlight – Hitting all the rides at Landmark.

Escape … Skye & Raasay

Otherworldly Raasay

Try something and somewhere new in 2019. Raasay is truly off the beaten track yet strangely easy to get to. Tranquility, even with tots, is possible – discover more here. Highlight – Walking to the Fairy Pools on Skye with wee ones.

Find a Magical Kingdom … Sintra

Pena Palace – Courtesy of Visit Lisbon

Any child, or adult, with an imagination will feel truly at home in Sintra – a surreal yet easy to reach destination a short hop from Lisbon. A bonkers castle, delicious pastries and a deep dark well! Find the magic here. Highlight – A personal tour by Short Cuts Tourism.

History Fix … the Scottish Borders

Views from the tower of Melrose Abbey

From Robert the Bruce’s heart and more atmospheric ruined cathedrals than you can shake a stick at, to Common Ridings and an extensive National Garden, the Borders surprised us and exceeded expectations. Get ideas here. Highlight – Melrose Cathedral’s Treasure Trail for kids, as provided by Historic Scotland.

Top Hotels

Chill Out time at Dona Lola, Malaga

Overseas we found a mix of new hotels last year, including the relaxed and informal Macdonald Dona Lola in Malaga, the glamorous city hotel (with pools) by Barcelo in Seville and luxury family travel with Martinhal in Lisbon and Cascais (near Sintra) . Leave ‘mumsy’ at home.

Luxurious Family Accommodation with Martinhal

In Scotland, highlights included self-catering, rich in Victorian history, at the National Trust for Scotland‘s Mar Lodge near Braemar.

Douneside House, its exemplary tasting menu and heartbreaking story is unmissable. With a newly refurbished restaurant opening at the end of January 2019 book your table (and your room) now for any childfree occasion you wish to celebrate. This Tarland hotel is one of our firm favourites.

And for glamping fun, get the Scandi vibe with the Nordic Katas at Comrie Croft.

Glamping at Comrie Croft

We also spent the last few months of the year nesting at home so I totally understand how tempting resting at home can be. So happy planning for 2019, however far you wish to venture!



  1. Reply


    January 12, 2019

    Glamping sounds like fun – especially at Comrie Croft. I’ve been wanting to go there for years now!! Funny enough I’m planning a family holiday to the Scottish Borders as we speak – I”m the youngest of the bunch, so we don’t need kid-friendly activities, but I feel like we’ll unleash out inner kids exploring the ruins and hills!!

    • Reply


      January 13, 2019

      To be fair, in the Borders most of the sights we visited weren’t ‘for kids’ but were achievable and struck awe into wee ones. Such as Melrose Abbey, the ruins are impressive for all, and climbing to the top of the tower or discovering the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart were genuinely interesting for all of us.
      Admittedly the cashmere shopping was more my bag – I found an affordable factory outlet (mentioned in the Borders post) if you fancy it.

  2. Reply

    Claire Jessiman 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🍽🥂 (@foodiequine)

    January 13, 2019

    Loving the look of both glamping options, will investigate further and add them to my ever increasing glamping bucket list!

    • Reply


      January 14, 2019

      Both really distinctive offerings. A mini adventure, but more comfortable and warm for the children than camping. We loved it.

  3. Reply


    January 15, 2019

    How lovely does glamping at Comrie Croft look? Need to see about booking a trip there

    • Reply


      January 16, 2019

      A beautiful part of the world, a very cool accommodation. Go for it.

  4. Reply

    Yvette Morrissey

    January 22, 2019

    I’m glamping at Comrie Crofts this summer- so excited! Some awesome suggestions here. Need to tick Shetland off my list too…

    • Reply


      January 22, 2019

      You’ll have a ball, Comrie Croft was a great destination for all ages. Felt like a real escape. And, yes, you have to get to Shetland 🙂

  5. Reply


    February 17, 2019

    Great read, thanks for sharing!!

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