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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!