Family Hotels in Scotland – The time has finally come to escape with our families, and reconnect with grandparents and extended family. Here’s a list of family friendly hotels that love welcoming children. Have an absolutely fabulous time. We all deserve it.
Every hotel listed I have personally stayed at and appreciate their strong family offering. As well as listing facilities I’ll give an idea of price and geography, and hope your kids have as much fun as ours do. *Contains affiliate links.
Golf View Hotel / Auchrannie Resort / Crieff Hydro / Gleneagles / Dalmahoy / New Lanark Mill Hotel / Raasay House / The Fife Arms / The Fairmont / Macdonald Aviemore Resort / Moness Resort / Old Manse of Blair / Aberdeen Altens
Pool/Dog Friendly/Beach location – What a gem. The the Golf View Hotel is set on the beach, with staggering sea views, and a path running directly to the shoreline. There’s also a pool with jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, plus an outdoor hot tub with views out to sea. Guests can book tennis courts (with free racket and ball hire).
The Golf View is notably family friendly and dogs are welcome across the hotel. The Hickory restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the shoreline panorama. Excellent seafood is served up alongside prime cuts cooked on a Josper Grill, and more informal burgers and pizzas. A children’s menu welcomes wee ones. I thoroughly recommend this hotel, and it makes a great base for exploring Inverness, Loch Ness, the Highlands and Morayshire. Check out their rates and availability here.
Two pools/Soft Play/Adventure Centre – Scotland’s islands are often viewed as rugged and remote, but Arran’s Auchrannie Resort is arguably one of the most comfortable, and certainly the most family friendly island experience you’ll discover.
We’re talking two swimming pools, a spa, three restaurants, a courtesy bus to the ferry, a Playbarn (soft play), Arran Adventure (for outdoor sports) and it’s owned by the staff so expect excellent service. Read more about the hotel and what to get up on the isle of Arran here.
Hotel rooms are available but we booked a fab cabin ‘retreat’ with hot tub and fire pit – it was truly bliss. We absolutely loved this hotel and would book it again in a heartbeat – details here.
Kids Club/Pool – This is arguably the most family friendly hotel in Scotland with lodges available too. Entertaining children is its calling card, so expect to see multigenerational families and a LOT of rugrats here. Crieff Hydro was the very first place I took my firstborn, when he was three months old, as I was too scared to go anywhere else, and I knew Crieff Hydro would welcome me. It offers loads of activities for kids, swimming pools, free childcare (yes indeed!) of roughly two hours per day, several restaurants (some buffet, others a la carte, but all super welcoming to little ones), evening entertainment and a gorgeous afternoon tea in its Victorian Winter Garden. [There’s also an adult only spa and Victorian pool should you wish to escape the little darlings 🙂 ]
Read a detailed write up here – I’ve now visited Crieff Hydro twice and certainly plan to return. Discover lovely things to do locally on this write up of Crieff. This hotel is always super busy, so check the latest prices and availability here.
LUXURY in Perthshire/POOL/FREE CHILDCARE – we booked Gleneagles to celebrate a milestone family birthday. It’s such a smart hotel I wondered if kids would actually by welcome here, and the answer is ‘Hell, yeah’. A lovely touch were the kids’ bathrobes, slippers and toys waiting for the boys in our room.
It’s a remarkably child friendly establishment, welcoming thousands of children every year, yet works exceptionally well for sophisticated couples, and here’s why. The hotel offers a mix of bars and restaurants, each with a different vibe, and the American bar is for adults only, so there’s room for everyone in this spacious venue. Child friendly menus and staff are par for the course, alongside lots of activities to book, bikes to hire and birds of prey to spot.
Little Glen offers complimentary childcare for two hours, and £10 per hour per child thereafter, for a maximum of four hours per day. Whilst our tots explored Little Glen, my husband and I hit the Century bar, read papers, drank and chatted. It was bliss.
Thirdly, families generally keep very different hours to romantic couples. We rise early (forget a lie in) and dine early, often finishing dessert as child-free guests are seated for dinner. So when we ate, we were surrounded by other families, just like us.
The pool is wonderful, featuring an outdoor river section with fountains that pour on your head (not compulsory) so it’s also a mini adventure. There’s also a separate adult only pool. Would love to transport myself back to Gleneagles now.
Pool/Playground/Near Edinburgh – Dalmahoy is notably child friendly, serving up children’s afternoon tea and offering indoor camping for little ones (where a tent is erected inside your hotel room). It has two restaurants, two golf courses, pitch and putt, an outdoor playground, and a spa, so there’s something for everyone. Just outside Edinburgh, it’s ideally located for explorations of the city, or to visit the zoo and play centres of West Lothian. The hotel swimming pool is naturally a big draw too. Check the latest prices and info here.
GOOD VALUE LANARK HOTEL/POOL – Really welcoming staff set the tone at this family friendly hotel in the very heart of the UNESCO heritage site of New Lanark. The site tells the story of this mill town that was revolutionary in its approach to staff wellbeing, providing the first onsite nursery for its workers, and sending workers’ children to school, which was utterly unheard of at the time. So much to see and do, from a ghost ride (narrated by a wee lassie) to a school room, rooftop garden, waterfall and lots of houses and shops to explore. This is a bit of a hidden gem.
The hotel has a pool, gym and spa, plus a relaxed restaurant with a good kids’ menu. The food exceeded our expectations. Read a detailed review here. Check prices and availability and book here. Your kids will learn so much and have fun at the same time.
GOOD VALUE ISLAND HOTEL/OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES – For something different book a family room on the Isle of Raasay’s ‘Raasay House‘. A very short ferry ride from Skye lands your mini-sailors on this magical wee island. Bring the car (we left ours on Skye), hike or hire bikes from Raasay House to get around. The hotel is super close to the pier so if you arrive on foot there isn’t far to go. It’s a beautiful historic building, with plush suites, affordable family rooms and budget dorms too. It’s also the only place to get a sit down meal on the island- so you don’t need to leave to get your dinner.
This is a great base for outdoor sports, such a RIB rides, coasteering, kayaking and archery. We tried our hand at Canadian Canoeing and it was pretty chilled. Get the lowdown on the island of Raasay here. Look up prices and availability for the hotel here.
LUXURY IN ROYAL DEESIDE/GAMES ROOM – This sumptuous artistic escape may not immediately spring to mind as somewhere to bring young children, but don’t be deceived. With the cutest games room with a lovely vintage vibe, featuring books such as Rupert and The Old Man of Lochnagar, plus a wonderfully child friendly menu featuring ‘muckle dishes’ for wee ones, this stylish Aberdeenshire retreat certainly isn’t just for chic art lovers. Read a detailed review here.
LUXURY IN FIFE/POOL/GAMES ROOM – This St Andrew’s hotel has quite an American resort vibe, where the staff are plentiful and there’s a lot to do on site. For children the key attractions at the Fairmont are the pool and the modern games room. There are also several restaurants to choose between, with the Italian restaurant La Cucina offering the most obvious family appeal, but we dined at the Fairmont’s renowned Bar & Grill (with its wonderful sea views) and the children were greatly entertained by the lobster. Read more about the lobster plus an indepth review here. Check the hotel’s availability and prices here.
MID RANGE IN AVIEMORE/POOL/SOFT PLAY/ACTIVITY ROOMS/GAMING ROOM/SENSORY ROOM/CINEMA – In the heart of Aviemore this resort is a popular base for Highland adventures with 3 hotels and 18 woodland lodges. Onsite, the pool with its flume and wave machine is always a hit (although I can find it a bit cool, I wish they’d heat the water more). Also look out for a vast indoor play area, soft play, sensory room, gaming room and outdoor playground, plus a cinema to catch the latest family movies. There are seven bars and restaurants on site:- Giovanni’s Italian is always a winner. The hotel rooms are relatively basic but the family vibe and excellent location are indisputable. Aviemore is Scotland’s outdoor playground, there is SO much to do, so head off to the epic Landmark Adventure Park, meet the UK’s only free range reindeer herd, catch a traditional steam train, and in winter don’t forget the skiing. Read the full list of what to do here, read a detailed review of the hotel here, it’s always busy so check availability here.
MID RANGE NEAR ABERFELDY, PERTHSHIRE/POOL/HOT TUB LODGES/BALL PIT – The Moness Resort combines a hotel, self-catering and hot tub cottages. There’s a pool onsite, a spa, and two restaurants to choose between, creating a chilled out option for families wishing to meet up or escape from it all. Lots to do within a short drive too, such as exploring Beatrix Potter’s connection with the local area. Read a full review of the Moness Resort, check prices here, and discover more to do nearby here, such as hand feeding red deer at Highland Safari.
TEENAGE MENU in BLAIR ATHOLL – I’m mentioning this luxury hotel due to the food offering specifically, making it a great option for a family stay and/or meal out. The owners of the manse offer a children’s menu, a la carte, plus an inbetweeners menu for those aged 8-12, when they’re too old for baby portions, but two young to be charged full adult prices.
When we visited Mr Tot Snr devoured Angus’ Aberdeen Angus Sliders. Junior inhaled the Flat Iron Steak. Dessert delivered quite a healthy option of strawberry jelly with fresh strawberries and cream, and a tiny but delightful chocolate brownie. Two courses for wee ones cost £8.96, for those aged 8-12 it was £12.95.
Breakfast was also notably good for children. Whilst adults could dine on smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, or a buffet including crowdie and charcuterie, the kids grabbed Innocent smoothies, babybel cheeses and graze snacks, alongside their usual cereal and sausages.
MID RANGE IN ABERDEEN WITH POOL – Yes there are ‘chic’er hotels in Aberdeen but this is a very reasonable establishment, especially if you consider the facilities available (most Aberdeen hotels simply do not offer a pool). Aberdeen Altens often runs very good deals too. The rooms are quite straightforward but you can book some with kitchenettes, which is super handy for families. The hotel offers a pool, baby pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, family friendly dining and welcoming staff. Discover more detail here, and see if the price is right for you.
I’ve heard good things about how family friendly these hotel are – Golf View Hotel and Spa in Nairn, Peebles Hydro in Peebles, and Kingsmill in Inverness, but I’ve haven’t actually visited so can’t personally vouch for them. All have pools I believe, so perhaps worth a little independent research though.
The time is coming to escape and explore with our families, or reconnect with grandparents and extended family. Have an absolutely fabulous time. We all deserve it.