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"Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures" - Lovelle Drachman
Going on adventures with the family is one of the best things you can do with your time off, especially when they start going to school and time with them is limited. It's important they see some of the world outside their usual bubble, giving them a chance to try new things, eat new food, experience new cultures and stay in different places. Scotland is the perfect destination for a family getaway, whether you are looking for an adventurous outdoor break, a relaxing seaside holiday or a hidden countryside retreat. The scenery, wildlife, landscape and culture will keep everyone interested for days!
We have some fantastic self-catering holiday homes which will suite your tribe whether you have young children, teenagers or young adults with you. Many of these are not too far from our fabulous towns and cities. While relaxing and taking long walks with your loved ones in the glorious Scottish countryside is probably the main reason for your getaway, a day trip into Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness or Aberdeen is sure to be on the to-do list, with their history, culture and attractions, entertainment centres and not to mention the fine dining and wonderful shopping!
We have highlighted five of our favourite family-friendly countryside retreats, within easy reach of towns and cities, which will allow you to have the best of both worlds.
"This house is stunning, and I loved living there for a week." - May 2019
Hawkshaw in Crieff is a real hidden Perthshire gem, ideally situated and set up for the perfect family holiday. Built in the 1830s, it retains many period features, in particular in the formal dining room which is complemented by the well-equipped handmade oak kitchen. The exquisite garden with its well-maintained borders of flowers and shrubs, lawns, and Victorian summerhouse is a lovely place to sit in the sun and take a few moments to yourself. Crieff offers a superb choice of bars, restaurants and cafes and is also home to a large number of interesting shops selling arts and crafts, speciality food, gifts and clothing.
- Hawkshaw sleeps six in three bedrooms
- Spacious and bright living room and dining room for family time
- Beautiful garden with lawn and football nets
- Can be booked alongside Merlin Cottage to accommodate a bigger party of 14 guests.
Family-friendly attraction: The Caithness Glass Factory at the Crieff Visitor Centre offers a fascinating insight into decorative glass making. You can all try a bit of glass painting and even make your own paperweight. This is sure to get the kids smiling and the creative juices flowing.
Close to: Perth (17.8 miles), Stirling (23.2 miles) and Dunblane (17 miles)
"Peaceful location, beautiful garden and house spotless." - May 2019
Vicarsford Farmhouse is a simply lovely Fife farmhouse located very near to one of Fife’s best and hidden beaches. Situated beside Tentsmuir beach, a renowned nature reserve with long quiet beaches, it is also only 20 minutes from Dundee and St Andrews, making this a great house for family holidays by the sea. The house is extremely well presented with big bright rooms, lovely rural views and an understated luxury throughout. There is lots of space and it is really well set up for family fun.
- Sleeps ten in five bedrooms, and three dogs are welcome
- Games room with pool table and garage with table tennis
- Outdoor hot tub with countryside views
- Cosy living room with big TV
- Three golf courses within a 3-mile radius, popular with golfing families
Family-friendly attraction: Scotland's V&A and the McManus Art Gallery and Museum are within 7 miles of the cottage, giving the opportunity for a cultured afternoon in Dundee. Follow that with a meal out!
Close to: Dundee (6 miles), St Andrews (8 miles)
"We loved it! Beautiful location, cottage of high standard, owners helpful and pleasant people, close enough to towns and city yet peaceful. We will definitely return." - June 2019
Carribber Lochside is a charming cottage set on a family-run trout fishery near Linlithgow. Enjoying wonderful views over the water, this cottage enjoys a lovely rural setting yet is close to the ancient Royal Burgh of Linlithgow which is home to leisure, shopping and plenty of history. The cottage is modern and bright with a contemporary kitchen, cosy lounge and lovely views out over the surrounding countryside. This would be a great base for families who want a mix of country life and town conveniences.
- Sleeps six in three bedrooms, and one dog is welcome
- Shared housed hot tub with unlimited access
- Countryside setting for family walks
- Close to the famous Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies
Family-friendly attraction: Visit the Royal Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots or enjoy a canal boat trip around the town.
Close to: Edinburgh (21 miles) Stirling (19.5 miles) Falkirk (8.5 miles)
An lovely cottage set in a historic Highland town
This is a delightful three-bedroom cottage set on the edge of the Victorian spa town of Strathpeffer in the Scottish Highlands. For a traditional cottage, the interior and layout are both stylish and spacious. The kitchen/dining area is well thought out and equipped with everything you need to make tasty meals throughout your stay, and the living room is the perfect spot to sit and watch movies together. The sunroom is an added bonus with the extra seating and nice views over the garden.
- Sleeps six in three bedrooms, and one dog is welcome
- Set privately in an enclosed garden for outdoor games
- Outdoor seating for al fresco dining in the summer months
- Two bathrooms so no one is queuing for the loo!
- Countryside base from which to explore the surroundings
Family-friendly attraction: Rogie Falls is 4.5 miles away and is a popular hike, including a daring journey over a suspension bridge, to a wonderful waterfall. Take the dog and a picnic and make an afternoon of it after enjoying a breakfast in Strathpeffer's finest cafe.
Close to: Dingwall (5.5 miles) Beauly (10.3 miles) Inverness (20.9 miles)
"It's very comfortable and had everything we needed for our kids and two dogs. Location is quiet with lots of space for dogs to run around. Kids loved snooker room." - October 2019
Shethin House is a wonderful holiday home in Aberdeenshire which has everything you could need and more for a luxury escape with your family. From the beautiful garden summer house to the lovely light-filled kitchen and the fireside sofas, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The open grassy lawn surrounding the house is perfect for outside games on the days you just want to spend at the house, but if you fancy wandering further there are plenty of country walks to be done. Being close to the village of Tarves, the grand manor that is Haddo House and the wonderful Fyvie Castle, there is plenty around to visit for an hour or two. The special heated kennels will make it easy to leave the dogs while you do so!
- Sleeps ten in five bedrooms, and welcomes three dogs
- Set within private grounds for safe outdoor play
- Games room complete with full-size snooker table and dart board
- Close to Newburgh Beach which is home to a 400-strong colony of seals
Family-friendly attraction: The house is set on Scotland's castle trail with Fyvie Castle, Tolqhuhon Castle and Castle Fraser close by. This is fascinating for children who are beginning to learn, or love history already!
Close to: Aberdeen (18.5 miles) Old Meldrum (6.4 miles) Methlick (4.9 miles)
Come and stay in one of our cottages!
If these lovely holiday cottages have inspired you to plan a break to the Scottish countryside, have a browse through our portfolio of family-friendly holiday cottages
. Many are set up for the tiniest members with cots, highchairs and stairgates, and a large number have enclosed gardens so that children can play without worry. Want to bring the family dog too? No problem, many of our holiday cottages are dog-friendly
- no need to leave the furry member of the family behind!
For more great family-friendly cottages, have a look through our portfolio of houses in Scotland.