Aviemore highland cow
Destinations,  Europe,  Scotland

Exploring the Scottish Highlands: A Family Adventure in Aviemore

Welcome to Aviemore, Scotland – a charming town nestled in the heart of the Highlands that offers the perfect combination of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and family-friendly fun. If you’re looking for a quick accessible induction to the Scottish highlands, then look no further than this magical destination. 

Here is your guide to visiting Aviemore with kids

Full confession, our trip to Scotland was blessed by the weather gods, our three days in Aviemore were glorious, filled with blue skies and warm breezes. I’m sure everyone is aware of the …unpredictable elements to the weather in the UK, so as long as you pack clothing and equipment for all four seasons, you will be more than prepared. 

Welcome to Aviemore: Where the Highlands Meet Family Fun

exploring Scottish highlands with kids

You can find Aviemore nestled amongst the Cairngorms National Park which is the largest national park in the UK and home to some of Scotland’s most iconic wildlife, including the red squirrel, golden eagle, and Scottish wildcat (we had a good look for one but to no avail!). The rugged peaks of the Cairngorms offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, with hiking, biking, skiing, and snowboarding (possibly all in one day if you get lucky with the weather 😊) among the popular activities. Aviemore, with its small town feel, serves as a gateway to the Cairngorms, making it an ideal base for exploring the area. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful nature retreat or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, the Cairngorms and Aviemore offer something for everyone!

Day 1: Hiking, Biking, and Sightseeing

Aviemore mountain biking with kids

Day 1 in Aviemore is all about getting outside and exploring the stunning landscape that surrounds you. After a big Scottish breakfast at one of the town’s many cozy cafes, we suggest heading up to Glenlivettrails, a mountain biking paradise that offers everything from gentle rides to adrenaline-pumping descents. With over 100 miles of trails to choose from, there’s something for everyone – whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner. The girls had a great time, Indi is an experienced off roader and this was Beau’s first ride. She managed a 10k trail which was challenging in parts but she managed it all. The scenic routes wind through lush forests, across babbling streams, and up challenging climbs that reward you with panoramic views of the Cairngorms. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and take a break to refuel and soak up the scenery.

Day 2: From Wildlife Parks to Waterfalls – Our Aviemore Adventure Continues!

walking with reindeers in Aviemore

Day 2 is all about discovering the natural wonders of Aviemore, from charming wildlife parks to breathtaking waterfalls. Start your day by heading to the Cairngorms National Park for a once-in-a-lifetime experience – meeting the Cairngorms reindeer! This is definitely one of those activities that you have to do. They are the only free-ranging herd of reindeer in the UK, and a visit to their mountain home is an unforgettable adventure. You will more than likely be a little terrified when you see the size of the antlers on these guys, but you’ll soon learn all about these gentle animals from knowledgeable guides and even get to hand-feed them. Their spatial awareness far exceeds my own.

Top Tips for Making the Most of Your Family Trip to Aviemore

To make the most of your family trip to Aviemore, be sure to pack plenty of layers – the weather in the Highlands can be unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared for anything! Additionally, it’s a good idea to book activities and tours in advance, as they can fill up quickly during peak season. If you’re traveling with young children, consider bringing a baby carrier or stroller – some of the trails and attractions can be challenging for little legs

Why Aviemore is the Ultimate Family-Friendly Destination in Scotland

Aviemore is the perfect outdoor adventure destination for families, with plenty of activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained. It’s ideally located between Edinburgh and Glasgow too, making it a short drive to the big cities. The natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands provides endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, from hiking and biking to skiing and snowboarding. Aviemore itself is also incredibly welcoming to families, with a range of accommodations, restaurants, and activities that cater specifically to children and several places to pick up a meal deal too if you are on a budget!

Leave the kids at home and head to a whiskey distillery

WHISKEY TASTING IN SCOTLAND

This would be my worst nightmare but in celebration of a certain big birthday, Jak was sent off with a friend to sample the delights of the Glenlivet Whiskey distillery at 11am on a Tuesday morning! This particular tour included the sampling of ‘special cask whiskeys’ and he appeared to have enjoyed himself immensely when he waddled out several hours later. There are loads of different distillery’s to choose from but one of the most popular distillery tours in the area is the Glenlivet Tour, which takes you through the history of the brand and the whiskey-making process, before finishing with a tasting of their signature single malt. The tour takes you through the stunning countryside around Glenlivet and offers a chance to see the traditional methods used in the whiskey-making process. So, leave the kids at home and spend a day exploring the world of Scottish whiskey – you won’t regret it!

When are we going back?

This was our first trip to Scotland with the kids and it blew us all away. Aviemore is a truly unique destination that offers something for everyone and is a fantastic introduction to the amazing things Scotland has to offer. Whether you’re a family looking for outdoor adventure, a couple in search of a romantic getaway, or a whiskey enthusiast seeking a taste of Scotland’s famous spirit, Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park are sure to delight. The stunning natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands, combined with the warm hospitality of the local community, creates an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you’ve returned home. So, if you’re looking for a destination that combines breathtaking scenery, rich culture, and outdoor adventure, look no further than Aviemore.

48hrs in Edinburgh with kids
FAMILY TRAVEL GEAR

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