Scotland | Scottish Highlands | Family
Biking, hiking, and history in the Scottish Highlands
7 days / 6 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
The land of William Wallace, Nessie and Scotch awaits your adventurous clan. Pack the kids and your kilt for a nonstop-action, family-friendly adventure in the Scottish Highlands. This all-inclusive Scotland vacation package is chockablock full of rambling, roving and biking o’er the hills and dales of one of Britain’s greatest outdoor environments. Our expert guides can’t wait to share the excitement of exploring the mysterious ruins of the Urquhart Castle and biking along forest paths and quiet country backroads. Discover dolphins near the Black Isle or Nessie by boat on Loch Ness, sample handmade chocolate and find refreshment in the verdant pastures and chilling waterfalls animating the dramatic Scottish landscape. All the while, enjoy the best in regional accommodations, tasty local fare and Austin’s signature touch of inspired, thoughtful service that invites you to kick back, spend time with the kids and fall in love with the misty mountains and sea breezes of enchanting Scotland on this family vacation of a lifetime.
Explore the emerald hills, frothy seas and intriguing folklore of Scotland on this seven-day, exclusive journey through Britain’s prized natural wonder. This custom family vacation ensures smiles for the youngest and oldest adventurers in your clan as you cycle the quiet roads of the Cairngorms, cruise across Loch Ness by leisurely boat and cap off these action-packed days with a wee poke of traditional sweets at the Highland Folk Museum. Luscious lakes, green glens and mountain skylines offer the perfect backdrop for good, clean family fun in the Scottish Highlands.
- Stop by Cawdor Castle, a 14th century private fortress built by the Thanes of Cawdor, for a guide tour
- Pedal through ancient forests and tundra-like wilderness in Cairngorms National Park
- Take a leisurely cruise on Loch Ness en route to Urquhart Castle
- Tour Black Isle’s touchstone maze and coastline by foot and boat, on the lookout for playful dolphin pods
- Visit the traditional sweets shop at the Highland Folk Museum to try ‘Soor Plums,’ ‘Licuorice Comfits’ or ‘ Lucky Tatties’
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Solve timeless mysteries: Find out for yourself whether Nessie is real or not...
The Cairngorm Mountains: Located in Cairngorm National Park, this stunning range contains some of the highest peaks in Great Britain, with five standing over 4,050-feet tall.
In-the-field expertise: From getting your kids excited about the great outdoors to orchestrating seamless group dynamics, our guides keep their eyes on the details, ensuring that the toughest part of your vacation truly is going home.
Inverness, Scotland INV
Inverness, Scotland INV
Our guide meets you at Inverness Airport or your pre-trip hotel around lunchtime • Transfer to Cawdor Castle for a visit and tour • Travel a short distance to Inverness to check into your home for the next four nights • Overnight Kingsmills Hotel (D)
About The Kingsmills Hotel
The Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury four-star resort with Spa and Leisure facilities, located 15 minutes from Inverness Airport. Set within four acres of manicured grounds and only one mile from the center of Inverness, it is the perfect location to explore town or just relax. This privately owned hotel has 134 relaxing bedrooms, many with private balconies and patios or views over the neighboring golf course.
Cairngorms National Park
A 45 minute transfer takes us to Cairngorms National Park • Visit a nature reserve to spot local wildlife such as ospreys and red squirrels – live cameras allow us to see them up close! • After lunch, enjoy an easy mountain bike ride on gravel forest trails and quiet country backroads, taking in the wonderful mountain scenery and fresh air of the ancient Caledonian Forest
Just 30 minutes north of Inverness is the ‘Black Isle.’ We start the day with a short boat trip, hopefully spotting the local pod of dolphins. Afterwards, we set out for a hike with a difference. We’ll pass large wooden sculptures and walk through a ‘touchstone maze’ before climbing to the ruins of an ancient hill fort which mark the summit of the little hill of Knockfarrel. It offers far-reaching views across the Highlands.
We transfer south to the charming town of Crieff in the Perthshire Highlands.
On the way, we visit the wonderful Highland Folk Museum, to learn about life in days gone by. Further south we enjoy a short hike to a beautiful waterfall at The Hermitage (possibly spying salmon leaping) and also take a wee detour to visit the Highland Chocolatier and watch yummy chocolates being made! Of course, you can take some away with you too!
About The Crieff Hydro Hotel
Lovely bathrooms, fresh décor and comfy beds aren’t the only things this hotel is known for. To say that Crieff Hydro has ‘something for everyone’ would be an understatement. With over 60 different activities to choose from including many that focus on children, the word “bored” won’t be in your family’s vocabulary throughout your stay. If you’re looking for a bit of pampering, take advantage of the onsite spa for that manicure, pedicure or color touch-up you’ve been promising yourself.
Free day at Crieff Hydro
A free day at Crieff Hydro, enjoying the many family-activities available at the hotel. Have a swim, try archery, play golf, or give one of the more unusual activities a try. Croquet, Segways and ‘super hero training’ are all available! Enjoy a final night’s dinner with the group.
Transfer to Inverness / Depart
Transfer back to Inverness Airport (2 hours, 30 minutes) • On the way, we stop at the Highland Folk Museum to see how people have lived in the Highlands over the centuries • Visit the traditional shop on site at the museum and indulge in some old fashioned candies
* This trip is operated in partnership with Wilderness Scotland.
** Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and Wilderness Scotland.
Arrival & Departure
You will be met at 1:00 pm at the Aberdeen Airport (or a nearby hotel at 1:30 PM). Your guide will have an Austin Adventures signboard and will be waiting in the airport lobby to transfer you to Balmoral Castle and then on to Kingsmills Hotel (approx. 3 hours transfer).
Day 7 Departure/Return Flight
After breakfast, transfer back to Aberdeen Airport (2 hours, 15 minutes), on the way stopping at a few fun sites (including an ice cream shop!) Your guides will do their best to accommodate your flight schedule. Please plan on flying out of Aberdeen Airport at 4:00 PM or later.
- Hiking: Easy to moderate, there are two main hikes, which cover up to five miles with 850 feet of elevation gain. Hikes are on reasonable trails but some have muddy or rocky sections. They are suitable for families with a reasonable fitness.
- Biking: Gravel trails and quiet country roads, 8-20 miles with extensions possible. Flat to rolling terrain, moderate in difficulty.
- Boating: Leisurely cruise on Loch Ness – enjoy the ride!
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. Meals are included as indicated in the daily itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- Meals as indicated by daily detailed itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Fully trained, first-aid certified, professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- All castle explorations, bike hires, entrance fees and private tours as described in the itinerary.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt & luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures/Wilderness Scotland guides.
- Meals as not included in detailed itinerary.
- Activities undertaken at Crieff Hydro on Day 6.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- Extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, room service, etc.)
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.