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Family Holiday suggestions

Hereford, United...
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Family Holiday suggestions

Hi everybody,

I've read lots of info from the other posts, but I thought I would post my own to hopefully get some specific advice. We (me, my wife, and our three boys - 7, 5 & 4 years old) are heading to Ardclach near Nairn in May for a weeks holiday.

We do have a limited budget, but a few things we have planned to do is 1. dolphin watching, 2. swimming at Inverness leisure pool and 3. Loch Ness. For the dolphin watching I think Gemini Marine Tours in Buckie looks the best, but it is over an hour away, so if there is a better tour closer, I'd be open to ideas.

Obviously with a limited budget, I would be open to suggestions of low cost ideas. As a family we are more up for wildlife/natural wonders rather than historical stuff - especially with our kids attention span! Any particularly amazing natural wonders in the area? Beautiful forests, lochs etc?

Nairn will probably be a main area for us - the beach is supposed to be one of the best there, right? Anything else worth seeing in Nairn?

I am also interested in any local breweries to pick up so local beers (not really a whisky man!). I've seen the Black Isle brewery looks interesting. Any others?

Also...Northern Lights - a long shot?

Thank you to anyone who offers any information. We are really looking forward to our holiday. My wife and I went as far as Edinburgh on our honeymoon, but this is the first time for our kids and that far NORTH!!!

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1. Re: Family Holiday suggestions


May is lovely in this part of the world, so good luck!

I presume you will have a car? Whilst there perhaps isnt much to do in the way of "attractions" there are some beautiful beaches, some hidden away off the beaten track. My favorites (although more over to the east) are Cullen, Sandend and Banff Links. All have car parks and toilets. Cullen and Banff Links also have childrens play areas.

Nearer to Nairn would be Lossiemouth and Findhorn, but the whole coast is beautiful, get a good map and just explore!

Elgin is also well worth a visit, lovely old town, shops and cafes, good park for the young ones, and you can see the cathedral without going in and paying the entrance fee. Nearby Duffus Castle is free entry.

Inverness is also a must see, nice range of shops and cafes, lovely walk along the river and good park for the children. Clava Cairns is a must see in my opinion. If yu have time I would go to see Loch Ness too.

If you are interested in castles, there are few "ruins" you can get to see without paying, check out Historic Scotland.

But be warned, we came up on holiday (with our 3 young children) several times between 1988-1998 and eventually moved here!!

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2. Re: Family Holiday suggestions

Northern Lights - very optimistic! You need to be MUCH further north to have any likelihood of seeing them. Last year was quite exceptional, with NL being visible as far south as Edinburgh, but that is unlikely to recur any time soon.

If you like hills, lochs, scenery, head south to Grantown, and explore some small towns like Boat of Garten, Carrbridge, Aviemore. There are ospreys at Loch Garten, there's a steam train from Boat of Garten to Aviemore,, there's an outdoors centre at Carrbridge, there are loads of tourist facilities at Aviemore, and the road up to Cairngorm Mountain and its mountain railway.

Alternatively you can see different mountains by heading south through Tomintoul to Deeside. Less in the way of kids facilities, so it depends how amenable they are to travel and wandering on foot.

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