Sometimes keeping the whole family happy can be an uphill struggle. But among the lochs of Scotland, it’s plain sailing – quite literally. And with monsters to watch out for in the Highlands, there’s no time for squabbles. If the kids are getting fidgety, how about putting them under a Harry Potter-induced spell? When energy levels need lifting, you can scare yourself senseless in the vaults of Edinburgh. Here are eight family-friendly things to do in Scotland, sure to please everyone. 

1. Jump aboard the Royal Yacht

Ever wondered what it’s like inside one of the Queen’s residences? Well, here’s your chance to find out! Get the Royal treatment as you explore the Royal Yacht Britannia. You’ll get a glimpse into how Ma’am and the family sailed in style for 40 years. Take a peek at the glamorous State Apartments and Royal Bedrooms. Afterward, feast on scones together in the Tea Room. All aboard!

2. Experience the magic of a Harry Potter tour

Whether you’re more of a Gryffindor or Hufflepuff, one thing’s for sure. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll feel the magic on this guided tour of Edinburgh. Discovering the enchanted streets that inspired the world-famous books, you’ll be spellbound. Just how well do you know your pure bloods from your muggles? Find out as you take part in an audio-visual quiz!

3. Feel the creeps in the Underground Vaults

There’s nothing like a good old ghost story to get the adrenalin flowing. And told in dimly lit vaults underneath Edinburgh’s Old Town, the atmosphere is electric. On a tour of the 17th-century complex, you’ll hear stories of witches and all things paranormal – underground. Just don’t be surprised if you get the shivers – it’s supposedly one of the world’s most haunted spots. 

4. Get back to nature at Loch Lomond 

Ah, the great outdoors. A trip out in nature is the best way to recharge those batteries. And in the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Highlands, you’ll unwind in no time. Cruising along spectacular Loch Lomond with a ‘wee dram’ in hand, you’ll discover islands and 12th-century castles. Oh, and you’ll be pleased to know there’s a covered deck – to save you from all that Scottish rain!

5. Keep an eye out for monsters at Loch Ness

Okay, so you’ve got heaps of photos of hairy coos – Highland cows. But have you managed to capture that most elusive of creatures, the Loch Ness Monster? Now’s your opportunity! Even if you’re unsuccessful, you can console yourself with snaps of scenic Fort William and Urquhart Castle. That, and views over the Highlands that are pretty mythical in scale themselves. 

6. See castles – and hairy cows – in the Highlands 

The local weather is famously soggy. But all that rain leaves the Scottish landscape beautifully green. On a trip through the Highlands, you’ll marvel at the lush surroundings – as well as some picture-perfect villages. After visiting 700-year old Blair Castle and the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, look out for the wildlife. Not just the monster that is – the hairy coos.

7. Play with your mind in the Edinburgh World of Illusions

To see Scotland in a completely different way, look no further. At Edinburgh’s World of Illusions and Camera Obscura, over 100 visual illusions take you on an optical journey. From mazes of mirrors to swirling light vortexes, you won’t be able to – ahem – believe your eyes. And if that’s not enough, take a trip to the Camera Obscura in the Victorian rooftop chamber. You’ll view Edinburgh as never before!

8.  Satisfy your sweet tooth on a chocolate tasting tour

Edinburgh and the jungles of South America are a long way apart, but have a common connection – chocolate! On a trip around the Chocolatarium, you’ll follow the journey of chocolate – from cacao tree to chocolate bar. And for the chocoholics out there, here’s the sweetest part – you’ll get to design and personalize your own choccy treat!

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