If you’re planning a family camping trip in Scotland, then the North-East has loads to offer and there are so many things to Do in North-East Scotland with Kids that you won’t regret your choice.
There are fairy tale castles to fuel young imaginations and spectacular wildlife set to inspire a whole new generation of mini David Attenboroughs.
So get your holiday off to a cracking start and pick your perfect campsite. You’ll find plenty of choice here on Campsited.
10 Best Things to Do in North-East Scotland with Kids
1. Follow in famous footsteps to Cinderella’s palace
Bring the stuff of fairy tales to life by exploring the castle trail. Aberdeenshire has more than 300 castles, stately homes and ruins, and this three-day tour shows you 18 of the most impressive sites. Or just cherry pick the ones with most appeal. Will it be the dramatic clifftop setting of Dunnottar, the inspiration for Pixar’s animators in Brave? Or the pink turrets of Craigievar Castle – the blueprint for Prince Charming’s palace in the Disney classic Cinderella?
2. Walk on the wild side in the Cairngorms
When it comes to national parkland, the North-East is onto a big winner. The Cairngorms National Park is twice the size of the Lake District, five times larger than Luxembourg and home to red squirrels, ospreys and golden eagles – as well as 80 per cent of the UK’s capercaillies. There are walking routes and cycle trails to help you explore, or you could book the family onto one of the seasonal guided walks and have an experienced ranger show you some of nature’s treasures.
3. Say moo to a Highland coo… down on the farm
Is the Eriskay pony rarer than the panda? What’s the top speed of an Indian runner duck? Set your kids on a fact-finding mission about these and other endangered native breeds at Doonies Rare Breeds Farm. Spread across 134 acres of land from Nigg Bay to Cove Bay, just south of Aberdeen, Doonies is one of only two approved conservation farm parks in Scotland. Here you can say hello to Farmer Graham’s prizewinning longhorn cattle and meet the super-friendly Eriskay ponies, a hardy breed from the Western Isles.
4. The weird and wonderful world of science in Aberdeen
Feed enquiring minds – young and old – at the Aberdeen Science Centre. Check out the fully-equipped discovery lab, then bug out on creepy crawlies like stick insects, giant African snails, cockroaches and Millicent the millipede. Don’t miss the brand new Space Zone, where visitors can get hands-on with the interactive exhibits: from models of the Soyuz (a Russian spacecraft) to space training equipment and stratospherically challenging games. Out of this world!
5. Meet local marine life in Moray
The Moray Firth is Scotland’s largest bay and is teeming with fish and water-loving mammals. Visitors to the Marine Aquarium, in the traditional fishing town of Macduff, come face to face with hundreds of native fish and invertebrates that are normally only seen by scuba divers braving the depths of the North Sea. At the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, in nearby Spey Bay, you can look out for dolphins and learn all about the seals, dolphins, porpoises and whales that frequent these waters.
6. A new perspective on local legends – at the Logie Estate
Six miles south of Forres on the Moray coast, you’ll find the Logie Estate in the beautiful Findhorn Valley. From here there’s a choice of riverside walks – including one to Randolph’s Leap where, according to legend, a brave soul evaded his would-be captors by jumping across the plunging river gorge at its narrowest point. Alternatively you can view this impressive spot from the branches of a beech tree, with Tree Climbing Scotland (age 6+), or navigate the gorge itself on a family-friendly white water rafting adventure (age 5+).
7. From fish tails to fishy tales in Arbroath
This is an area known for its regional specialities and, if you head down the east coast towards Dundee, you’ll reach the foodie haven of Arbroath. While the adults make a beeline for Arbroath smokies in this pretty harbour town, the kids may prefer a ride on Scotland’s oldest miniature railway or a traipse around the imposing Bell Rock Lighthouse. Here the Signal Tower Museum tells the story of the lighthouse, its keepers and their families, as well as the history of the region’s fishing and shipping industries.
8. Climb an extinct volcano in Dundee
How often do you get the chance to scale an extinct volcano in the heart of a city centre? Formed 400 million years ago, Dundee Law retains remnants of an Iron Age hillfort, prehistoric graves and even Roman relics. Climb to the modern-day observation point at the top (either on foot, by bus or car) and soak in the breathtaking views over the city and into neighbouring Fife and Perthshire. Then make time for a slice of Dundee cake!
Definitely one of the most interesting Things to Do in North-East Scotland with Kids.
9. Visit the birthplace of Peter Pan’s creator
Do your kids believe in fairies? Help them make up their minds with a visit to the childhood home of author and playwright, JM Barrie. Two rooms in this National Trust property in Kirriemuir, in Angus, have been restored to how they were in the 1860s when Barrie was a boy. You can also visit the wash house, where Barrie apparently rehearsed and performed his childhood plays – long before bringing Tinkerbell and Peter Pan into our lives.
10. Binoculars at the ready for a spot of birdspotting
Montrose is famous for its tidal basin, located half-way between Aberdeen and Arbroath. The nature reserve here is worth a visit for the superb birdwatching, as well as sailing and fishing. There’s more to the reserve than a simple stretch of seashore: there are mud flats, fresh water, brackish water and a sea dyke for the kids to explore; grazed saltmarsh (called “The Lurgies”), reedbeds, grassland and arable land. Look out for the oyster catchers and lapwings – and the pink-footed geese that hotfoot it from Iceland and Greenland, in their tens of thousands, to spend the winter here.
Time to book your campsite in the North-East of Scotland
To start planning your camping holiday, take a look at the many campsites we offer in the area. See the Campsited listings for Aberdeenshire, Angus and Moray. Book, plan the best Things to Do in North-East Scotland with Kids and enjoy your camping trip!