Instead of letting your older kids just stuff their faces with chocolate this Easter, why not fill their lungs with good clean air instead, and embark on a family walking holiday in Scotland?
With so many beautiful family-sized properties available to rent in the Easter school holidays, it’s the ideal opportunity to pack up the car and sample all the activities and adventures Scotland has to offer. Many holiday rentals are pet friendly, so the family dog can come as well.
Real-time family challenges and adventures
Just think of how much fun and exercise you can get as a family, and the challenges and enjoyment the kids will have to talk about when they go back to school. That’s got to be better than having a games console or smart phone stuck to their hand for the whole school holiday.
Don’t think for one minute that walking on Scotland’s amazing hills is only for the super fit and hardened climbers either. There are slopes to suit all ages and abilities, including those ideal for families who are new to exploring the great outdoors.
Better still, the majority of Scotland’s most “walkable” hills and mountains are within easy reach of the sights and facilities offered by the country’s historic cities. So, you can relax and take in the shops, culture and heritage on the days you’re not finding adventure in Scotland’s great outdoors.
Though Scotland is dotted with hills that offer family-friendly walking, it doesn’t mean that your darling off-spring can fly up them in designer training shoes. You need to go well prepared. Even the most child friendly walks in Scotland require appropriate clothing and footwear. Always carry a map and mobile phone (for emergencies, no gaming or social media allowed).
And remember, the family that walks together, stays together in more ways than one. It’s always best to keep children close as you explore, and keep to the established tracks.
Family friendly hill walking in Scotland
The list of options depends on your preference of location, and how fit and willing your family members are. However, here are just a few examples of the best family-friendly hill walks in Scotland for the Easter holidays.
Ben A’an (Loch Katrine)
This is a great one to start with if you are new to walking up and down hills. The distance is 2.25 miles and will take your family group between 2-4 hours. Though it is relatively short and easy to access, it is steep in places and takes you through woodlands. Most kids just find that adds to the fun. The views it provides at the summit, across the Trossachs and Loch Katrine, will convince even the reluctant family members that it was worthwhile.
Conic Hill (Loch Lomond)
The route to the summit of Conic Hill is about 2.5 miles, which means a highly enjoyable outing of 2-3 hours. You start from the car park in Balmaha and follow a well-travelled path that matches the Highland Boundary Fault – a fact that may interest any junior geologists in the family. The whole group will be impressed by the incredible views of Loch Lomond, its islands and the distinctive Ben Lomond mountain. Yes, the opportunities for selfies are plentiful, though please encourage everyone to watch their step and put the phones safely away straight afterwards.
Meall a’ Bhuachaille (near Aviemore)
For anyone who really wants to stretch their legs, this is more of a challenge, so it’s a great option for more confident and older family groups. Meall a’ Bhuachaille is an easily accessible hill, but will require about 5-7 hours to walk up, and it’s about 10 miles.
The paths to the summit are good, and the view is truly amazing. It provides you with a way of experiencing the splendour of the Cairngorms without overwhelming the whole family with some of the far more challenging mountains in the world famous range.
To travel is to live – enjoying Easter in Scotland
To quote author Hans Christian Andersen: “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.”
But if that doesn’t inspire your kids to join you in exploring Scotland’s remarkable countryside, you can always tempt them with a hot tub back at the accommodation. There are plenty of plug sockets for the electronic gadgets if you decide to reward them for all that roaming and exploring.