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Explaining Scotland Family holidays Suggested things to do

Coming to Scotland with teenagers? You might have some concerns. Travelling with teenagers can be challenging. You’re trying keep them happy and entertained and off their screens for at least part of the day. Scotland’s largest national park is definitely a “must” for you and your teenagers, especially in these post COVID times.

The Cairngorms offers a wonderful range of activities to tempt even the most cynical teen away from their screen. There’s so much for them (and you) to enjoy in the wonders of the natural world.

General tips for travelling in Scotland with teenagers

There are a few general tips that will help engage your teens in your holiday to make the most of the beautiful Cairngorms

The Cairngorms offers a huge choice of activities and adventures for both you and your teenagers to enjoy – here are just a few highlights to start you off

Explore the mountains

From gentle hill walks to ascending the highest peaks, the Cairngorms are a natural adventure playground whatever your level of fitness – we’ve chosen some of our favourite family walks here. Or why not push deeper into the wilderness without sacrificing your home comforts on a glamping adventure, supported by your own Highland pack pony. 

Highland Wilderness Glamping

There are also a multitude of climbing options from small roadside crags and Treezone type adventures or Zipwire adventure park to multi-pitch mountain routes in the Cairngorm massif.

Landmark Forest Adventure park, carrbridge

Enjoying the high rope course at Landmark, Carrbridge. There’s something for all the kids and it’s so easy to get there from Fraoch Lodge.


Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig

Teenagers may claim to be “over” wildlife parks and zoos, but just watch their faces as they see tigers prowling the woodland and polar bears padding across the hillside. Add wolves, red pandas and snow leopards into the mix and even the most cynical teenager will rediscover their sense of wonder at the natural world. With a combination of in-car safari and on-foot animal trails, the Highland Wildlife Park is a fabulous day out for the whole family.


For variety and exhilaration, Rothiemuchus is hard to beat. The estate has a wee bit of everything. You can go fishing or use their bespoke hides to take spectacular wildlife shots. Or for adrenaline junkies try the quad bikes, river rafting or gorge walking. There’s something to satisfy even the most demanding teen. Combining the great outdoors with great activities is the perfect way to enjoy time outside as a family.


With both Loch Morlich and Loch Insh within 30 minutes drive of Fraoch Lodge, even if you don’t have your own gear, there are plenty of chances to try a bit of kayaking, sailing or SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding).

The northern Cairngorms are also surprisingly close to the beach, particularly if you include Loch Morlich beach. You can also visit the sea and go dolphin spotting within an hour’s drive.

Mountain Biking

Trail centres and natural trails abound here. You can find almost any kind of biking: cycle round lochs, up mountains and improve your skills on all grades of route. You can ride for minutes or for hours. Check out the options at Glenlivet Bike trails and Laggan Wolftrax. With the explosion in e-bikes, you can access almost any route including the more famous long distance high level routes like the Burma Road

mountain biking in Scotland

Enjoy the wild parts of the UK out on your bike

Every day in the Cairngorms can be an adventure.  You can just enjoy the wilderness or enjoy the views. Or go and  discover the wildlife or ride a Segway; there’s such a wide variety of activities, sights, and pursuits. With a little preparation, some energy, agreed time off screens and an extensive selection of snacks, we are confident that there’s no better place for you and your teenagers to enjoy together.

There’s a ton of stuff we haven’t mentioned: the Highland Folk Museum, Leault Farm sheepdog demonstrations, Ballindalloch Castle, and more: check out our family adventure for more choices.

If there is really too much to choose from, do give us a call and we’ll put a plan together for you to fit in as much as possible.

This year we’ve timed our Highland Extravaganza hiking tour to include the Abernethy Highland Games – after all what would a visit to the Highlands be, without a chance to get to a Games.

At Scot Mountain Holidays we always look forward to the Highland Games, and here are our main reasons why!

1. It’s family friendly

Stalls of Hook-a-duck, children’s races, Fair Ground rides, souvenirs, trampolines and more provide entertainment for the whole family. Arrive by Steam Train from Boat of Garten in the Cairngorms and really thrill the kids!

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Hook-a-duck and win a prize

2. Highland Dancing

See local girls compete in Highland dancing in their full traditional garb.

3. Tug-O-War

These athletes tour around with the Highland Games, making the rivalry real. See the challenge live and cheer on your favourite side.

4. Caber Toss

One of the most exciting and famous parts of the Games, you won’t want to miss this main event.


The caber toss, parade

5. Food & drink

Venison vans, burger trucks, fish and chips, pulled pork, beer tents and coffee all to treat your tastebuds while taking in the Games.

6. Ceilidhs

Why not join a fun-loving ceilidh at the end of the night? Enjoy some drinks, have a dance, and chat with locals about the day’s events.

7. Chieftain’s Parade

Led by pipe bands, this is sure to thrill. See the men in their kilts and ladies in traditional dress, accompanied by bagpipes.

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Chieftan’s Parade

And an honorary mention goes to…

8. The Abernethy RSPB 10-mile Road Race

Every second Saturday of August the Highland Games come to Abernethy, where you can see the Abernethy Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB10 mile road race. Ideally located if you are based at Fraoch Lodge in Boat of Garten. Come see runners in action for a good cause!

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