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Things to Do in Inverness with Kids

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Things to Do in Inverness with Kids

Check out these top things to do in Inverness, Scotland with kids! From Loch Ness to Culloden Battlefield and the beautiful parks around the city, there is so much to do with your kids in tow when visiting this city!

This past August we spent 2 weeks in Scotland with 4 of those days spent in Inverness with our kids! Inverness has been on my bucket list for quite some time. The mystery of the Scottish highlands is so magical, so I knew I had to go one day. On top of that, I am indeed an Outlander fan {I’ve read all 8 books!} which only intensified my desire to visit.

When we planned out our trip, I wanted to have plenty of time in Inverness to take our time exploring since we had the kids with us. There were a few bucket list places I had to see and several others I didn’t know I needed to visit until we arrived!

Check out these top things to do in Inverness, Scotland with kids! From Loch Ness to Culloden Battlefield and the beautiful parks around the city, there is so much to do with your kids in tow when visiting this city!

My Bucket List Sites

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield where the final battle of the Jacobite Rebellion was fought on Culloden Moor near Inverness, Scotland.

This was a must see for me! As a huge Outlander fan, I had done a lot of reading and then extra research about the Battle of Culloden and the Jacobite Rebellion. If you haven’t read Outlander, this battlefield is a huge part of Scottish history and is incredibly fascinating to learn about. JP enjoyed visiting despite knowing little about it prior to our arrival.

The battlefield site has a museum that details the history of the Jacobite Rebellion along with plenty of artifacts from the time that you can read about or listen to before viewing the battlefield itself. (We purchased the audio guide which I loved!) The battlefield is vast and has markers showing just where the British and Scottish troops stood, so you could have a better understanding of how the battle went down. You can also see the cairns and gravestones for the many men from various clans that fell on that fateful day.

Loch Ness Cruise

Loch Ness by Jacobite River Cruise

What better way to see Loch Ness than a day cruise! We used Loch Ness by Jacobite and had an amazing experience. As you can see, kids of all ages are welcome on their boats. Their cruises leave just a few miles away from Inverness and you can take a bus out there with ease. We chose the Mini Rebellion cruise and it lasted for 3 hours: an hour cruise, an hour at Urquhart Castle and an hour cruise back. It was the perfect length with two kids in tow!

The way there actually lasted a little bit longer than the way back and I really enjoyed that. Our tour guides both ways were wonderful, and they gave fun facts, told us stories and pointed out various landmarks along the way.

The boat itself was two stories, but we stuck to the lower deck with our little ones. On the lower deck you could be outside a the front and back of the boat, or you could be inside in the middle. This was nice for us to keep the kids warmer and happier. There were plenty of tables and seats for us to sit down and see the sights, as well as an interactive screen to learn more about what the tour guides shared with us. Lastly, there was a little bar on board with snacks, hot and cold drinks and of course, some adult beverages!

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle ruins along Loch Ness.

This is where our Jacobite cruise brought us! I knew we had to visit Urquhart castle as soon as I saw it was an option. The castle’s present ruins date back to 13th-16th century and was mostly abandoned by the 17th century when it was partially destroyed to prevent Jacobite forces from using it.

We had an hour to explore, so first we visited the welcome center where there was a small museum that detailed how the castle was used and who lived there through the centuries. Then we were off to the ruins! There are free tours that go every hour and a half or so. We missed the group and decided to just wander on our own. I love history!

Related Post: Why We Travel with Our Kids

Bonus Things to Do

Like I said that the beginning, I had a few bucket list items and hoped we would find lots of other things to do along the way. I was blown away by the kindness and suggestions of what to do in Inverness. Here are a few other things to do with kids worth noting!

Inverness Museum & Art Gallery

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery was a great place to visit with kids! There is a ton to see along with many interactive activities to do with kids!

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery was a great place to visit with kids! There is a ton to see along with many interactive activities to do with the little ones. In fact, there is a room specifically designed for kids to color, do puzzles and play with copies of artifacts. Throughout the museum there were other games and activities including how to put on a kilt. (Let me tell you, it was NOT easy.) As you can see, Chloe enjoyed seeing the animals that are local to the area and this otter was her favorite.

The museum is free to visit as are all public museums in the United Kingdom. I highly recommend popping in for a bit if you have the chance. It’s the perfect place to visit if you need to escape the rain for a little while!

Whin Park & The Ness Islands

Whin Park is a MUST see with kids. This park sits on one of the River Ness islands and has several different playgrounds for kids to run around! We were there on a fairly gloomy and rainy day, but Chloe had a blast. The “crashed airplane” playground was her favorite. If the weather had been better, the park also has paddle boats and you can feed the ducks.

Old High Church

Old High Church in Inverness, Scotland.

We wandered over the the Old High Church after brunch one day to have a look around the graveyard. It was actually quite fascinating and peaceful.

Fun fact, before the Battle of Culloden, British troops held Jacobites prisoner in the Tower of the church!

Leaky’s Bookshop

Leakey’s came recommended to me by someone on Instagram who grew up in Inverness! This book shop is actually in the old Gaelic Church and still has the original stained glass windows. It’s one of the largest bookshops in Scotland and worth having a walk around.

I loved searching through old classics, flipping through books and browsing through the various prints for sale. Even Chloe had fun climbing up and down the stairs and pretending to read.

Where to Stay in Inverness

Since I’m sharing all these things to do, I figured where to stay is also pretty important. We chose to stay at an Air B&B flat! I love Air B&B and highly recommend staying at them when you travel. Here are some pros and cons to ours:

Pros

  • Location: We stayed in City Center within walking distance to the train station, bus stops, shopping mall, restaurants and the river.
  • Space: Our apartment was spacious and it gave us the space we needed as a family of four. We had the bedroom and the kids slept on the pull out couch.
  • Kitchen: The kitchen allowed me to cook one night after eating out for days!

Cons

  • Second floor: Our apartment was on the second floor, so it was quite the hike upstairs!
  • Tight space: Getting everything up and down made for a tight space. We ended up not using our stroller for most of the trip because it was hard to get up and down.
  • Above the bars: We were above the bars which is part of staying right in the city center. It didn’t bother the kids much, but we woke up to some yelling each night.

Overall, I recommend staying in an apartment near the city center so you can walk most places. We didn’t have a car and chose to walk and use public transportation our whole trip! No car seats needed at all!

Inverness with Kids

I think that Inverness is a kid friendly city to visit. There are tons of parks and opportunities to hike and be outside!

You can manage the city without a car, but I would recommend getting one if you want to see more of the Scottish Highlands further out from the city.

Overall, I highly recommend visiting this beautiful place. There is much more to see and do then I have listed here. The only way to know is to get out there and see for yourselves!

Related Post: 12 Essentials for Traveling Europe with Toddlers

Check out more on our Scottish adventure: Scotland Update | Manchester in a Day | Family Guide to Glasgow

What cities are on your bucket list? Any in Scotland?

Check out these top things to do in Inverness, Scotland with kids! From Loch Ness to Culloden Battlefield and the beautiful parks around the city, there is so much to do with your kids in tow when visiting this city!
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(8) Comments

  1. What a fun trip! I love traveling with my daughter. If you aren’t already, you should join Tiny Globetrotters on Facebook, it’s all about travel with kids.

    1. Oh how neat! I need to find that group now!

  2. My husband was born and raised in the Highlands. As a matter of fact, our two girls are named after Scottish towns, but we have never been as a family! I love this post and it makes me want to book a flight right now.

    1. Oh that is so neat! I absolutely loved visiting and already want to go back. You must find the time to visit someday!

  3. Brilliant! I’ve been to Inverness but I’ve never realized there was do much to do there!

    1. It’s such a beautiful city. I would have loved to hike, but with two little ones that was a bit hard!

  4. Absolutely beautiful! What a fun experiences for your kiddos!

    1. It was awesome. They certainly don’t know how lucky they are!

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