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10 tips for visiting Isle of Skye with kids

With stunning scenery and a rich cultural heritage, the Isle of Skye is an ideal destination for families with young children. From exciting outdoor adventures to fun indoor activities, Isle of Skye offers a range of activities to captivate little ones and create lasting family memories.

For a family, traveling to the Isle of Skye can be a bit daunting because of the many the most important thing Located outdoors, may not be suitable for younger children or older children.

because of U.S Living on the Isle of Skye We have two young children and have had a lot of practice traveling here as a family!

Here are some tips to ensure your family trip to the Isle of Skye is both magical and stress-free.

1. Plan a child-friendly itinerary

The Isle of Skye has a dizzying array of attractions, so planning a kid-friendly itinerary is crucial.

My biggest advice is to slow down. Traveling with kids forces us to focus on doing less, but I think this is a benefit of Skye as you can really get to know the island and explore a bit off the beaten path place. They don't worry about checking off popular activities!

Focus on sites that capture young people's imaginations and are easy to navigate with young children. Plan one big morning activity and one afternoon activity, anything else is a bonus.

You can include some options:

  • Fairy Pool: There is a small hill to descend at the beginning (and therefore a return trip!), but other than that it's a shorter hike for younger kids. You can also return at any time.
  • Dinosaur tracks at Staffon Beach: This is a must-see for kids who love dinosaurs. Staffin Beach is the easiest beach to reach, but Brothers' Point is also an option.
  • Fairy Glen: It's a strange landscape with conical hills, easy trails and large rocks that look like a ruined castle. Please note that there is a steep descent so it is not suitable for children to climb.
  • beach: The beach is great for kids to explore, climb rocks, and view rock pools.
  • Cafes and Tea Rooms: Plan to stop at kid-friendly cafes and tearooms, where the whole family can relax and enjoy a meal. Many of these attractions offer stunning views and a cozy atmosphere. A few of our favorites are An Crubh in Sleat, which has a small children's toy area, and Gasta in Portree, where you can sit inside or outside. They also make pizza which is always a hit with our kids!

These are just to give you an idea of ​​what's available. We’ll mention more as we go through our top family travel tips!

Isle of Skye dinosaur tracks

2. Choose comfortable family accommodation

Choosing the right accommodation can have a huge impact on your stay. Skye is a larger island than many people think, especially since you can often drive on single track roads, or at a slower pace on the main roads behind camper vans or other visitors.

Check out the top activities you want to do during your trip, then book a spot centrally located to cut down on driving time. That's not to say you can't go further afield if it suits you, but try to squeeze further activities into your day.

Look for family-friendly options such as cabins, B&Bs or hotels with family rooms and basic amenities like kitchen facilities, laundry services and Wi-Fi.

When we travel we always have to have separate rooms for the kids so we can enjoy the night after they are asleep. This means we would rather be somewhere more remote and scenic than Portree, but you might think the opposite!

Isle of Skye with Kids - Beaches

3. Prepare your luggage according to weather conditions

The weather on Skye is unpredictable, so prepare everyone with layers of clothing, waterproof clothing and sturdy walking shoes. Please bring child-sized rain gear and extra clothing for muddy adventures. Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent (a little bit of mosquito repellent) on sunny or horse-drawn days.

We have waterproof overalls and jackets for kids to wear when they might want to sit down for a walk or venture out to the beach. These and wellies (rubber boots/wellies) are usually enough for them, although our older kids have hiking boots for longer walks.

They also offer fleece vests/sweaters to keep warm under a waterproof if it's cold.

For swimming, they have wetsuits and wet shoes.

4. Participate in outdoor activities

Outdoor adventure is a highlight of Isle of Skye and can be tailored for young children:

  • Easy hike: As mentioned above, walks such as Fairy Pools or Fairy Glen are great for children. However, don’t neglect other walks either. Scorrybreac in Portree is great for children, as is the woodland walk that runs from the end of the Isle of Skye Candle Center car park. You can also walk to Kylerhea's Otter Hide. Check walking heights Easier walking on the Isle of Skye.
  • Beach exploration: The beach is great for kids to explore. We could spend hours there! Glenbrittle Beach is great for kids as the car park is right next to the beach. The many beaches on the north side of Corran and Sleat Peninsula, where the dinosaur footprints are located, are also good at low tide. Coral Beach and Talisker Bay are just a short walk from the car park.
  • Wildlife viewing and boat tours: A short boat trip from Portree or Kelly King gives children the chance to see seals and seabirds up close. You can also take a boat trip from Elgor to Lake Koisk and have a picnic before returning.

If you have particularly young children, you might also consider a backpack so you can go on longer walks or even just to places that might be more dangerous for them to wander alone.

At 19 months old, our oldest son made it all the way to the lighthouse at Cape Nest, but we had him under control on some of the steeper slopes.

Man and child on the Isle of Skye

5. In-depth understanding of local culture and history

Introduce your children to the rich history and culture of Skye through engaging, interactive experiences:

  • Dunvegan Castle: Explore the castle and its gardens. The castle itself is more suitable for slightly older children (not our two year old, for example…), but the gardens are great.
  • Skye Living Museum: Step back in time to see how people lived in the past, the exhibits here are attractive to the curious.
  • Armadale Castle, Gardens and Islands Museum: It's a great place for kids, with lots of gardens to run around in, a playground, a study building area in the woods, and an island museum with a children's scavenger hunt, coloring games and books to read.
Armadale Castle and Gardens

6. Enjoy a family-friendly dining experience

There are plenty of dining options on the Isle of Skye, but you may need to plan ahead. If you would like to dine at Porter or other specific locations, we recommend making a reservation. Some places do not accept it, in which case we will arrive earlier.

There are plenty of takeaway options everywhere, such as Skye pizza in Portree or a variety of chips. Some restaurants, such as the Old Inn in Carbuster or the Claymore in Broadford, also offer takeout.

We recommend eating lunch outside if possible, and then if you can cook your own meals you can enjoy an evening without having to worry about getting into a place.

A picnic lunch is a great way to go with the kids so you don't have to make plans or scramble to find a place to eat. You can buy something from the bakery in Portree or the new Skye Pantry in Broadford, or order a packed lunch and order from Isle of Skye Baking Company.

7. Capture the magic

The Isle of Skye is extremely photogenic and capturing the magical scenery through photos and videos is a great way to remember your trip. Encourage children to take their own photos or draw what they see in their travel journal. This is a fun way for them to interact with their surroundings and leave a souvenir of their adventures.

Use this trip as an opportunity to break free and connect with nature. Encourage children to observe wildlife and listen to the sounds of the outdoors.

Many beaches contain fragments of ancient pottery or sea glass. These are considered “junk” because they are not suitable for the environment, so you hunt them all together and then take them away.

Isle of Skye with kids

8. Pack snacks

While there are usually cafes or places to eat near most attractions, sometimes they may be busy or closed on the day you arrive.

We always have plenty of snacks for the kids in case our plans to eat out don’t work out.

9. Rainy day activities

Sometimes the weather on Skye is less than ideal. While adults might just throw on a waterproof suit and deal with it, that's not always an option for kids, especially younger ones.

We still get to go out in the rain, but if the wind is also strong, or constant rather than passing by occasionally, it can be a bit of a pain for everyone.

In that case, here are some of our favorite things to do in the rain with kids on Skye:

  • Armadale Castle, Gardens and Islands Museum: As mentioned, it has a museum which is great for kids. If the rain isn't heavy, you can also take shelter in the forest, build a nest out of sticks, or explore between showers.
  • Dunvegan Castle: If you have older children who are interested in castles, a rainy day is a great time to visit Dunvegan. If the weather is nice, you can take a walk in the garden.
  • Other museums: There are also a number of smaller museums, such as the giant Angus MacAskill Museum in Dunvegan and the Train Museum in Kelly King.
  • Portree Finger Center: There is a swimming pool here which is a great option if the day gets a bit washed out!
  • Third Ridge Climbing Wall: This is a great choice for kids ages 6+. It has a small bouldering area and climbing wall. Be sure to book online in advance so someone can assist.
  • Lars Cinema: There are usually children's shows to choose from, as well as Skye Story, a movie about how Skye was born.
  • Local events in the hall: Check to see if there are events at local halls, such as craft fairs or music events. The easiest way is to ask your accommodation provider as they may know where to look for information.
Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye

10. Stay flexible and have fun

The key to a successful family trip is flexibility. Allow for spontaneity and adventure, and be prepared for changes in weather and plans. Whether it's discovering a hidden waterfall or making friends with another child at the playground, these unexpected moments often become the most cherished memories.

The Isle of Skye offers families with young children an unforgettable experience. Its magical scenery, rich history and warm hospitality make it the perfect destination to create cherished family moments.

Plan but be flexible and focus on having fun instead of ticking boxes! We hope you enjoy your time on the Isle of Skye with the kids!

Sonya x

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