Kid-friendly Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland - romitasromala/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Edinburgh, Scotland - romitasromala/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images


Gleneagles has acres of parkland for a wide range of outdoor activities.


Gleneagles is one of Scotland’s top retreats, and we say it’s a great pick for families looking to experience a true countryside escape.

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The hotel has been under renovation since the announcement that the resort would host the 2014 Ryder Cup on its popular PGA Centenary Course more than 10 years ago. One of the more notable improvements will be for family accommodations.  

Three single attic rooms for teenagers will be across the corridor from the parents’ double rooms, offering connectivity and privacy at the same time. We hear the kids’ rooms will have all the modern accessories like PlayStations and iPod docking stations, as well as classic touches like hardwood floors and rugs (as opposed to carpeting). The walk-in shower will have a feature wall, which is a view of one of the golf courses.

Families with younger children can opt for rooms with an alcove with twin or bunk beds, letting mom and dad keep an eye and ear out while giving everyone a bit of privacy. Good to know: For the youngest guests, baby food can be ordered from room service. (Room service can also heat up bottles.)

Gleneagles is famous for its golf, but the resort also has lots of other activities—many of which are perfect for kids. An on-site stable has horses for all different levels of riders, including ponies for the youngest equestrians. Those who don’t wish to ride horses can drive an Argo Cat instead. 

Family Rooms
Family Rooms lets families stay together while offering privacy.


Archery lessons, tennis, polo and croquet are all available, and golf activities can be arranged for kids aged five and up. Teenagers can unwind in The Zone, a lounge with video games, table football, online games and board games; or try their hand at outdoor activities like clay pigeon shooting—or even deerstalking or game hunting (with Mom and Dad’s permission, of course). 

But we say the coolest activity is the falconry school, one of the few in Scotland, which lets families learn about how these birds of prey have been used for hunting from professional falconers. The first lessons teach basic techniques, and those who are interested can develop their skills further with subsequent sessions where they actually get to fly the birds on the sporting ground adjoining the Gleneagles estate.

There’s also the Gundog School, reportedly a world-first, which lets kids (and parents) learn how to handle a trained gundog like Labradors and spaniels, which have a longstanding connection to Scotland’s sporting heritage. (Families can also bring their own dogs to the school for obedience training—a great excuse to travel with Fido.)

Getting There: A train station is at the base of the Gleneagles property, and guests can take trains directly from London right to the estate itself. 

For special requests, talk to Resort Sales Supervisor Katriona Davidson ([email protected]; 011-44-1764-694499).

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