Family Holidays for Half Term
The October half term break, often called the tattie holiday runs from 8-22th of October in Scotland and 22-29 in England. It’s a great time of year for a family break where often you can experience the tail end of the summer weather but without the crowds. Gone are the days when children could expect a week of back breaking toil harvesting potatoes, instead they can look forward to some of the best family fun Scotland has to offer with playparks, pools and beaches. To coincide with the holidays the Highland Archaeology Festival has an impressive selection of child friendly events and activities taking place all over the highlands. Check the LHH website for updated availability and last minute special offers.
Poyntzfield House on the Black Isle is a grade a listed mansion house and is the perfect holiday destination for larger families or extended family get togethers. One of its unique features is its new heated swimming pool with covered surround which can be opened or closed depending on the weather. Four legged family members are welcome in the grounds and there is a full sized antique slate bed snooker table to keep the adults in the party entertained. Within an easy drive you can get to dolphin spotting trips, brewery tours or a sandy beach then be welcomed home with a roaring log fire and a communal meal for 16 in the impressive dining room.
Willowvale in Nairn is located on a quiet lane, close to the golf course and the beach. This family focussed 1920s house features outdoor play equipment in the lovely garden for the small ones, a games room with pool, table tennis and Wii for the teenagers and a golf practice mat for the adults to practice their swing before ambling over to the nearby course. The beach here is superb with glorious white sand perfect for building sand castles, promenade walks, a putting green, Leisure park and swimming pool. There are wonderful views across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle and its coastline is home to a resident school of dolphins which you may be lucky enough to see. There is also a great range of coastal walks in either direction with a nature reserve at Kingsteps in the east and Culbin forest further up the coast. Culbin Sands, also known as the Scottish Sahara will the subject of a special talk as part of the Archaeology Festival.
Acharn Courtyard in the heart of the highlands near Killin offers a number of stone built cottages and log cabins that sleep up to 4. Within the grounds there is a tennis court, a children’s playground and a fishing pond with picnic area. It is only a 10 minute walk down a part of a disused old railway line which now forms part of the Rob Roy way to get to the village of Killin with its waterfalls, bar, shops and cafes. On nearby Loch Tay there are water sports facilities with canoe and kayak hire and sail boats.
The beach at Portmahomack is a fantastic place for children to play and it is not uncommon to spot the resident dolphins from here. The rich history of the area due to its location on the Pictish Trail means that there is loads for young ones to see and do including the award winning Tarbat Discovery Centre. The village has the feeling of being removed from the outside world while still being accessible and with a seafood restaurant, pub, shop and golf course you may find you never have to leave during your holiday. Starboard is one of four identical cottages right on the seafront which can be rented individually to sleep 6 or all together for an extended family gathering.
October holidays are not just about children, for teachers needing a break from the rigors of the classroom or couples needing a romantic retreat then it’s a great opportunity for a quick getaway.
Clachan Sands Cottage is the ideal place to recharge. With stunning views out to sea and a short walk to a sandy beach this luxurious property combines comfort and seclusion. The newly fitted hot tub is the perfect spot to watch the sun setting or if you are lucky, to catch the northern lights. Being close to the ferry terminal means you can maximise your island time and have the benefits of proximity to the facilities and attractions of Lochmaddy while still enjoying a calming and peaceful break.