Organising a getaway that has something for everyone is a task in itself but when you throw in crafting an itinerary and booking accommodation, it becomes more like an extreme sport.
You needn’t worry though – with Scotland on your doorstep as an all-boxes-ticked destination for the whole family, you can book a trip to remember without any hassle. Here are four things to make the most of on your visit.
1. Check out a local concert
If you want to enjoy live music with your clan, Scotland has some of the UK’s most-loved sound spots. Make Glasgow your base — it is a UNESCO City of Music, after all — and hole up in the comfort of Hilton Glasgow (hello, interconnecting rooms), which has everything from a dedicated children’s menu to a choice of room types, all within easy access to the city’s best attractions.
For something a little more left field, check out Eduard Bersudsky’s mechanical sculptures at Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. You’ll be able to watch hundreds of tiny carved figures perform to unique music and synchronised lighting, telling tales of the human spirit.
If you feel like a change of scene and a different musical experience on your Glaswegian break, head to Barrowland Ballroom. Originally built as a ballroom by ‘Barras Queen’ Maggie McIver in 1934, it also hosts weekend market halls and sports a neon sign that’s perfect for a family snap.
STAY: Visit Hilton Glasgow or try DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Westerwood Spa & Golf Resort if you're after a luxury spa experience
2. Eat delicious food
One of the best things about getting away is treating yourself to local delicacies. Whether you’re after fine dining or hearty Scottish breakfasts, you’ll have no problem finding Instagrammable spots to lay your forks. Dundee is home to Gallery 48, situated in the core of the Cultural Quarter, which offers tapas and handpicked wines and gins to savour within an inspiring exhibition space.
Meanwhile, Aberdeen’s Silver Darling has some of the best views in the country to enjoy as you tuck into local dishes including Cullen skink and kale pesto linguine. The restaurant is nestled in the harbour quayside and offers panoramic views thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can glimpse ships, seals and even dolphins as you enjoy your supper.
Edinburgh is a must-visit for those of the plant-based persuasion. For a full vegan breakfast and sweet, fluffy pancakes, make a beeline for Seeds For The Soul or, if it’s dinner you’re after, look no further than Sora Lella, the first 100% Roman vegan restaurant in Edinburgh, serving up everything from carbonara to crispy pizza.
3. Visit a local attraction
Scotland is one of the most magical places to visit at Christmas time. The Edinburgh Winter Festival hosts everything from Santa stories to a Christmas-tree maze and, of course, lashings of hot chocolate and mulled wine to keep you warm. Then there’s Dundee’s WinterFest, which boasts a vintage funfair, authentic Bavarian tavern and ice rink.
If you’re all Christmassed out and on the hunt for something more educational, there’s the newly refurbished Aberdeen Science Centre, which has six zones with over 60 interactive exhibits, workshops and science shows – including the UK’s first immersive theatre.
Alternatively Glasgow's Riverside Museum, designed by iconic architect Dame Zaha Hadid, is filled with treasures reflecting the city's contributions to heavy industries like shipbuilding, train manufacturing and engineering.
STAY: Visit Hampton by Hilton Aberdeen Westhill and make the most of the free hot breakfast
4. Get cultural
Wherever you go in Scotland, you can be assured there’s a pocket of culture on your doorstep. Head to Discovery Walk at Slessor Gardens in Dundee (the first UNESCO City of Design in the UK) to celebrate the inspiring people who have lived and worked in the city, including cartoonist R D Low and social reformer Mary Lily Walker.
Indeed, Dundee is quite the Scottish cultural hotspot — you can step back in time at Verdant Works, which is set in a beautifully refurbished Mill building, and take a trip to its sister museum Discovery Point that tells the story of the legendary ship Discovery, from beginnings in Dundee to an amazing Antarctic expedition.
Hop over to Aberdeen where the Aberdeen Art Gallery has an impressive collection spanning over 700 years, or try Provost Skene’s House, which is a five minute walk away and celebrates over 100 individuals including innovators, scientists, writers, and stage and screen stars.
After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing better than relaxing and recharging before the fun begins again. Hilton hotels are just the spot to do all of the above and more, with modern and comfortable rooms and restaurants serving ample tasty food as well as many offering spas with facials, manicures and massages. That’s what we call a no-brainer.
STAY: Check into Hampton by Hilton Dundee City Centre, which is within a mile of Discovery Point, The McManus art museum, and a host of great shops
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