Family Friendly Fun in Inverness and Loch Ness

Family-Friendly Travel Guide To Inverness and Loch Ness

Visiting Inverness and Loch Ness is simply magical for children with it's historical stories of myths and legends, it's the perfect destination for a family holiday. Did we mention the plethora of child-friendly activities? This area in the Scottish Highlands offers something for everyone. Here’s why you should consider Inverness and Loch Ness for your next family trip, along with top tips for travelling with children.


Why is Inverness and Loch Ness great for families?

Kids will love the tales of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, and the areas rich history and mythology makes for some magical family adventures. Re-enact your own battle and let their imaginations soar whilst exploring Urquhart Castle, which overlooks Loch Ness. The castle lawns offer plenty of space for children to run around and discovering the castle ruins brings the mystical stories to life.

Child exploring

No family holiday to Loch Ness is complete until you have taken part in a hunt for our most famous resident! Take a family-friendly cruise on Loch Ness in search of Nessie. Hours can be spent looking for movement on the water and lots of fun family photo opportunities to be had. These tours include engaging commentary about the history and legends of the loch, which captivates children’s imaginations, even the big kids too!

Many exciting boat tours are available in and around Loch Ness, from scenic loch tours to exhilarating speed cruises and wildlife cruises to see the local dolphins. 

On Loch Ness there are scenic cruises om larger boats from Dochgarroch in Inverness with Loch Ness By Jacobite, and also from Fort Augustus with Cruise Loch Ness. If you are looking for something more intimate for the family you can set sail on the Nessie Hunter with Mike at Loch Ness Cruises from Drumnadrochit to learn all about the lochs history and of course all things Nessie!

You can book boat tours here before you arrive to make sure you don't miss out.

Vibes life us


Family time on the waves doesn't have to be on Loch Ness, some amazing adventures are waiting for you with Dolphin Spirit on the Moray firth. Spend 2 hours leisurely cruising to spot all the local wildlife in the stunning scenery that surrounds the waters, seals, otters and sea birds and you may be lucky to spot our pod of local bottle nosed dolphins! 

If you like getting up to mischief then the adrenaline pumping rib boat ride on their boat called "Mischief" is the trip for you. Speed through the water and hopefully get a little closer to the dolphins as they love the vibrations of the rib.

Photo of Dolphin jumping

Let's talk outdoor adventures! 

There are numerous ways to have unforgettable experiences in the great outdoors as a family in Inverness and Loch Ness. You can enjoy scenic walks, cycling trips, canoeing, gorge walking, fishing, axe throwing, archery, alpaca trekking..... the list goes on!

Not only do these activities provide worthwhile health and well-being benefits from being outside in the fresh, clean Scottish Highland air, but the chance for shared experiences and a lot of fun and laughter is guaranteed!


Inverness and Loch Ness are full of fantastic places to cycle, there are tracks and paths from the river side and canal to forest trails and tracks. If you bring your own bikes you will find lots of helpful cycling information and maps here.

Family cycling

No bike? No worries!, we have you covered! You can hire bikes from a few locations.

Inverness Bike hire with Ticket To Ride

Bike hire in Drumnadrochit from the Loch Ness HubYou can book fun guided trips and days out to enjoy the area by bike without the stress of having to plan routes.

42 Cycling have a vast range of routes and trips available, and you will benefit from learning all the local inside knowledge and hidden gems of the area without having to do any research, you can just fun and capture all the special moments together.

Cycling Loch Ness

Canoeing and Kayaking

Splashing through the waves of the local waters including Loch Ness gives you a whole new level of fun and exploration for all the family. You can enjoy a Loch Ness discovery canoeing experience from Fort Augustus with In Your Element. 

If you are a family of serious water babies looking for an ultimate canoe experience, you can book an incredible 5 day canoe expedition on the Great Glen trail with In your Element (minimum age 13)

kayak and canoe on Loch Ness


Gorge Walking

For those families with a sense of adventure, gorge walking is an exciting activity for all the family. Kitted out in wetsuit, helmet and buoyancy aid, you can go exploring a hidden river gorge, scrambling, jumping and sliding into pools and waterfalls. Guided by one of the experienced In Your Element staff you will make memories that will never be forgotten on this mini-adventure.


Gorge Walking


Family Fishing Experiences

Looking for a family day out on the water that is a little more calming and also educational? How about a fishing trip on the local rivers or lochs where you can learn to cast, or just enjoy going fishing. Peter at Green Highlander will create a tailor made fishing experience for you and your family. All abilities welcome!

Family Fishing

Woodland Activities and Adventures

Back on dry land there are some extremely fun family time adventures awaiting you at Bowhunter Archery Woodland Activities. Archery, axe throwing, and bushcraft set in stunning woodland close to Inverness. You can enjoy aiming at zombies, dinosaurs, creepies, midges and more, there are no ordinary targets with Bowhunter's archery sessions! They teach field archery skills in the most safe, but incredibly fun way possible, and their sessions are suitable for all levels of archer.

There are so many options for all the activities you can combine a few and spend a morning, afternoon or the whole day having fun in the outdoors!

Bow Hunter

Alpaca Trekking and Family Farm Fun!

Alpacas are becoming as popular as our Highland Coos and there are some fabulous activities for the family down on the farm. You can trek with alpacas in two locations around Loch Ness, both different and great experiences to have with your family.

Loch Ness Alpacas are located in Dores on the south side of Loch Ness, you can choose from a 30 minute Meet and Greet activity or a 50 minute meet and trek with gentle alpaca crew, where you walk along the loch and learn all about these beautiful animals.

At Inverncannich Farm in Cannich, near stunning Glen Affric you can meet and trek with the alpaca gang whilst meeting their farm friends of pigmy goats, highland cows, water buffalo and more. 


Continuing the family farm fun, you must include a trip to Farm Ness.

There is so much for kids to see and do including animals, play area, farm shop and cafe. 

You can see alpaca, highland cows, pigmy goats, woolly pigs, lambs during spring and there is also a petting area for all small cute furies. 

The play area includes a sand pit with diggers, a HUGE jelly belly air bouncer, straw pit, bale mountain, pedal tractors, karts.... the list goes on.

The farm shop is well stocked with fabulous local produce from the farm and local suppliers, gifts and more

There is a food truck and you can grab a hot drink, delicious cake or some local ice cream, so you won't be stuck for a bite to eat.

Check online for regular events that are held at Farm Ness.

Farm Ness

Educational Family Fun

Combining fun with learning and adventures can be a really enjoyable educational experience and there are some great option in and around Inverness and Loch Ness. Children can learn about the historical significance of landmarks like the Culloden Battlefield, Urquhart Castle and Fort George. Wildlife, rewilding, local flora and fauna, along with some outdoor fun and a delicious homemade lunch can be an enjoyable day spent at Dundreggan rewilding centre

These hands-on learning experiences are more impactful and much more memorable than traditional classroom lessons. 

Dundreggan Rewilding Cafe

Indoor fun

Although we highly encourage fun no matter what the weather, there are some days you might want to look for some inside activities.

The leisure centre swimming pool and flumes can be a great way of getting wet but indoors and in the warm, enjoy a swim and let the kids release all their energy on the flumes.

Bounce from wall to wall in the Infinity Trampoline Park! With over 60 inter-connected trampolines there is so much fun to have and not just for the kids!

The Inverness Ice Centre have public skating sessions available to try your skills on the ice. You can also try your hand at curling, a tactical sport where players slide across the ice towards a target.

Inverness Botanic Gardens has two indoor green houses to wander when the weather is not so great. The tropical house with koi pond and waterfall and also the fascinating cactus house. Some lunch or a delicious cake and coffee is recommended in the cafe also.

There is always something great to watch at Eden Court Theatre and Cinema. They have some fantastic travelling shows specifically for children throughout the year and 2 comfy cinemas showing daily films.

There is also Vue Cinema located at the retail park on the outskirts of Inverness, you will find lots of choice for children friendly films on daily so you can escape the rain if needed.

Eden Court

Discover more

Loch Ness Activities

There are no places in the country quite like Loch Ness...

Inverness Activities

Inverness is a vibrant, bustling, and picturesque place filled with things to do and see...

Free things to do in Inverness and Loch Ness

Enjoy a visit to Inverness and Loch Ness without hurting the bank balance and try these things you can do for free.