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Last week of October?

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Last week of October?
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Thinking of flying up to Scotland from the south for a few days over English half-term (last week of october). Can easily fly to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness. Kids are 3.5 and just 6 and are happy outside in raincoats, and are keen to go looking for Loch Ness (I could easily lie to them as to which Loch they are looking at). Where would you recommend for 3-4, at most 5 nights? Happy to hire a car if need be.

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Scotland, United...
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1. Re: Last week of October?
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Edinburgh. Plenty to see and do in and around the city. No need for a car.

Forget Loch Ness.

Glasgow, United...
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Glasgow.

The City alone has enough for the kids (Science Centre, Transport Museum, more Park acreage per head of population than anywhere in Europe) and is also s good jump off point by car or even train to the West Highlands.

Tip, kid on about the Loch Ness monster, as Loch Ness is nothing spectacular!

Aberdeen, United...
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If you are wanting plenty of choice for the kids, then Edinburgh and Glasgow are indeed the best choice but if you want highland landscapes/lochs and glens etc but still have a range of diversions for the youngsters then Aviemore or Oban would be my next options. They offer some magnificent scenery of varying types, plus they have enough by way of year-round attractions/activities to give you a choice.

The last week of October is pretty-much the last gasp of the tourist season in much of the rest of Scotland and places, incl accommodation will be closing or even closed for the winter pretty-much wherever you go. The further north you go, the less you might expect to find open. So it becomes all about the outdoors and highly weather dependant.

Inverness at that time - yes it has city facilities/attractions and it is a main transport hub but it is largely a dull modern city with limited and IMO generally poor value choices at the best of times but at that time of year - no, just no! Similarly Loch Ness - an unscenic rip-off but in the shortening, days again, it would be the last place I'd want to be going. That said, Fort Augustus is the best village on the loch, has about the best views that are easily reached and enough monster stuff to please your youngsters, without being the tacky rip-off that is Drumnadrochit - and it is viable for a day trip from Oban or Aviemore on good roads and the lovely scenery of the lower portion of the Great Glen. North of Ft Augustus, it turns into dismal industrial forest and that stretch of the A82 is amongst the worst roads in Scotland.

Weather - I'd expect it to be pretty mixed and probably at the duller/wetter end of the scale but October can still rally surprise you and if you get a good day, the lower sun angle can make for stunning light that bring-out the shape and colours in the landscape superbly. You can also get lovely frosts and I'd expect the first snows on the mountain tops to be apparent - and occasionally at lower level too. It actually used to be one of my favourite times of year to go west and Argyll/Highland Perthshire could be amongst the best places to go.

Edited: 22 August 2021, 02:56
Scotland, United...
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"limited and IMO generally poor value choices at the best of times"

Lots of choices and plenty of good value to be had in Inverness.

Glasgow, Scotland
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At the end of October Glasgow will be gearing up for COP26 so there might be more disruption and accommodation could be more expensive than usual, something to bear in mind. The Science Centre will be closing towards the end of October and is only open at weekends from September onwards this year.

There's lots to do in all three places but definitely more indoor options in Glasgow and Edinburgh. And whichever one you choose you can easily do a day trip to the other city.

Aberdeen, United...
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Yes - OK, lots of choices but mostly poor - I've been there more than enough times to know!

Scotland, United...
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I have been there plenty of times to disagree.

8. Re: Last week of October?

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Edited: 22 August 2021, 21:39
 
Glasgow, United...
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'there are certain people on this Forum who dislike Inverness.Take it with a pinch of salt...'

A very dismissive attitude to other Destination Experts who post genuinely held opinions about the city - opinions which are just as valid as those held by those who like Inverness and talk it up continually on the Forum😊

Aviemore is a good base for the big rounded massif that is Cairngorm with some lovely lochs at its base.

But I'd be tempted to fly to Inverness, genuinely seeing Loch Ness (the kids might love the Nessie Experience at Drumnadrochit nearby, despite how touristy adults find it!) , perhaps Urquhart Castle too, then making for Skye for 4/5 nights or whatever time you have.

Its truly spectacular, the great outdoors writ large. Fabulous places to wander even in waterproofs in as grand a landscape as you could wish - lochs, rivers, mountains, some beaches, plenty of amenities in Portree re eating out or shops.

Edinburgh is a glorious city but with young children I'd always opt for being in the Highlands.Personally, I always found it easier to keep my two boys amused in the great outdoors than in a city.

Aberdeenshire...
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I would also think of Aviemore for children lots to see and do in the area.

Loch Morlich is lovely and even has a beach.

https://forestryandland.gov.scot/visit/forest-parks/glenmore-forest-park/loch-morlich-beach

The Highland Wildlife Park is a great place for kids. It has real Scottish Wildcats, which are extremely rare.

https://www.highlandwildlifepark.org.uk/

Landmark Adventure Centre is a great day out for children

https://www.landmarkpark.co.uk/

Then they can go and see Santa’s Reindeers at the Cairngorms Reindeers

https://www.cairngormreindeer.co.uk/

Of course if they want to see Loch Ness you could take them to see it. It is a very over hyped and expensive place, but, it will tick a box that they have been there. I would suggest a boat trip down the Loch and do some Nessie spotting. The views from the boats are lovely and better than driving around on the narrow roads.

I am not a fan of Inverness (but that does not make me a bad person😹). It is a dull little City used by most Tourists as a base. However, on T.A. we are all allowed different opinions and some of us don’t like one place that another member does. It would be a boring place if we all had the same opinions.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Edited: 22 August 2021, 22:01
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