Scotland is a wonderful place for families, especially with amazing tourist attractions like Edinburgh Castle offering a huge number of things to see and do that will interest all ages, from toddlers to mums and dads.
Sadly, Scotland can also be an expensive place to visit, with the aforementioned castle costing more than £50 for a small family to enter – and that’s without adding on the extra costs of meals in the cafe and mementoes from the gift shop.
In this article, you’ll find a selection of top-rated Scottish attractions that are either completely free to enter or cost no more than a few pounds per ticket, with attractions ranging from national parks to city museums.
Cheap Days Out in Edinburgh for Families
Calton Hill. Address: Edinburgh, EH7 5AA.
Calton Hill is a landmark situated at the eastern end of Princes Street that features popular attractions including the Edinburgh Monument, The Dugald Stewart Monument, The Royal Observatory and Nelson’s Tower.
Dean Village. Address: Dean Path, Edinburgh, EH8 8BH.
A small village on the Water of Leith that’s located 5 minutes from Edinburgh’s Princes Street. Once famous for its numerous grain mills and textile factories, the area now attracts tourists to its iconic architecture which includes the historic Wells Court.
Holyrood Park. Address: Queen’s Dr, Edinburgh, EH8 8HG.
A remarkable extinct volcano in the heart of the city, Holyrood Park is a 2.6 km area of mountain-like peaks (the famous Arthur’s Seat rises 251 metres above sea level), lochs and walking trails that allow superb 360-degree views across the city and beyond.
The People’s Story Museum. Address: 163 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BN.
The People’s Story Museum aims to educate and entertain visitors with stories about the past residents of Edinburgh retold through a collection of interactive displays. Learn how Edinburgh’s people lived and worked, what they did for leisure, and how they coped with the terrible living conditions of years gone by.
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Address: 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR.
Modern Art from the 20th and 21st centuries comes alive across the two impressive Scottish National Gallery buildings located a short distance outside the city centre. Browse hundreds of beautiful artworks in an ever-changing collection that are presented both inside the gallery buildings and outside in the landscaped gardens.
The Scottish National Gallery. Address: The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL.
The Scottish National Gallery is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh in a neoclassical building designed by William Henry Playfair. The gallery – which opened to the public in 1859 – houses the national collection of fine art and spans Scottish and international art from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Address: 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD.
The neo-Gothic National Portrait Gallery stands proudly on Edinburgh’s Queen Street where the red sandstone façade has impressed visitors since its construction in 1889. Inside, you will find important works depicting the story of Scotland and its people in a regularly changing collection of paintings and restored photographs.
The Scottish Parliament Visitor Centre. Address: Edinburgh, EH99 1SP.
A modern architectural wonder, the Scottish Parliament building was designed to represent the history and culture of Scotland through a modern design that takes its cues from nearby Holyrood Palace and Holyrood Park. During a visit, you can tour the debating chambers and see for yourself where the important decisions that affect Scotland are made.
The Water of Leith. A hidden oasis of tranquillity only a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s city centre. The Water of Leith stretches from the distant Pentland Hills to the historic port of Leith. Along the walkway, you’ll discover a wide variety of wildlife hidden amongst the green areas that surround the river.
The Writers Museum. Address: Lawnmarket, Lady Stair’s Close, Edinburgh, EH1 2PA.
Situated in an alley just off Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, The Writers Museum celebrates the life and works of three of Edinburgh’s most revered storytellers and poets. Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson are brought to life through displays of their personal effects and collections of their literary masterpieces.
Cheap Days Out in Glasgow for Families
Glasgow Cathedral. Address: Castle St, Glasgow, G4 0QZ.
Glasgow is home to the most complete medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland with a building that features stunning stained-glass windows, ornate chapels, and intricate stone carvings. The lower level contains a crypt that is believed to be the final resting place of St. Kentigern who founded the Cathedral.
Kelvingrove Park. Address: Glasgow, G12 8QQ.
Surrounding the Kelvingrove Art Gallery is the extremely popular Kelvingrove Park which stretches across 85 acres in the heart of the city. Visitors can enjoy the River Kelvin which runs through the park as well as five bowling greens, four tennis courts, an orienteering course, a skateboard park, cafés, and beautifully landscaped gardens.
Glasgow Green and The People’s Palace. Address: Greendyke Street, Saltmarket, Glasgow, G1 5DB.
Glasgow Green is one of the largest green areas in the city, covering 136 acres within walking distance of the city centre. The grounds feature a variety of activities including a play village, an orienteering course, and viewing platforms over the River Clyde. The park is also home to the magnificent People’s Palace which is home to a museum, café, and a glasshouse.
Mugdock Country Park. Address: Milngavie, Mugdock, Glasgow, G62 8EL.
Mugdock Country Park is situated north of East Dunbartonshire and southwest of Stirling. The park comprises 270 hectares of woodland, moorland, and heathland and is connected by a network of paths. It contains a loch, two castles, a stables complex and a walled garden. Keen walkers can enjoy several orienteering trails while children can go wild in a play park and on an adventure trail.
Pollok Country Park. Address: Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow, G43 1AT.
This Green Flag award-winner provides a quiet sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and has a wide variety of exciting features such as a play park, orienteering course, historic stables, heavy horses and roaming Highland cows.
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Address: Great Western Rd, Glasgow, G12 0UE.
Glasgow’s famous Botanic Gardens are open all year for visitors to enjoy over 200 years of history with plant species that have been collected from around the world. In addition to the beautifully managed plant specimens, there’s an arboretum and a heritage trail to explore, while guided tours are available for those wishing to learn more about Glasgow’s gardening heritage.
Strathclyde Country Park. Address: Hamilton Road, Motherwell, Lanarkshire, ML1 3ED.
Strathclyde Country Park played host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the excitement of that year lives on through several fun activities that are available throughout the 400 hectares of countryside that comprise the park grounds. There are outdoor adventure playgrounds, bike trails, a fitness gym, and a water sports centre with an on-site café.
The Lighthouse Art Gallery. Address: 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU.
The Lighthouse was the first public commission designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the celebrated Glasgow architect, designer, and artist. The gallery showcases a variety of art exhibitions as well as the Mackintosh Centre which features a variety of art-themed exhibits.
The Tall Ship. Address: 150 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS.
Glasgow was once home to shipbuilders that produced sea-faring craft that spanned the globe. This important era in the city’s history is celebrated with the faithfully restored Glenlee which is one of many hundreds of sailing ships that were built on the banks of the River Clyde.
Visitors can explore the restored sailing ship thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Clyde Maritime Trust which also provides an interesting audio tour so that you can learn about the ship’s history while walking around it.
Cheap Days Out in the Highlands for Families
Culloden Battlefield. Address: Culloden Moor, Inverness, IV2 5EU.
The Culloden Visitor Centre is situated next to the battlefield and features artefacts from both sides of the battle. While the main exhibition is paid, some exhibits are free to view. The battlefield site is also home to several monuments as well as a restored traditional Highland cottage.
Ben Nevis. Address: PH33 6PF (visitor centre).
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It’s particularly popular with walkers due to the well-constructed mountain track from Glen Nevis on the south side of the mountain, while climbers can enjoy some of the best rock and ice climbs in the country.
Loch Ness. Address: Loch Ness, Inverness-shire, IV63 6TU.
The area around Loch Ness is awash with picturesque towns, untamed wilderness, and breathtaking rolling hills that surround the world-famous loch that is home to the legendary Loch Ness monster. There are several places to see the loch but one of the best is Fort Augustus at the southern end.
Glen Coe. Address: Glencoe, Argyll, PH49 4HX.
Glencoe is Scotland’s most famous and scenic glen. Glencoe is not only a holiday centre for hill walking and mountaineering enthusiasts but it’s also the perfect base to explore the Highlands. There are several accessible Munros in the area, including Bidean Nam Bian and Buachaille Etive Mor.
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Address: Castle Wynd, Inverness, IV2 3EB.
The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery aims to teach visitors about Scottish history while also showing them how the Scottish Highlands are linked with the rest of the world. After browsing the collections you can relax in the café and browse a shop dedicated to Highland products.
Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. Address: Balmaha, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G63 0JQ.
There are lots of activities for visitors to get involved with at this nature reserve. You can take tranquil walks on a wooded isle or head down to the loch shore to watch osprey on the hunt for fish. There are also geese, wigeon, teal and shelduck to keep a lookout for against a background of dramatic mountain peaks.
Lochaber Geopark. Address: 55A High St, Fort William, PH33 6DH (visitor centre).
Lochaber Geopark boasts some of the best geology in the world, along with the UK’s highest mountains and deepest lochs. Outdoor adventure enthusiasts will love the mountain trails and the beautiful landscapes of the area.
Steall Waterfall & Glen Nevis. Address: Old Military Rd, Fort William, PH33 6SY.
Steall Falls offers a first-class walk below Ben Nevis and the surrounding mountains as it passes through the stunning Glen Nevis. The lower falls are impressive after a rainfall and the glen is particularly scenic in summer when it blooms with a carpet of wildflowers.
The Commando Memorial. Address: Spean Bridge, PH34 4EG.
This monument in Spean Bridge is the site where thousands of Allied troops trained for warfare during World War II. The three-figure bronze statue commemorates the sacrifice given by those soldiers and is fittingly set against the mountain backdrop where they trained.
The West Highland Museum. Address: Cameron Square, Fort William, PH33 6AJ.
The West Highland Museum tells the story of the region, its people, and its history with fascinating artefacts from the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite uprising.
Cheap Days Out in Aberdeenshire for Families
Aberdeen Art Gallery. Address: Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1FQ.
Aberdeen Art Gallery is a world-class visitor attraction that celebrates the inspiring power of art and music. The collection is one of the largest in Scotland and offers something of interest to art lovers of all ages.
Cairngorms National Park. The Cairngorms National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty that caters to every interest, from long walks along mountainous trails to relaxing afternoons on loch-side beaches. The area is rich in wildlife and is popular with cyclists and hikers.
Fraserburgh Esplanade. Address: AB43 8TL.
The Esplanade can be reached via the A90 turn-off to Harbour Road.
Fraserburgh Bay is a 2.5-mile (4.02 km) inlet of the North Sea on the Buchan coast that has golden sand beaches and is a popular location for water sports.
Cruden Bay. Address: AB42 0NN. Head north from Aberdeen by car via the A90.
Cruden Bay is a firm favourite with tourists thanks to its white sand beaches, crystal clear sea, and quaint fishing harbour. There’s a golf club, an ancient castle, and cliffs with nesting puffins nearby.
Duthie Park. Address: Polmuir Road, Aberdeen.
Duthie Park (opened 1883) is a beautiful park located close to Aberdeen city centre. It features mature deciduous and evergreen trees, stunning flower beds, wide-open spaces, an ornamental pond and a wetland area.
Logie Estate. Address: Logie, Forres, Moray, IV36 2QN.
Logie Estate offers opportunities for salmon fishing on the River Findhorn as well as several walks by the river and through Logie House Gardens. The gardens include a playground, café, and artisan shops.
Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve. Address: Dinnet, Aboyne, AB34 5NB.
The Muir of Dinnet is a forest area that includes woodland, heathland, a loch, and caves. You can wander through dense thickets of birch trees on designated paths, see beautiful damselflies and rare butterflies, and enjoy peace and quiet on the many waymarked trails that thread their way through the reserve.
Nairn Beach. Address: Nairn, The Highlands, IV12 9AE.
Nairn Beach is ideal for a family day out with lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy. The beach is highly regarded for its clean sand and promenade and features a putting green, a leisure park, and a swimming pool.
Cheap days out in Argyll & Bute for families
Argyll Forest Park. Address: Glenbranter, Cairndow, PA27 8DJ.
Argyll Forest Park is a particularly scenic region of Argyll & Bute that is known for its craggy peaks. A visit allows families to hike through glens and alongside lochs and rivers, though designated paths are few and far between. The park stretches from the Holy Loch on the Firth of Clyde to the mighty peaks of the Arrochar Alps.
Keil Caves and St Columba’s Footprints. Address: Southend, Mull of Kintyre, Argyll & The Isles, PA28 6RW.
Keil Caves at the southern end of Kintyre is a superb place for families to explore. Although long abandoned, the caves were inhabited for centuries and are worth a visit after exploring the nearby St. Columba’s Chapel and St. Columba’s Well.
Ben Cruachan Reservoir. Address: Ben Cruachan, Dalmally, PA33 1AN.
Ben Cruachan is regarded as one of the finest Munros in the Southern Highlands. It’s a very popular place with hillwalkers due to the rock outcrops that offer spectacular views and the ridge walk that provides a circular route around the scenic Cruachan dam.
Ganavan Beach. Address: Oban, PA34 5TB.
Ganavan Beach features stunning views across the sea to Mull, Lismore and Morven, and is a favourite location for walkers thanks to the adjacent coastal path where seabirds including guillemot, terns and gannets can be viewed at all times of the day.
Machrihanish Seabird Observatory. Address: Lossit Park, Machrihanish, Argyll, PA28 6PZ.
Machrihanish offers an unparalleled wildlife experience with superb bird-watching opportunities and spectacular scenery. The purpose-built hide provides shelter for twitchers as they keep watch for the 200+ bird species that are recorded annually.
Oban War and Peace Museum. Address: Old Oban Times Building, Corran Esplanade, Oban, Argyll, PA345P.
The Oban War & Peace Museum contains a fascinating collection of artefacts depicting the cultural history of Oban and its people throughout history. The museum also serves to teach visitors about the town’s fishing and maritime industries, railways, road transport, and the iconic McCaig’s Tower.
Pucks Glen. Address: Dunoon, PA23 8QT.
Pucks Glen has two superb trails on offer for walkers of all ages. One winds through a jaw-dropping gorge with tumbling waterfalls, while the other provides amazing viewpoints and some of the finest rhododendron displays in the country.
The Falls of Lora. Address: Connel Bridge, Connel, Oban, Argyll, PA37 1PH.
The Falls of Lora generate powerful currents when the tide level in the Firth of Lorn drops below the level of the water in Loch Etive. The falls provide white-water rapids for kayakers and an exciting spectacle for tourists and photographers.
Cheap Days Out in the Scottish Borders for Families
Eyemouth Museum. Address: Auld Kirk Manse Road, Eyemouth, Berwickshire, TD14 5JE.
Eyemouth Museum documents the fishing and social heritage of Eyemouth where exhibits bring to life the stories of local people. In addition to the museum, there’s a visitor information centre, an exhibition gallery, and a gift shop.
Borders Textile Towerhouse. Address: 1 Tower Knowe, Hawick, TD9 9BZ.
The Borders Textile Towerhouse was built as a defensive tower in the mid-1500s, making it the oldest building in Hawick. The museum celebrates the Borders’ textile industry through exhibits of garments, artefacts, and photographs from over 200 years of Scotland’s knitwear and tweed industries.
Hume Castle. Address: Hume, Berwickshire, TD5 7TR.
Hume Castle is situated on a hill 750 feet (0.23 km) above sea level which for centuries was the major defensive site in the eastern section of the Scottish Borders. Today, the ruined castle is famed for the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
The Jim Clark Room. Address: 44 Newtown Street, Duns, Berwickshire, TD11 3AU.
Jim Clark was a leading Scottish motor racing driver of the 1960s who won two world championships in 1963 and 1965. The Jim Clark Room provides a full account of his life in motor racing through a display of trophies, photographs, and other memorabilia.
Locharron of Scotland Visitor Centre. Address: Dunsdale Road, Selkirk, Selkirkshire, TD7 5DZ.
Lochcarron of Scotland has been specializing in textiles since being founded in 1947, and it is one of the Border’s leading producers of tartan, tweed, cashmere, and knitwear. The visitor centre stocks a vast range of clothes and accessories made from wool as well as over 700 tartans used in the making of Scottish kilts.
Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre. Address: Philiphaugh Estate Office, Selkirk, TD7 5LX.
This salmon viewing centre features informative displays that teach visitors about the life cycle of Scottish salmon as well as explain the dangers that await them in the river. There’s an interactive video screen where you can watch 4 different cameras around the edge of the Ettrick River along with a fish counter that monitors their numbers.
St. Abbs Head Nature Reserve. Address: St Abbs, Eyemouth, Borders, TD14 5QF.
St. Abbs Head Nature Reserve is a bird-watchers paradise where thousands of seabirds can be seen nesting high on the monumental cliffs that define this part of Scotland’s coastline. The site features a visitor centre that explores the wildlife, geology, and history of St. Abbs Head.
St. Ronan’s Well Visitor Centre. Address: Wells Brae, Innerleithen, Tweeddale, EH44 6JE.
This historic spa has several displays and exhibits that explore the story of Innerleithen and St Ronan’s Well and their connections with the Scottish writers Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg. In addition, there are extensive gardens surrounding the spa that feature several stone sculptures.
The Polish Map of Scotland. Address: Barony Castle Hotel UK, Eddleston, EH45 8QW.
This unusual attraction is a large physical relief map of Scotland that was sculpted in concrete by Polish soldiers who were stationed in Scotland during WWII. The map measures around 40 metres by 50 metres and lies in the grounds of Barony Castle, once the home of the Murrays of Elibank and later the Hotel Black Barony.
Cheap Days Out in Central Scotland for Families
Callendar House. Address: Callendar Rd, Falkirk, FK1 1Y.
Callendar House is set in the historic landscape of Callendar Park which also contains a section of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site. The House features informative displays including The Story of Callendar House, The Antonine Wall, Rome’s Northern Frontier, and Falkirk: Crucible of Revolution 1750-1850.
The River Tay Public Art Trail. Address: River Tay, Perth, PH1. There are various points of entry.
The art trail of Perth takes you along Tay Street, over the river, and through a beautiful riverside park. There are many gardens and flower beds to discover as well as fascinating pieces of public art that are on permanent display.
Cambuskenneth Abbey. Address: Ladysneuk Rd, Stirling, FK9 5NG.
This Abbey was founded in 1140 by King David I to serve Stirling Castle which stands a short distance to the west. The abbey is unusual in that it has a bell tower that is built unlike any other in Scotland.
Dollar Museum. Address: Castle Campbell Hall, 1 High St, Dollar, FK14 7AY.
Dollar Museum is an independent museum dedicated to the history and heritage of the village of Dollar in the county of Clackmannanshire. The Museum includes an archive room as well as an extensive display on the Devon Valley Railway.
Stirling Smith Museum and Gallery. Address. 40 Albert Pl, Stirling FK8 2RQ.
The Stirling Smith Museum functions as a gallery and museum for historic and contemporary artefacts and paintings from the Stirling area. The building also houses a lecture theatre, a café, and a biodiversity garden.
Kinneil Museum. Address: Duchess Anne Cottages, Bo’ness, EH51 0PR.
Kinneil Museum is located in the 17th-century stable building of Kinneil House. The museum tells the story of Bo’ness town and the Roman remains on which it was built. Kinneil Estate contains part of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site and also includes the site of a deserted medieval village.
Maid of the Loch. Address: Loch Lomond Marina, Riverside, Balloch, Alexandria, G83 8LF.
The Maid of the Loch is a fine example of Clyde-built shipping and features a beautiful art-deco-inspired interior. The vessel is located on the banks of Loch Lomond and has been renovated into a fully operational paddle steamer.
North Queensferry Harbour Light Tower. Address: 60 Main St, North Queensferry, Inverkeithing, KY11 1JG.
The Harbour Light Tower in North Queensferry is an interesting example of 19th-century engineering near the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Rail Bridge. It’s famous for holding the title of the world’s smallest working light tower.
St. Cyrus National Nature Reserve. Address: The Old Lifeboat Station, Nether Warburton, Montrose, DD10 0AQ.
The St. Cyrus grasslands are protected from the ravages of the weather by natural barriers of inland cliffs and a seaward ridge of sand dunes. In summer, the reserve is home to countless butterflies and moths, and peregrine falcons can be frequently seen in search of prey.
The Church of the Holy Rude. Address: St John Street, Stirling, FK8 1ED.
This fascinating building has been the Parish Church of Stirling for over 900 years. It’s the only church still in active use – apart from Westminster Abbey in London – that hosted a coronation when King James VI of Scotland was crowned there in 1567.
Cheap days out in Dumfries & Galloway for families
Agnew Park. Address: Agnew Crescent, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, DG9 7JZ.
Agnew Park has a wide range of leisure facilities including a boating lake, a miniature railway that takes in a complete tour of the park, a play island, an 18-hole putting green, and a mini car racing circuit. There’s also a café serving a range of hot and cold refreshments.
Dock Park. Address: Dock Park, Dumfries, DG1 2RY.
The most prominent feature of Dock Park is the nineteenth-century bandstand that plays host to frequent events throughout the year. The rest of the park borders a riverside that’s extremely popular in summer, while a large children’s play park, a historic maze, and a Peter Pan-themed mini golf course are used by families year-round.
Dalbeattie Museum. Address: Southwick Rd, Dalbeattie, DG5 4BS.
Dalbeattie Museum is a fascinating wee museum that was set up with a vision to record the town’s history through a collection of artefacts and photographs that have been chosen for their contribution to the social history of Dalbeattie.
Grey Mares Trail Nature Reserve. Address: Moffat Valley, Moffat, Dumfriesshire, DG10 9DP.
This spectacular trail features one of the highest waterfalls in the UK where the tumbling waters of Loch Skeen plunge 60 metres down the Moffat Water Valley. Walkers often catch sight of ospreys, peregrine falcons and wild goats as they traverse the glacier-scarred terrain.
Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum. Address: High Street, Sanquhar, Dumfries & Galloway, DG4 6BN.
This museum is dedicated to Sanquhar’s renowned knitting industry as well as the mines and miners of Sanquhar and Kirkconnel. The 18th-century tollbooth is a fascinating backdrop to the audiovisual presentations which include explanations of what prison life was like in Sanquhar jail.
Red Deer Range Trail. Address: Castle Douglas, DG7 2BL.
The Red Deer Range offers visitors the chance to see over 60 red deer in their natural environment in a purpose-built viewing area and hide. Numerous paths allow visitors to experience all areas of the forest and guided walks are available in summer.
St. Ninians Cave. Address: St Ninian’s Cave, Nr Whithorn, Dumfries & Galloway, DG8.
St. Ninian’s Cave lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the beach of Physgill, close to Whithorn. Visitors can explore the dark and gloomy depths of the sea cave where St. Ninian supposedly had a hermitage, while the stony beach is perfect for enjoying a relaxing afternoon stroll.
Station Park. Address: Beattock Road, A701, Moffat, DG10 9HF.
This family park and boating pond is set in beautiful surroundings and is a superb place for families to enjoy a wide range of activities. As well as the manicured gardens there’s a boating lake, a putting green, an interactive water feature and a children’s play park.
The Mill on the Fleet. Address: High Street, Gatehouse of Fleet, DG7 2HS.
The Mill on the Fleet was built in 1788 as a cotton spinning mill but is used today as an exhibition centre for the heritage of the local area. The main exhibition floor houses displays that provide a glimpse into the life and times of Gatehouse and Fleet Valley as well as a café and a bookshop.
The Mull of Galloway Trail. The Mull of Galloway Trail runs from Mull to Stranraer, and Stranraer to Glenapp, across 35 miles (56.33 km) of stunning south Scotland landscapes that not only provide breathtaking views but are rich in wildlife. Visitors to the trail will frequently see red deer, red squirrels, seals, and a wide variety of Scottish flora and fauna.
Resources for cheap & free days out in Scotland
- For more cheap days out in Scotland take a look at this article: The Complete Guide to Free Attractions in Scotland.
- If you’d like to see more suggestions for family days out in Central Scotland check out this article: 10 Best Family Attractions in Central Scotland.
- Ideas for free family days out in Glasgow are listed in this article: 13 Free Attractions in Glasgow.
- The top free attractions in Edinburgh are listed here: 14 Free Attractions in Edinburgh.
- A good resource for gift vouchers for family days out in Scotland is this website: Experience Gift Scotland.
- The Glasgow Life website features a number of top attractions in Glasgow that are completely free to visit, including the Riverside Museum which is also the home of The Tall Ship.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I save money on Scotland’s trains?
The Trainline offers instant online ticket booking at prices that are up to 43% discounted compared to buying the same ticket directly from the station.
You can also save money with a ScotRail Travel Pass and by buying train tickets up to 12 weeks in advance. Cheap days out in Scotland can also be found with a ScotRail Friends and Family card which usually has discounts on attraction entry tickets.
How can I save money on Scottish accommodation?
Hostels offer same-sex and mixed-sex dorm rooms in city centres like Edinburgh and Glasgow for as little as £20 per night.
An alternative option is to book a budget hotel room out of season when you’ll find city centre rooms for £50 or less, which is 2 to 3 times cheaper than the same room in peak (summer) season.
What is the cheapest way to travel in Scotland?
Buses are the cheapest way to travel between cities in Scotland and you will often find coach companies like Mega Bus and Citylink with special offers of £1 between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
At other times a cheap-rate bus ticket between the cities costs around £5.
How can I save money on Scottish tourist attractions?
Many of the best attractions in Scotland are the historic buildings managed by Historic Environment Scotland.
The cheapest way to visit these attractions is to buy a HES membership which costs around £5 per month for an adult.
What can you do in Scotland for free?
As a country with literally thousands of outdoor attractions, there are plenty of choices for things to do in Scotland that are completely free.
Highlights include visiting Loch Ness in the Highlands, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Riverside Transport Museum in Glasgow. More suggestions are listed in these articles: Best Free Attractions in Scotland and Best Free Attractions in the Highlands.