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Inverlochy Castle: Harry Potter, Loch Ness for Family Vacation in Scotland

Explore Scotland with kids from the Inverlochy Castle Hotel.  Where else can your  family vacation include a ride on the Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter fame, sleeping in a fairy-tale castle, and searching for the Loch Ness Monster?

Inverlochy Castle Hotel in Ft. William, Scotland

We are staying at the Inverlochy Castle in the West Highlands for one night before our departure on a six day barge cruise in the north of Scotland on the Scottish Highlander, but I wish we were staying here longer.  It sits on the river Lochy and was built in 1873.  Many notables have stayed here including Jefferson Davis (yes, the one who was head of the confederacy in the U.S.),  and numerous Hollywood celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Charlene Tilton from Dallas fame, not to mention the star of the hugely famous Harry Potter film, Daniel Radcliffe.

For a family vacation in Scotland, this place is luxury personified. Even the hotel car is a Rolls Royce.  These rooms are fit for a queen, as they were once fit for Queen Victoria, who stayed here in 1873. Brocade curtains, antique floral wallpaper, and masterful artwork decorate every nook and cranny. It’s just like you would expect a castle to be except it also has all  of the modern amenities; flat screen TV, state of the art in-room stereo and wireless wi-fi.  Other than that it takes you back in time with 17 luscious suites with names like the King’s Suite,the Queen’s Suite etc.

Opulence aside, this family friendly hotel caters to families, with one third of their summer visitors being families and over half coming from the U.S.   Family and children’s activities are in keeping with the medieval castle theme.  Traditional activities on a family vacation in Scotland should include (and are available through the Castle):

  • Golf
  • Clay pigeons shooting
  • Children’s high tea (what little prince or princess wouldn’t want high tea in a castle?)
  • Archery
  • Tomahawk throwing  (very popular with the kids)
  • Fishing
  • Snooker
  • Tennis
  • Skiing
  • Games galore ( including plenty of playstations, croquet, and a lawn sized chess set)
  • Great Glen Water Park
  • Visit Loch Ness in search of the Loch Ness Monster
  • Gondola rides up Ben Nevis  (the highest peak in the area)
  • An hour steam train ride on the Hogwarts Express (the steam train that was featured in the film Harry Potter)
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Boat trips
  • and more…
  • There is even babysitting available for parents who want to spend some time alone.

The dining room offers a very kid-friendly children’s menu.  We were told a story of a family for whom the chef prepared a special 12 course gourmet tasting menu and the family took a blindfold taste test and the 6 year old kid got more right than Mom and Dad.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel is not a low budget operation, but it will be quite the experience.  If you’re planning a family vacation in Scotland, why not go all out and stay in a castle where not only the kids will be treated like royalty, but Mom and Dad will, too.

If you go…



toll free from the USA  188-424-0106

Located approx. 100 miles north of Glasgow

Larry Berle is a travel writer who writes on many travel topics but specializes in golf travel.  He is author of A GOLFERS DREAM: HOW A REGULAR GUY CONQUERED THE GOLF DIGEST LIST OF AMERICAS TOP 100 GOLF COURSES.   Learn more about his book at www.GolfersDreamBook.com and from there you can also access his travel blog.

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