Your family travel assistant

Edinburgh is an awesome destination for a family holiday - there's a ton to do, lots to explore and it's such an easy city to walk around. That said, we understand that sometimes you've just got that urge to get out and see somewhere a little different while so here are our top picks for day trips while in Edinburgh.

1. St Andrews

How to get there: Rent a car or take a tour
How long it takes: Slightly over an hour by car

A perfect place to just wander around. St Andrews is filled with beautiful historic sites, plenty of beaches and lots of family friendly spots. Why not visit the Medieval Cathedral and climb the tower for views across St Andrews and Fife? Or take part in the St Andrews Spy Mission Treasure Trail to learn all about the town while solving clues and cracking the code? If these don't appeal, there's plenty of other options such as relaxing by the beach (if the weather allows!) or heading to the Home of Golf to play a round at one of the oldest courses in the world. Basically, there's something for everyone at St Andrews.

2. Glentress

How to get there: Rent a car
How long it takes: Just over an hour by car

If you're looking for something a little more active, head to Glentress in the Scottish Borders. Here you'll find lots of beautiful walking paths and great opportunities to view Scottish wildlife. Glentress is also home to one of the 7stanes mountain biking centres and there are several trails of varying difficulty. Bonus, bikes can easily be rented nearby.

Walking and biking not your thing? Check out Go Ape! With high-speed zip lines (one is 325 metres long!), tarzan swings and plenty of other obstacles, Go Ape's tree-top courses are a great way to get active for families with older kids (age 10+).

3. Loch Lomond

How to get there: Rent a car or take a tour
How long it takes: Around 1 hour and 45 minutes by car

If you're looking for a hint of those famous Scottish landscapes but don't fancy the long trip up North, Loch Lomand and the Trossachs may be just what you're looking for. Inside one of Scotland's National Parks, Loch Lomand is the largest loch (or lake) in Great Britain. Kayaks, canoes and much more can be rented here or you can enjoy a walk along the shore or take a cruise across the loch to enjoy views of Ben Lomand and the loch's islands (one even has wallabies - no we're not kidding!). With lots to do, Loch Lomand and the Trossachs National Park is a great day trip from Edinburgh.

4. Stirling

How to get there: Take the train
How long it takes: Around 45 minutes by train

Often called the gateway to the Highlands, Stirling is a great place to visit if you loved Edinburgh. With it's beautiful castle, historic buildings, cobbled streets and cosy cafes, it's a little like Edinburgh in miniature.

Outside of the city, you can race to the top of the Wallace Monument for views of the region or visit the multi-award winning Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. Using incredible technology, the centre truly brings history to life and you even have the opportunity to take command on a virtual battlefield where you can try to recreate history. Definitely not to be missed.

5. The Highlands

How to get there: Rent a car or take a tour!
How long it takes: Around 3 and a half hours to Loch Ness by car

Not very specific we know and definitely on the longer side of a day trip - one that could rightly be extended to an overnight or two - visiting the Scottish Highlands is a MUST do in Scotland. Up here, you'll see the views of Scotland that are always plastered on posters and adverts and, believe us, they haven't been exaggerated.

There are plenty of places worth visiting in the Highlands, from visitors centres to castles and picturesque towns to mountain viewpoints. So set aside some time, be sure to make plenty of photo stops en route and enjoy the drive - you'll likely have some of the best views you've ever seen. Remember to play spot the Highland Cow en route - you're more likely to catch a glimpse of them than Nessie!

6. Glasgow

How to get there: Take the train
How long it takes: Around 45 minutes by train (note: this is for the quickest train, others take longer and have more stops en route)

If you're more of a city person, Glasgow - Scotland's largest city, might be more for you. With plenty of excellent family friendly museums that are free to enter (always a bonus), plenty of fun educational sites (like Glasgow Science Centre) and more activities than you can count (Glasgow Climbing Centre is a great day out), Glasgow is somewhere that you'll never run out of things to do.

Special mentions go to some of our Glasgow favourites that are completely free; Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland Street School (where kids can dress up and find out what school was like in the past) and The Tall Ship which has a great regular programme of events and activities for all ages.