I recently had a conversation with a few well-traveled people about the idea of travel to Europe with children. The consensus was that they wouldn’t dream of doing it, certainly not before the child turned 10. I politely disagreed, pointing out that we traveled to Europe with our son when he was 5. I was told we have a unique child, basically that we’re lucky.
When we were planning our visit to Scotland, we knew we were going to Edinburgh. But that was it. We’d have parts of a couple of days to consider driving north into the country, possibly visit the Highlands, or maybe spend some time in the Borders region near England. I knew if at all possible I wanted to visit at least one castle, other than Edinburgh Castle. And after looking at pictures of castles throughout the country, I knew I found the one in Caerlaverock Castle.
Just off A85 in the shadows of the modest peak of Ben Cruachan in Scotland is a hidden jewel of a castle. It’s a dot on an atlas, a prominent enough destination to actually be listed on a road atlas of Great Britain. But while the little dot of Kilchurn Castle technically exists on a map, it remains a hidden mystery beyond the trees and on the banks of Loch Awe. Kilchurn Castle brings the magic of the Scotland Highlands to life, if only you know where to look.
I’ve been fortunate to travel to Great Britain three times. On each of those visits, pub life was a major part of our experiences. Some of those visits saw us linger over a few pints while other visits were long enough to stop in for a 20-minute break over half pints. And yes, we’ve had many meals in pubs. Before our first visit in 1998, I read in my Lonely Planet guidebook about how the best — and often cheapest — meals were in pubs. I have had many great meals in pubs. I have been to my share of pubs. Here are some of my favorite pubs of Great Britain.
We’ve been asked many times how we could possibly take a 5-year-old child to Europe. How did we manage to spend several days in Paris with a picky eater, visit the city’s amazing restaurants and walk the halls of its majestic art museums, all with a — CHILD. Pretty easy, actually. This week’s Friday Travel Inspiration is meant to encourage you to visit Europe with children.