5 tips for a Scottish seaside holiday with a toddler

View of a porch with a beach umbrella and view of the sea

1. Ensure that your toddler actually likes the seaside.

Before booking that pricey 4-star holiday cottage on the coast, ask yourself whether your child has actually enjoyed previous visits to the seaside. Otherwise, you will spend most of the holiday avoiding the beach that’s right outside your front door because they’re afraid of sand and think the waves are ‘too noisy’.

After you come home, they will act like none of this ever happened.

Popple: [Shows me the plastic shovel that we bought for the beach, which she never used] Popple shovel.

Me: Yes, that’s your shovel.

Popple: Shovel sand.

Me: Yes, that shovel is for the sand.

Popple: Popple loves sand.

Seriously, kid?

2. Bring layers. All the layers.

This jacket did not provide sufficient protection against the Scottish weather.

Leave your swimsuit at home, unless you happen to visit the Scottish seaside during the one week in July when it’s actually warm enough to wear one. Instead, bring jackets. Jumpers. Scarves. Hats. Gloves. Even if the sun comes out – and that’s a big if – it will still be f-ing windy.

Note that the colder it gets, the more forcefully your toddler will refuse to wear anything that might help keep them warm.

3. Plan alternative activities.

If your child gets tired of the beach (or refuses to step foot on it to begin with), or if the weather is a bit crap (which it will be), it’s a good idea to plan alternative child-friendly activities. We choose the Scottish Deer Centre, which seemed like a great idea until we discovered that the Popple is terrified of deer – even the cute Bambi-like ones.

Thankfully, the centre has a playground. Adrian and I quickly realised that we’d spent £17 to watch our daughter go up and down a damp slide for an hour.

4. Don’t forget a bib.

This isn’t specific to a seaside holiday – or a Scottish holiday. Or holidays, even. Just remember to bring a bib whenever you leave the house. Toddlers are filthy eaters. The Popple spent the first few days of our holiday on the Fife coast covered in carrot soup and soggy Weetabix.

5. Let the seaside air work its magic.

Despite her dislike of the beach and the unseasonably cold weather, the Popple couldn’t get enough of being outdoors when we went to the seaside. She rolled around in the grass and ran down cobblestone streets with her skinny little toddler legs. In the evening, too exhausted move, she made me carry her down the coast, slapping me on the back and saying, “Go Mummy!” whenever I paused to admire the sunset over the water.

When you live in a city, there’s something about the seaside air that clears you out. Makes things fresh. Even a toddler can feel it.

“Outside,” she demanded. “OUTSIDE! OUTSIIIIDE!”

So outside we went.

Me and the Popple climbing stairs on a beach wall

Rhyming with Wine
Two Tiny Hands
Mummy in a Tutu

15 Replies to “5 tips for a Scottish seaside holiday with a toddler”

  1. My daughter used to be afraid of sand but she loves it now, which is good as we live right by the sea lol #dreamteam

  2. Haha love it. I was just talking with the OH yestetday about taking a trip to Scotland. My mum is Scottish but hasn’t been back for years so it would be lovely for her to come with us. Even if they forecast a heatwave I shall make sure I take my winter clothes anyway, especially if we are on the coast. I know it gets quite cold up there. Haha.
    Molly is the same with sand – always wanting to go to the beach but hates it when we’re there… lol #DreamTeam

    1. Hi. Just popping back from the #FamilyFunLinky x

  3. Haha love the honesty #familyfunlinky

  4. Ahh popple I know what Scotland can be like and thankfully I don’t have a toddler that’s scared of sand! I do love the desire to be OUTSIDE though that’s good in my book! Hopefully it was a lovely break away though!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  5. Sorry.. but that photo of you freezing in your coat (which looks like it should be warm enough) is so funny! I loved this post and definitely agree that it’s a good idea to check that the little ones actually like the sea side before booking! This works for other things too, as we found out, like going to a theme park (now that was fun… not). Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam xx

  6. The other one for just general knowledge, bring a baby carrier, we completely forgot the baby carrier and it would have been so useful haha! DUH. The bib is key, Bear has become increasingly messy with eating. I like your first one because it’s obvious yet EASILY overlooked, definitely something I would do. Thanks for these tips I will definitely be taking them into consideration for my holidays with Bear. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  7. Hee hee – this made me laugh – especially the layers photo! The bib thing is a must when you go away as otherwise you get through all the clothes halfway through the holiday and have to find a launderette! Having said that our girls usually refuse the bibs anyway – arghhhh xx #familyfunlinky

  8. Popping back for #ablogginggoodtime. We must be on a fairly similar morning routine! xx

  9. Haha holidays with toddlers are so much fun! All that planning and money and they don’t like it! #stayclassymama

  10. Ha ha ha bless her. Alyssa went on sand the other day and I am guessing she did not remember it from last year as she showed me her hands and was like yuck mama yuck dirty. Jeez kiddo you need to get dirty!
    #Stayclassymama

  11. Muma on the Edge says: Reply

    This made me lol so much! I was actually thinking about a ‘summer’ break to Scotland but I don’t think I will now!! Haha. This reminds me a lot of our ski holiday- more hassle than it was (almost) worth it!!

    Big love

    #familyfun

  12. Haha yes about a year we went on a beach holiday and both kids hated it. I would say though, persevere as both ours love it now. My two also love being outside, even when its bloody freezing – what is that about. I would also say, whatever the time of year if you’re holiday in the UK bring all the layers and all the rain gear. SIGH. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  13. Back again to say Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime and don’t forget to join us again this week!

  14. Kt, yours is the only blog I read consistently. That’s saying something. 🙂 Thanks for being a good friend when I needed one back then.

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