There can be few finer locations for a short family activity break than the glorious West Highlands of Scotland. From the majestic and iconic Glencoe, to the sweeping mass of Ben Nevis, the stunning golden sandy beaches of Arisaig, to mist shrouded islands off the coast, the deepest lochs (holding untold mysteries) and the reminder of a marital and Jacobite history through the castles and forts dotting the coastline. There can be no finer location for a sense of the dramatic and no visit to West Highlands of Scotland is complete without a visit to the Ice Factor.
The Ice Factor is the UK’s Premier Mountain Activity Centre. We have won the top Tourism Award for Outstanding Customer and Visitor Experience more times than any other business, are a 4 Star Visit Scotland Activity Centre and hold a full AALA license for working with minors.
Our unique range of activities, include the World’s Largest Indoor Ice Climbing Wall, The UK’s Highest Articulated Rock Climbing Wall and the UK’s Highest (and scariest!) Outdoor Aerial Adventure Course and Giant Swing.
Our world-class facilities are supported by highly experienced and motivated staff, skilled in working with children and families. We provide all specialist equipment with top brands like Grivel, Scarpa and Haglofs being made available to our customers.
The Ice Factor Kinlochleven is in the middle of the Outdoor Capital of the UK and as such, there can be few better bases for a family on a short break to the highlands, with a number of the areas most popular sites within 50 miles travel. (See bottom of this section for table of distances to/from Ice Factor from popular family destiantions.)
We welcome tens of thousands of families each year, and no visit to the Highlands of Scotland is complete without a day at the Ice Factor.
No other facility offers such a compelling and accessible range of word class Adventure Activities. We are highly experienced in working with families and accommodating the divergent needs of younger children, go-getting tweens and mum, dad, aunts/uncles and grandparents.
Irrespective of the weather you are guaranteed a simply amazing day out at the Ice Factor, with memories driven by shared experiences.
We run instructed courses every day, 364 days a year (closed Christmas Day) on each of our principal activities:
Families can choose to:
Each activity class normally last 1-1.5 hours. These are group sessions, where you join an open group learning ice climbing or rock climbing or the aerial adventure course.
Our most popular course among families is the Full or Half Day Adventure Course
Many families elect to book private instruction, where the entire focus of the instructor is applied just to you. After these sessions, subject to your instructor being happy with your belaying and safety, you are welcome to continue climbing at the Ice Factor on the rock walls for the remainder of the day. There is always a member of staff on hand to assist you. This means for £135 a family of 6 can benefit from tailored instruction, all specialist equipment and continue to use the facility all day! This works out at £22.50 p/p (based on family of 6).
The Ice Factor provides all specialist equipment for your session (boots, crampons, rock shoes, helmet, harness, belay device). You should however bring warm clothing and a shower proof layer, thin gloves (available from our shop). Younger children should bring trainers / or similar for the rock walls and Aerial Assault Course. Other than that – a go getting attitude!
We recommend the minimum age for all Ice Factor Activities is 7 years and upwards (for Ice Climbing there is a min boot size of Adult 4). We are not prescriptive on this, preferring to leave the decision up to the parent, although younger children often really struggle with learning in a group situation and can be intimated by the great height/scope of the climbing walls and aerial adventure course.
Frequently family members are rotating (one parent doing the activities whilst the other minds the younger children). To that end we installed a complimentary soft play area, baby changing, high chairs, child friendly menu and selection of toys and books. There is a gift shop and Outdoor Equipment Shop selling postcards and local craft items, the café is open daily from 9am to 5pm and upstairs in our Bothan Bar there are soft leather couches, log burning stove and fresh ground speciality coffees and teas available all day.
The area is incredibly well served with low/no cost days out for families. See our What To Do section for further details.
The Ice Factor regularly hosts live music, climbing competitions, family fun and gala days, join our mailing list to be kept up to date on what’s happing in the local area during your stay – email join mail list -
Families come to Lochaber primarily to take in the glorious natural scenery, enjoy time on shared experiences, get some adrenaline on the activity front and to sample local food, but all that fresh air and adventure can drive a hearty appetite! Our Bothan Restaurant specializes in preparing freshly cooked, locally sourced, organic food, with a changing seasonal menu. An excellent family environment to relax and unwind after a day in the great outdoors.
For details of short family activity breaks in the highlands see our accommodation section.