This month we asked one of our recent guests to the Old Town Chambers the Fraser family from Glasgow who have two young children to give us a list of what they recommend seeing and doing in Edinburgh and here is what they came up with.
Are you in Edinburgh for the weekend with the kids? Perhaps you are visiting the city and worrying about what to do with them during while you are here? Relax, read on and I’ll give you some of my family’s favourite itinerary stops when we spend time in Edinburgh with the little ‘uns.
Firstly, Edinburgh is a stunning city, right up there with the best architecture you could hope to see anywhere in the world. That coupled with it being on the East coast means it is generally dryer than the West coast of Scotland (where I’m from). So strolling about taking in the sights and enjoying the atmosphere is usually a great pastime especially in the summer festival months.
In the heart of the city centre there are some classic, not to be missed, child friendly activities. These aren’t just for the kids though, rather they are for the family and the big kid in each of us. Try the National Museum of Scotland. This is actually two museums co-joined, the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland. The Royal Museum on Chambers Street was refurbished in 2011 and is incredible. It offers a contemporary feel covering every topic from ancient Egypt, insect collections right through to outer-space that there will be something to please everyone. You will need at least a half day there, but don’t be surprised if you spend a whole day there. Entrance is free
Just a short stroll from the Old Town Chambers is the Museum of childhood. A small museum which offers an experience to explore what children of yesteryear played with. No Xboxes or iPads here, so it’s sure to provoke some discussion with the kids and looks of amazement that any of these old toys could possibly entertain anyone! Entrance is free
OK, feeling more energetic? Get the family along to the Commonwealth Swimming Pool. An amazing facility with seriously high diving boards. Are you brave enough to pretend your Tom Daley? Kids will love a half day here, if my kids are anything to go by. Entrance is £15 for two adults and up to 4 children.
Swimming not your thing? What about rock climbing? Alien Rock Indoor Climbing is another great facility which the kids are sure to enjoy (aged 8 and over). There’s even a kids club so kids can learn on their own without parents pestering them. The centre is located in Leith very close to the Royal Yacht Brittania, another family friendly attraction which everyone is bound to enjoy. Incredible to think you can actually stand where the Queen has been and experience the luxury the Royal Family would have enjoyed. Royal Yacht Britannia Entrance £40 for 2 adults and 3 children (ask at reception for the OTC discount card), Alien Rock Entrance £15.50 per child.
A couple of other sports related attractions are worth a mention. Murrayfield Ice Rick and the Snowsports centre in Midlothian should definitely be on your list. Our kids love ice skating and trying to outdo us on the ice (it’s not hard). However for me it’s the Snowsport centre which I really love. Family friendly fun skiing, boarding or tubing. Radical (getting down with the kids there!). Snowsports £20.10 per child for 2 hours.
For the older or braver children, Edinburgh wouldn’t be complete without hearing about its grim and scary past. Try the Cadies and Witchery tour to experience a spooky and funny tour of all the best eerie spots Edinburgh has to offer….Woooo.
Out Of Town
OK, the last two items on my list, and I’ve perhaps saved the best to last. Seriously, don’t miss these. Both of these are not in the Heart of Edinburgh but well worth making the effort to get to. Deep Sea World in North Queensferry is an Aquarium like few others. Not content with looking through a traditional glass panel at the fish. This place allows you to walk through an underwater tunnel essentially submerging you in the exhibits. Literally a few inches away the sharks swim above your heads. An experience not to be forgotten! Entrance £37.00 2 adults and 2 children, online booking essential for this price.
Finally, the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune is the jewel in the crown of Edinburgh attractions in my opinion. As I said, slightly outside Edinburgh but so worthwhile making the effort to get to. It’s a full day’s experience with lots of space for the kids to run around. An incredible collection of planes to see up close including the Comet, Vulcan and Concorde…breathtaking. Family entrance £26 for two adults and two children.