Family Friendly Edinburgh

Edinburgh is such a great place to come with children of all ages that I thought I would list some excellent things to do.  As a parent, I have spent many great days out, in and around the Royal Mile in the Old Town and this is where many fo my favourite places to visit with children can be found.

National Museums of Scotland
Two museums side by side that are just fantastic for children, both of which are free.  They have great exhibits for children and loads of free shows. This is not to be missed. http://www.nms.ac.uk/

Edinburgh Castle
At the top of the Royal Mile and I think it needs no introduction. Entry fee applies. http://www.edinburghcastle.biz/

St. Giles Cathedral
This is really interesting for children and they have lots of guides explaining the history of the Cathedral all day. They are so good with children and point things in the walls out to them. Free entry but they do not allow visitors during service times. http://www.stgilescathedral.org.uk/

Mary Kings Close
This is a guided tour of old Edinburgh and older children especially with find this interesting. Hidden beneath the Royal Mile lies Edinburgh’s deepest secret: a warren of hidden ‘closes’ where real people lived, worked and died.  For centuries they have lain forgotten and abandoned, until now…  http://www.realmarykingsclose.com/

Loch Ness Experience
Must admit that we have not been here yet but after watching an excellent film called the Water Horse at the cinema last night – this will be very high on our agenda and I will update very soon on what it is like. Looks really good from the website and is mid way down the Royal Mile so it on the list. http://www.3dlochness.com/index.html

Ok – have now been to the Loch Ness experience and it is short, giving the facts and letting the viewer make their own mind up about the Loch Ness Monster but I don’t think it is suitable for younger children, maybe older ones and adults. A good tip – many of the hotels have Downtown Edinburgh maps at reception and in it there is a 2 for 1 entry into this attraction so half price admission – lots of other offers in this map so go into a hotel and get one. I got mine at the Radisson!

Museum of Childhood
This is just opposite WHISKI Bar and down a little way to the right. Here it is great to see how toys have changed over the years. Free entry. http://www.cac.org.uk/

Scottish Storytelling Centre
This place has a varied programme of entertianment for children, some free and some not. This is on the same side as WHISKI bar and just a few yards down to the right. http://www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk/index.asp

Our Dynamic Earth
A must visit attraction especially for kids 4 years old and over. Under this age and parts of it may be a bit scary. http://www.dynamicearth.co.uk/

Holyrood Palace
This is the Queens official residence in Scotland and worth a visit. Right at the very bottom of the Royal Mile and Opposite the Scottish Parliament.
http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/default.asp?action=article&ID=36

Tours
The Mercat Tours are a firm favourite and have schedules tours day and night. Just turn up outdside the Mercat Cross in Parliament Square in the middle of the Royal Mile or you can book  in advance. They have ghost tours, vault tours and various others – just check which ones are suitable for the age of your children.
http://www.mercattours.com/home.asp

Well, these are some of my favourites but they are certainly not them all. There are many other museums and galleries, many free that no visit to Edinburgh should miss, eg the Brass Rubbing center, writers museum, Holyrood Park, Princess Street gardens, the many fabulous art galleries and the not to be missed Botanic Gardens. Edinburgh is a small city with all the fabulous bits in the center where much of it is walkable. The sight seeing bus tours are great fun and very informative and you can jump off and on at will.  Who says that just because you have children that you need to be confined to cafes, “kid-friendly restaurants” and department store canteen type places – after a great day out,  work up an appetite and see you at WHISKI bar…

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