Last weekend, we took our first of what I feel will be many weekend trips to Edinburgh. For the last several months, whenever I mentioned to someone that we were moving to Scotland, inevitably, I would hear something else wonderful about Edinburgh.
So off we went with a guidebook and suggestions. We took the train from Aberdeen because we still hadn’t bought a car and because Edinburgh is wonderfully walkable. We told the kids to pack light, because they would be carrying their own backpacks around the city. After a rough beginning (Long Morning Walk to Train Station + Teenagers = Bad Idea), we had a great visit. Here are some of our highlights!
Fun In Edinburgh For Kids
Of course. The castle takes your breathe away from the moment you glimpse it. It’s the main attraction in Edinburgh, and everyone had a different favorite bit.
My mom and I loved seeing the Honours of Scotland (Crown Jewels). The honours have a great history, and the story is told really well through the exhibition.
Ben and Simon love, love LOVED the demonstration of weapons in the Great Hall. They also got to see how a real kilt is a large square of fabric, as well as how it is put on and its many uses.
Mary Polly liked seeing the prisons below the castle best.
Climbing Arthur’s Seat
The boys were determined to climb up it as soon as we read about it. They are all a bit obsessed with King Arthur at the moment, and in fact, Simon carried his sword all over Edinburgh.
While the boys climbed, the girls had High Tea, which was super fancy and OH SO yummy. Actually we had lots of fancy tea and pastries in Edinburgh because of you know, all the walking. Our favorite might have been Patisserie Valerie.
National Museum Of Scotland
This museum is so huge that you can only really take in part of it with kids, or even adults. But the admission is free, so you can go back again and again. There was an exquisite sculpture display on for this season, but the highlight for younger folks is the impressive four floors of animal exhibits, many of which are extinct or endangered.
The gorgeous building alone is reason enough to visit this museum.
This place looked so gimmicky to me that Mother and I opted to have tea while Taido took the kids, but it turned out to be a huge amount of fun. The camera obscura, which has been around for 150 years, projects images of the city onto a large mirror. The rest of the building is filled with all different kinds of optical illusions, including a mirror maze that would have most certainly driven me mad. But the kids were wild for it.
Scottish National Gallery
Only Mary Polly was in for seeing this gallery in its entirety with Mother and me, but Simon and Taido popped in for a bit of it and Simon later went back with pen and paper to draw his own rendition of Rodin’s Kiss.
The museum has an amazing collection, full of lots of wonderful Italian Renaissance art that I feel giddy to be so close to, as well as many great Scottish painters and scultptures. We’ll be back with our pencils for sure!
Princes Street Garden Park
After you’ve been to a castle, what could be more fun than playing on one? This park in the shape of a castle was a great playing stop, and those who didn’t want to play were happy to lie in the grass and soak up the wonderful weather we had for our weekend in Edinburgh.
We stayed as long as we could in this park before it was time to catch the train back home.
Do you have a favorite bit about Edinburgh? I would love to put it on my list for our next trip!