Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh With Kids, Princes Street Gardens

Edinburgh + Kids

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh With Kids

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

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh With Kids, Princes Street Gardens

Edinburgh Castle

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.

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh For Kids, Scotland

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.

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh For Kids, Scotland

Climbing Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is a hill in the center of the city, about a mile east of the castle, that you can climb up for gorgeous views of the city.  Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh For Kids, Scotland

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.

High Tea in Edinburgh, Edinburgh For Kids

High Tea 

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, Edinburgh For Kids

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.

Camera Obscura, Edinburgh For Kids

Camera Obscura

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!

Edinburgh For Kids, Princes Street Gardens Park

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.

Edinburgh With Kids, Princes Street Gardens

We stayed as long as we could in this park before it was time to catch the train back home.

Edinburgh For Kids

Do you have a favorite bit about Edinburgh? I would love to put it on my list for our next trip!


  1. Loved getting to make this trip with you all. What a privilege!!! Look forward to more times over there.

    1. So much fun! And so grateful you were there!

  2. Edinburgh looks fabulous! Isn’t it wonderful that it’s only a train ride away to be revisited again and again? Arthur’s Seat where you can see so far sounded like a lot of fun. High Tea and pastries would definitely be one of my VERY favorite things!! I love, love, love the idea of taking paper and pencils to the museum for sketching…wanna be, no talent artist that I am! I’ve got to tell you that the picture of Cole and Simon – big brother carrying a tired, sleepy little brother – really touched my heart…so sweet and heartwarming!!!

  3. I went to Edinburgh years ago with my mother. She was born in Scotland, but moved to London when she was a baby. We both loved it, especially the castle that was right across from our hotel. It loomed so large over the city. We were there in July and it stayed light until 11:00 at night and all of the local people stayed up very late walking around the town and having festivities. I thought Scotland would be boring, but it wasn’t in the least! Enjoy your time there. I love hearing about your adventures!

    1. So fun! LOVE traveling with my mama too!

  4. Sweetest picture or Cole holding Simon! I’ve loved seeing your pictures & adventures in Scotland.

    1. Thanks girl! I know, right? He can be sweet sometimes!

  5. Welcome to Scotland! Glad you enjoyed Edinburgh. It is a beautiful city.

  6. […] loved staying right downtown. The last time I went to Edinburgh, our lodging was about a ten or fifteen minute bus ride from The Royal Mile, […]

  7. These are great! If you want any more tips on where to go next time you’re here let me know! There are so many places for everyone! And I loved you’re “Looking Back” post! It made me think that I should do something like that for our three years here 🙂

    1. Thanks Jackie. I would love more tips. We make the trip down fairly often. If you have a post of ideas or you do a looking back post, email it or tweet it at me! (alison AT alisonchino DOT com or @alisonchino on Twitter) XO

      1. Will do! I’m @jcrkelly on Twitter. I think I’m going to have to post something about my fave spots in Edinburgh, soon!

  8. […] day before my parents left we went to Edinburgh Castle, which made seven castles total that we managed to show my parents in the 11 days they were here! […]

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