A Family Visit To Edinburgh

family visit to Edinburgh

Following on from our trip on the Caledonian Sleeper we had a family visit to Edinburgh. I think I was about fifteen last time I came here on the train with my parents. It’s just as lovely as I remember it, in fact more lovely. Funny that as you get a little older your appreciation for places really grows.

After arriving early Tuesday morning we had a full two days to explore before going home on the Thursday. I purposely didn’t plan an itinerary because I wanted it to be more relaxed and not running to a timetable. We stayed in the Premier Inn on Princes Street which was an excellent central location and our room overlooked the castle. Although we couldn’t check in, we dropped our bags which made exploring much easier.

Edinburgh Castle

We spent the morning walking around and as I have a transport lover a trip on the trams was a necessity. However I wish we’d have done the bust tour on day one rather than day two because I’d have got a much better idea of what to explore – more on that later.

St Giles Cathedral, Edinbugh

The weather was not very kind and after a rainy morning of walking we were both exhausted and went back to our room for a siesta. Fortunately the weather dried up while we were resting and as we had booked to eat near the Grassmarket (Pizza Express!) I knew we’d have another opportunity to explore after dinner which was lucky as we were right next to Victoria Street, the one with all the colourful facades.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh

On day two we’d already eyed up the bus tours and I know from experience that this is a great way to see the city with kids especially when they get tired from walking. Before we walked to the Waverley Bridge we had a quick look in the Princes Street Gardens at the lovely fountains.

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

We decided to go on the Majestic Bus Tour because of where it stopped, namely the Botanic Gardens. The bus has an audio tour in various languages delivered by earphones that plug into the seat in front. It was lovely to hop up top and get a really good view as we drove through the streets.

The Glasshouses Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

I can highly recommend a visit to the glass houses and kids are free. After we’d walked round the glasshouses, we went to the cafe (warning it does get extremely busy so it might be an idea to book a table on arrival at the gardens). We were lucky and managed to get a table on the covered terrace outside. The cake was absolutely delicious! When we had finished we hopped back on the bus to go down to the docks and see the Royal Yacht Britannia (must do this on our next visit) however it started raining again so we decided not to get off and stayed on the bus until we got back to the centre.

Edinburgh docks
Scottish Piper in Edinburgh
Edinburgh centre

On the second evening we ate at Zizzi (what can I say, I have a son that loves Pizza!) and then went up the Royal Mile to Camera Obscura. Xander absolutely loved it. It’s a brilliant attraction and I wish we’d had more time to explore it but it was half seven when we arrived there. We went straight to the top floor to see the ‘show’ before exploring the displays which was really fun for adults and kids alike. Don’t miss the mirror maze on the bottom floor!

Camera Obscura, Edinburgh

On reflection I wish we’d stayed another night as there were a few things on Cannon Hill that I would have loved to explore so for the next trip it’s going to be three nights away. The hotel was fantastic, I love Premier Inn, they are always clean and comfortable and the staff are very well trained, not to mention a brilliant breakfast. If you’re looking at a trip to Scotland, check out my post on what to wear for a rainy weekend in Edinburgh.

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