Exploring Edinburgh with Kids
We have just returned from a wonderful week visiting Scotland in our Campervan. I am not sure we will ever tire of the spectacular views, the quiet roads, the rugged coastal beauty and that constant need to stop and get that perfect shot. We have vowed that we will never visit a place twice… after all..life is too short right? and the world is a beautiful place to explore! However I think we could actually visit Scotland time and time again. It offers culture, history, beaches and stunning scenery; there is so much to see and do.
Having visited the West Coast last year, this year we were eager to visit the East Coast and she what it had to offer. We based ourselves in East Lothian where we had read about the golden beaches, spectacular cliffs and fascinating heritage.
Edinburgh is a short drive from East Lothian, around 30 minutes. We arrived mid morning, and with our three mini me’s in tow, we set off to find out what Edinburgh had to offer for a family with young children.
Edinburgh Castle with kids
You can’t visit Edinburgh without visiting the iconic Edinburgh Castle. The Castle was built upon the Castle Rock, part of an ancient and extinct volcano, 135 metres above sea level and offering spectacular views over Edinburgh. With over 800 years of history, and now a pivotal component of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site, it is easy to see why the castle is one of Edinburgh’s most popular tourist attractions.
We found parking near to the station and the short walk in to the centre was fine. Parking was not cheap, but we expected this.
Edinburgh Castle offers the most spectacular views of the City. We visited a few years back when ‘M’ was just 2, and it was so lovely to return again, this time she could see the views for herself.
Tickets and Prices
Adult (16 – 59 yrs) £17.00
Child (5 – 15 yrs) £10.20
Explorer passes are available – a cost-effective way to gain access to a large number of Scotland’s historic attractions -please see website for further information.
There are complimentary guided tours and audio guides available to hire to ensure you get the most out of your visit. We chose to explore the castle at our own pace, but we did purchase a ‘Guide for Young Visitors’.
The girls love to explore, and the castle did not disappoint. They explored the dungeons, the great hall, and counted the steps in the Lang Stair. M’s favourite part? – taking the steps up to admire the amazing crown jewels, she thought this was wonderful. Lil_E loved the cannon, Mons Meg. Just to warn you though – the cannon can fire a stone ball almost 2 miles! The gun is fired at 1pm every day (except Sundays, Christmas Day or Good Friday,)
Visiting Edinburgh Castle with kids – tip!
Although most places are accessible with a pushchair and there are lifts; the cobbled paths make for a very bumpy ride and there are lots of steep stairways. If we were to visit again we would definitely take the baby carrier rather than a pushchair.
Visit website to discover more.
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
Once we had explored the castle, we literally stumbled on Camera Obscura, located at the top of the Royal mile and a short stroll from the castle. There was a relatively large queue, even for the afternoon, but we knew we couldn’t visit Edinburgh without stopping by here.
A top rated attraction in the UK, Camera Obscura has been created to provide a better understanding of Edinburgh with its telescopes, view cams and the panoramic view of the City on the roof top terrace. It is a building full of illusions, puzzles, tricks, holograms and effects where visitors are encouraged to interact and get involved. We were keen to find out why this attraction is so popular.
Tickets and Prices
Student (with ID): £13.00
Child (5 – 15 years): £11.00
We were amazed by this place, from the outside it looked small, but it is definitely an Aladdin’s cave with six floors of fun. There is something for all ages here and the girls loved it. Baby S was mesmerised by the abundance of lights and mirrors. We got lost in the mirror maze, got stretched and shrunk in the big-small room, walked through the vortex tunnel (about three times in fact) and enjoyed mixing up the colours at the kaleidoscope. Unfortunately we did not get to experience the Camera obscure show as it was not available until early teatime, but this did not spoil our visit.
Camera Obscura – Top Tip!
The pushchairs are left in the buggy park, as there are steep steps to navigate to explore all of the floors. We carried Baby S around the attraction, but a baby carrier would again definitely be useful here.
Visit website for more information and prices.
After visiting Camera Obscura, we headed along the Royal Mile to find a spot for a bite to eat. By this point the children were getting tired, and the girls had walked for what they felt was miles. It was lovely to see that Lil_E appeared mesmorised by the sound of the bag pipes. Edinburgh has something for everyone and is steeped in history and culture. We only had time to visit a couple of places during our day but there are so many family friendly places to visit that we would definitely love to return with our three children in tow. They loved it.
Head over to ChelseaMamma for more tips on visiting Edinburgh Castle with kids.
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Disclosure: We were provided with press passes by Visit Scotland allowing us to explore a number of attractions whilst during our trip. All views are of mine and my family.