7 Hours Exploring Edinburgh with Kids

Edinburgh Castle

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.

East Lothian

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.

Edinburgh Castle

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

Adult: £15.00

Student (with ID): £13.00

Senior: £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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7 Hours Exploring Edinburgh with Kids



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.

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Travel Loving Family


  1. May 10, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    Sounds a great day out. We still haven’t managed to do Camera Obscura. One day we will ☺ x

    • otisandus
      May 14, 2017 / 7:55 pm

      Oh lovely you really must visit! It is such a fab place, we ran out of time, but next time would love to see the show!

  2. Judy b
    May 10, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    What an excellent ,informative review… we too have recently visited East Lothian, and had a wonderful few days!!
    The roads are excellent, and often deserted, and the scenery and beaches are some of the best we’ve seen!! We too will return as this area has so much to offer..

    • otisandus
      May 14, 2017 / 7:55 pm

      It is such a great place to visit isn’t it! So much to see and do, have you visited Edinburgh before?

  3. May 12, 2017 / 9:24 am

    This looks like such a fun visit. Edinburgh is very much on our 2017 bucket list. I have shamefully never been to Scotland before! Love how you can just pitch up somewhere in your van, that’s brilliant! 🙂

    • otisandus
      May 14, 2017 / 7:57 pm

      I have totally fallen in love with Scotland it is beautiful, I have never seen beaches like it! Edinburgh is a wonderful city, really pretty and so much to do there, definitely put it on your bucket list! Thanks for stopping by and commenting x

  4. May 12, 2017 / 9:56 am

    This is a brilliant post. Scotland is a must do for us later this year/next year as we have seen far too little of it. #MondayEscapes

    • otisandus
      May 14, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      Aw you really must visit it is absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much for hosting Monday Escapes too x

  5. May 12, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    Aw – I last visited the Camera Obscura with my Grandma, when I was a little girl. She celebrates her 93rd birthday in a couple of weeks’ time! D’s brother lives in Edinburgh with his family, but even so, we don’t get to visit enough. Hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze it into our trip to Scotland this summer! #CulturedKids

    • otisandus
      May 14, 2017 / 8:02 pm

      What a memory that is! We had such a brilliant day, we actually ran out of time and could have stayed in Camera Obscura for longer! You really must get up to Scotland and then I can look forward to your wonderful photos 🙂 Thanks for hosting #Culturedkids xx

  6. May 12, 2017 / 4:14 pm

    I recall Edinburgh and the lovely bright lights on a drive around at night. Will have to return with the family.#MondayEscapes

    • otisandus
      May 14, 2017 / 8:04 pm

      It is beautiful we have some fabulous memories from our visits. You really must return it is a wonderful City 🙂

  7. May 13, 2017 / 11:38 am

    Great guide to Edinburgh with kids. Edinburgh is somewhere I’m desperate to go with my two. There’s so much to do there and mine particularly fancy going around the Royal Yacht Britannia.

    • otisandus
      May 14, 2017 / 8:05 pm

      Clare there is so much to do there, we need to go back we didn’t even scratch the surface! stunning city:)

  8. May 18, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    You fit so much into your 7 hours! The Camera Obscura sounds like a fascinating place. I’ve not heard of it before but would visit now if we did spend time in Edinburgh! Thanks for joining in #MondayEscapes

  9. May 19, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Yeah – we love Edinburgh!! That said, can you believe that we have never visited the castle? But then again we literally live beside a castle in Luxembourg, so to pay 17 quid each(!) to visit one is perhaps understandably unappealing for us.

    On our visit to Edinburgh in summer 2015, the kids really enjoyed hearing the story of Greyfriars’ Bobby, then looking for the statue and other souvenirs of Bobby’s life around Greyfriars church. In fact, I have a half-drafted blog article written about that day. I must get round to finishing that sometime…

    #MondayEscapes and #CulturedKids

    • otisandus
      May 27, 2017 / 6:07 pm

      It is such a great place, I was amazed at how much we all enjoyed! Well worth a visit 🙂

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