Family Travel

Family Travel


Panda chewing leaves (Dreamstime)

5 things your kids will love to do in Edinburgh

Rating: (0 votes)

14th November 2016

The Scottish capital is compact, manageable and packed with family fun. Sally Wray reveals the places you must visit...

1. Check out the toys at the Museum of Childhood

Plane made from Meccano (Museum of Childhood)

Plane made from Meccano (Museum of Childhood)

Up on the Royal Mile, the Museum of Childhood doesn’t look very grand from the outside. And inside, the ramshackle nature continues with six floors of glass cases crammed with toys and books from different decades.

The collection is just as much fun for parents as for kids. You’ll probably spend a lot of your time saying “I had one of those”, to the astonishment of your kids. It is a real trip down memory lane. I had practically all the original Ladybird books they had on display.

It’s also a good opportunity for kids to see how children have played throughout the years. They get so much so easily these days, and exhibits like the old boot fashioned into a doll from the 1800s is a gentle reminder of how circumstances have changed.

2. Learn a terrifying lesson on a Ghost Walk

Edinburgh Ghost Tour leader (Merkat Tours)

Edinburgh Ghost Tour leader (Merkat Tours)

If you go to Edinburgh these days, it's almost become mandatory to go on a ghost walk, especially if you go any time near Halloween, like we did. The good news is that they sneak in a lot about the city’s history, much of it gruesome, that the kids lap up. If your kids love watching Horrible Histories, they'll love this.

Most of the Ghost Walks set off from the Royal Mile and spend time underground in the city’s vaults. Some of the guides dress up. Some are scarier than others. We did a ghost and torture walk, and it was definitely not for the under 12s. There are plenty of less scary walks. Just ask around.

3. Meet Dolly the Sheep at the National Museum of Scotland

Natural World gallery (Dreamstime)

Natural World gallery (Dreamstime)

The National Museum of Scotland is one of the best museums I’ve ever visited. It has great collections and is imaginatively set out. Putting a giant sloth skeleton next to a giraffe and not far from a T-Rex gives you a new perspective on the scale of different animals, as well as their similarities and differences. The skeletons strung from the roof make an impressive display too.  

The science section is really strong, featuring everything from Dolly the Sheep to robots.  There are loads of good interactive displays to challenge and educate your kids. Make sure you swing by the World section too. The display on Inuits is very good. 

The staff at the museum are particularly helpful and well-informed. There are plenty of people happy to answer your questions. It's also worth checking out the great view of Edinburgh from the top floor.

4. Summon magical powers at the Scott Monument

Scott Monument at night (Dreamstime)

Scott Monument at night (Dreamstime)

Rising conspicuously amongst the shiny department stores and posh hotels on Princes Street, and evocatively blackened by pollution, this elaborate gothic tower looks like something straight out of a Harry Potter movie or Ghostbusters.  287 steps take you to the top, but be warned: the stone spiral staircase is a bit of a squeeze, and you have to shout down or up the stairs before you set off.  

There are stained glass windows in the centre chamber on the first level. The man in the little wooden hut at the bottom will loan you a guide/info book, too, if you ask for one.

5. See the UK’s only pandas at Edinburgh Zoo

Giant pandas eating bamboo (Dreamstime)

Giant pandas eating bamboo (Dreamstime)

A 10 min bus ride from the centre of the city, the Edinburgh Zoo is the only place you can see pandas in the UK.  If you want to see the pandas you need to pre-book a 15-minute viewing slot before your visit.  If the pandas aren’t out during your timeslot you can come back at a later time and try again.  

Panda viewing is included in the entrance price, which is cheaper if you buy your tickets online at least 48 hours ahead. The Zoo is on a hillside so there’s a lot of walking up and down.  There are various enclosures you can walk through – wallabies, limas, monkeys ­­–a good program of talks given by keepers.


Main image: panda chewing leaves (Dreamstime)

View all posts from this blogger


You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!

 Your Comments (2)

  • 16th November by sareenawilliam76

    I am going to say that you did great work and this is an awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles on the same matter.

    Report as inappropriate
  • 21st December by poezhang

    She and I have similar taste in bags (for example, on this particular day, we were both carrying medium-size burgundy top handle bags with crossbody straps), and our attention turned to the Céline Sangle Shoulder replica mulberry Bag. 

     and the ample size, multiple interior and exterior pockets and interchangeable straps make it a solid choice for anyone looking for 
    chanel replica to take to the office. I didn’t have one on hand to try it, but I bet it would even fit a small laptop.

    Report as inappropriate



Key Facts

  • United Kingdom

    United Kingdom travel guide, United Kingdom tourism and travel information including facts, maps, culture, transport, weather in United Kingdom, and popular pla

  • More Experiences



Departure date:
Open the calendar popup.
Return date:
Open the calendar popup.
Date flexibility:
Spin UpSpin Down

Need some travel planning inspiration?

Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.

Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking. Enjoy!


Wanderlust in your inbox

Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!

I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions