When I hear of friends talking about amazing days out they’ve had, I often ask if they’d like to write up the experience for the blog. I think it can be really tough to think of ‘new’ activities to do with the kids. It’s so easy to fall into familiar routines and just stick to what you know. There 100% is nothing wrong with that but recently I’ve been trying to be more adventurous and kick up our routine. Gathering ideas from other people is therefore critical. I don’t want to sacrifice what we know and like for a disaster.

Usually when I ask friends to write they laugh and probably think I’m joking. If you’re out there and what to write – then seriously, I’m not joking please give it a go. Today, I’m delighted that I wasn’t laughed at and can share this guest post by Coo Clayton…

I often find it a bit daunting taking all three kids for a day trip on my own but as we enter the summer holidays here in Edinburgh it’s something I find myself doing a lot more of, in order to get out the house. At the start of the summer we make a big list of all the things we’d like to do over summer.

We try to ensure its outdoors, low in cost and appropriate for all ages, mine range from aged 2-8.

Portobello Beach

Portobello Beach is just a stones throw away from the city. Easily accessible by bus or car, we managed to park for free down a side street, just a 2 minute walk to the bustling promenade and 2 miles of award winning beach. It’s got a friendly, vibrant atmosphere and although being with three excited kids, I instantly felt relaxed and glad we came.

The tide was in and the sun was shining so we headed straight to the beach and got busy making sandcastles, paddling in the sea and collecting shells.

The beach and sea were full of families sailing, kayaking, playing volleyball and walking their dogs. Nearly 2 hours went by before tummies started to rumble. After scrubbing sand of arms, legs faces and bottoms we headed along the promenade stopping to listen to the various buskers.  We passed the Victorian grandeur of Portobello Baths, which has the only original and still-functioning Turkish baths in the country!


We were very lucky to get a table for lunch at the ever popular ‘Beach house Café’ It’s a bright and family friendly place with an extensive selection of breakfasts, soup, sandwiches and cakes, all using local ingredients.

The Kids’ menu is excellent and good value for money too with meals ranging from £3-£5. With all three fed and watered for under £15 we continued our walk along the colourful promenade stopping at both playparks.

It’s not everyones cup of tea but my kids and I love a wee visit to Noble’s Arcades. It’s situated at the end of the promenade off Figgate lane. We each cash in £1 and with the press of a button it’s turned into a pot of 2 pences. I was instantly transformed back to being a child myself, enjoying the buzz of the penny waterfall machines and the smell of money grubby hands.

Legs were tiring now so we started the slow and slightly weary walk back to the car but a trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without an ice cream! ‘The Little green van’ is owned by friendly folk who really know how to make coffee and cakes. Each of the kids had a vanilla Di Rollo ice-cream which were all quickly demolished.


Three very happy and tired children really loved their trip to Portobello beach. Loads to see and do for all ages. We’ll be back, lets hope the sun will be too!

– By Coo Clayton

Coo Clayton is the Author of Maggie’s Mittens, a children’s picture book which is due to be released in October 2017. She grew up in St’Andrews, Fife then studied Education at Edinburgh University and currently works as a primary teacher. Coo lives with her husband and three young children who all help inspire her work. She enjoys writing about family scenarios and combing these with the rich Scottish culture and landscape. 

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