It’s hard to believe that it’s already the third week of the summer holidays. The time just seems to be flying by. We’re trying to make the most of the time we have together as a family before school starts again. Thankfully, Edinburgh has some amazing top family attractions: I thought I’d share a few of our favourite days out…
1. Kelpies at Helix Park. Provided you don’t want to go on one of the tours (and go to the right carpark!) – the Kelpies is a great budget-friendly day out. Just 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh it’s a lovely area to walk, scoot, or even bike with kids. The play park is great fun for the kids and on a hot day there’s a variety of fountains to run through in the water park.
2. Dalkeith Country Park. I’ve only recently finally made my way to ‘Restoration Yard’ but can understand why it’s proved so popular with Edinburgh parents. The café and shop are kind of National Trust meets hipster. It’s a bit clean and shiny around the edges but equally has a tree in the middle of the café. The real winner is obviously ‘Fort Douglas’ – a lovely play park of predominately wooden toys. Keeping track of multiple children can be tricky so don’t expect a relaxing day with very small children (Thomas was an absolute liability)! But the kids had an absolute ball.
3. Cramond Bike/Scooter Ride. The views from Cramond of the various Edinburgh bridges is incredible. The path is super flat so perfect for learner cyclists. So as locations go – it’s pretty great! Although I do have a few too many memories of sprinting off after the kids as they’ve disappeared into the distance!
4. North Berwick Beach. If you saw my post on the Edinburgh Days Out Pass by Scot Rail you’ll have already read about our trip. But needless to say the beach by the Seabird Centre is epic for kids. So many kids have boats out in the lido and the sand is perfect for castles! The train journey is only half an hour and scenic to boot!
5. Dirleton Castle. We’re big fans of Historic Scotland properties but it’s hard not to have favourites! We’ve been to some great ‘living history’ days at Dirleton and spent some happy days there with friends. It’s a winner with kids because it’s got large areas that are safe to run around in. The castle itself is fun to explore and is easy enough for the kids to navigate (with supervision!).
6. Strawberry Picking. Whilst the strawberries may not always taste amazing, I think strawberry picking is such a lovely summer activity. As one of the kids favourite foods, it’s nice that they have the knowledge of where they’re from and have the excitement of finding them! There’s a few locations around Edinburgh but obviously Craigie’s Farm is probably the closest!
7. Glasshouses at the Botanics. We’re very lucky to have a resource like the Botanics in Edinburgh that’s largely free! There is a section of the glass house that can be explored without tickets, but to look round all of them adults do have to pay. As a rainy day option this has become a bit of a favourite of mine. I love the houses with the giant koi carp – although deep water and kids isn’t a great combo – Thomas makes a great ‘fish noise’!
8. Fairy Walks. Edinburgh Secret herb garden runs a weekly Sunday walk throughout the summer, and a little further afield Archerfield has a permanent fairy trail set up. Both have excellent sources of coffee and cake after a wee dander. So certainly a nice way to spend an afternoon!