There are many reasons to visit Scotland’s historic capital city of Edinburgh – long considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Not only has it been voted the best city in the UK for the third time running, it also makes for an ideal city break for those wanting to explore a wonderfully unique destination. And, with a short travelling time from London, it’s easy to find flights and accommodation via travel companies such as eDreams, so there really is no excuse! You can find out more about eDreams here.
With stunning views out to sea, Edinburgh is home to a medieval Old Town and a Georgian New Town which boasts neo-classical buildings and beautiful gardens. The iconic Edinburgh Castle on top of Castle Rock is every-present and dominates the city’s skyline, while the city plays hosts to a number of festivals throughout the year including the Fringe, film and arts.
There are a plethora of wonderful art galleries, bars, and eclectic restaurants serving up the finest cuisines. If it’s retail therapy you’re after, then you’re in for a treat, there are plenty of options including Princes Street offering well-known brands, as well as breathtaking views, and the quaint cobbled streets of West End ‘Village’ which has a mix of boutiques, organic food retailers, gift shops, flower and interior shopping.
So it’s only natural that such a vibrant and bustling city will also have plenty of attractions that will appeal to the whole family. And luckily, there is a wide choice of activities that will also keep little ones happy and entertained, too.
Deep Sea World
Want to dive with sharks? Well, you can swim with these magnificent predators at Deep Sea World, which offer special shark diving experiences. But if staying out of the water is more your thing, then this aquarium has a whole host of exhibits showcasing different marine life from around the world including the piranha tank and Underwater Safari – the longest underwater tunnel in the UK.
Deep Sea World Forthside Terrace, North Queensferry, KY11 1JR; Tickets: Adults from £15.25; Kids from £10.75
Want to combine a bit of history and retail therapy all the while keeping the kids happy at the same time? A visit iconic Jenners Store will do just that. One of the oldest department stores in the world, Jenners has been trading since 1838 and has a host of luxury goods on sale as well as a spa, plus bars and restaurants. But you’ll want to head the toy department which is bursting at the seams with all sorts of brightly coloured toys and games.
Jenners 48 Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 2YJ
Gorgie City Farm
Located outside of Central Edinburgh, Gorgie City Farm makes for a brilliant family day out. It is a working farm, with animals that are bred and raised for food production, however, visitors have the chance to get hands-on, practical knowledge of how to keep farm animals happy and how to care for them properly. There is also a herb and sensory garden, several greenhouses, as well as a wildlife garden and small play park.
Gorgie City Farm 51 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh EH11 2LA
National Museum of Scotland
The museum’s diverse collections will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland and around the world, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion and science and technology. Kids of all ages will love the interactive activities including being able to race a Formula 1 car and digging up fossils. Meanwhile, younger guests can explore the Imagine gallery which is designed for babies and toddlers.
National Museum of Scotland Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Edinburgh Zoo is home to the UK’s only giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang and you can see them in their enclosures.The zoo is huge and covers some 82 acres of hillside west of the city so you can imagine how many animals you will encounter – from penguins to tigers, Koala bears and even creepy crawlies, there is much to marvel.
Edinburgh Zoo 134 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh EH12 6TS; Tickets: Adults from £17.50; Kids from £9.95