09 Mar 2015

A question about : Edinburgh attractions and things to do (merged)

We are off to Edinburgh for a week at Easter - self catering apartment in the city centre (old town)
Have three kids (11, 9 & 3)
Its about 8 yrs since we last went but we did the castle and a natural history museum.

Would like to take them to lots of interesting places but don't want to get ripped off on lots of entry fees etc. Any ideas?

My hubbies birthday is while we are away so I'm going to send the older ones off with him one night on a ghost walk as he's always wanted to do one - any suggestions as to best?

Also any family friendly fun eating places to recommend to me?



Best answers:

  • Best Ghost walk is the one leaving from the Witchery, I'll look for the website and post it later but the kids will LOVE it, best done when its dark as well, so go for the later one if there is a choice
    Dynamic Earth should suit all your kid's ages, I guess none of these things are cheap entry but I think they would enjoy that one. We were at the Zoo yesterday, big improvements there, once again though its not cheap. Tip for the Zoo is take the Safari bus to the top and walk down as its a very steep hill . Take a picnic and spend the day, that way you get your money's worth!
    Museum and Museum of Childhood should be free, good for cold or wet days and the the main museum has a big newish extention with lots of up to date attractions to suit the kids with hands on things to do.
    I'll ask my daughter when she gets home from school and see if she can come up with any more ideas.
  • Next to the Museum of Childhood there is a place called 'Kitchen fudge 'or something similar and every two hours they have a demonstration it takes about 20 mins or more and you can taste different sampels for free.They are really nice and friendly.
  • also if yo usee this thread http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...d.html?t=33612
    there are a lot of 2 for 1 things to do in Edinburgh
  • Leith Waterworld is also a fun place to go, has watershoots, flumes etc but only open Friday/Sat/Sunday. If you arre staying in the old town take a walk up the Royal Mile where you will find Gladstones Land and some other small museum which are mostly free, Chambers Street Museum is also good. I would really recommend the Royal Britannia down at Ocean Terminal, there is also a new soft play place called Molly's which is suitable for 0-12 years,
  • You can easily lose yourself in the Botanic Gardens for a few hours - sometimes there are really good (free!) exhibitions on there too (Earth From The Air a few months back was fabulous). There's a big glass house to wander round if it's raining too.
    I'd second the Chambers Street Museums, there's so much to see you could make a whole day of it. Last time I was there (Feb last year) there was a great hands on kids science area on the ground floor but I'm not sure if that was a visiting exhibition. I also loved the top floor of the Museum of Scotland which was dedicated to things people had chosen as icons of the 20th century (quite nostalgic!). If the kids are doing projects at school there is some good stuff about Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, etc. too.
    The open top bus tour though not particularly cheap is a good way of getting an overview of the city and if I remember correctly the ticket is valid for 24 hours (so if you get on it at 12 noon one day you can use it that afternoon and again the next morning, handy if you want to stop and do something en-route).
    Make sure you take them to see the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, it's quite cute (and has added interest as I think the film's out soon).
    The buses in Edinburgh are great... loads of information at the stops and cheap if you're not taking the car (or even if you are cos parking can be a nightmare!).
    There was an ice-cream parlour (Luca's?) we always stopped at as a child when passing through or visiting (supposed to be the best ice-cream in Scotland I think) but I can't remember where it is or if it's still as good (helpful, huh?)
  • Luca's Ice Cream is in Musselburgh and where we too always stopped for an ice cream, summer or winter!
    If you are taking the open-topped bus tour haggle for your ticket, the sellers and guides are very nice as well as the ticket lasting until the next day you can get on and off the bus at will and so can take in Holyrood Palace, Dynamic Earth and the new Parliament Building then board another bus later.
    The new Parliament Building is spectacular and you can go in and visit and I believe have a coffee.
    Website for the Witchery Tour is here and Mary King's Close here
  • Wow! thanks everyone this is a great load of tips - better get jotting them all in a notebook for our holiday!I forgot about the Royal Britannia but I'd love to visit - is it very expensive? Also wish to "do" Leith and see how its changed as I lived there for 6mths - about 15 years ago.
    All the little museums sound great and will be a definate visit, my kids love museums.
    Has anyone done the walk in St Marys close - the underground one?
    And any places for eating with the family?
    many many thanks everyone
  • also if you go the childrens' museum on the royal mile pick up a leaflet for butterfly world (1free kid with paying adult)which is in Dalkeith at Dobbies Garden world.It's a lovely Dobbies and it has a large play area for kids
  • Dont forget THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT. The children will be amazed at what 1/2 a billion quid can buy.
    Also on a nice day, a walk up ARTHURS SEAT in the Queens Park next to Holyrood house and feeding the ducks in the pond passes the time.
    If the Hibs are at home, a day at the football might be a treat for the hubby.
    Or you could send him to watch the Hearts (scarier than any ghost tour by miles :-) )
  • deep sea world at north queensferry is good for kids although it can be a bit pricey.
    and to walk the forth road bridge is a fun thing for kids too...and lots of fresh air!!
  • Re Luca's ice cream shop, there is also one in Morningside opposite the Churchill Theatre which may be closer than the Musselburgh. Britannia also sometimes does deals where kids go free if you pick up a leaflet from the Tourist Board at the Waverrly Shopping Centre on Princes Street ( there are sometimes quite a few offers on the back of the little brochures). Forgot to mention before that the Falkirk Wheel would be worth a look but is about 20/30 mins by train out of Edinburgh.
  • National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street is a must, and you can never spend too much time there. There is something for everyone. It's free , although they do have a paying exhibition on - we were down in Edinburgh last weekend, and the current exhibition is on dinosaurs, which might interest your kids, think that is on until beginning of May. Museum of Flight at East Fortune is quite good, but you would need a car to get there I think (don't know about buses, but possibly worth checking out.) Haven't been there for a while, but they now have Concorde . There is also huge market which runs on a Sunday at East Fortune, some great bargains to be had there.
    Dynamic earth went down well when my daughter was younger, also Seaworld, or whatever its called at North Queensferry. Don't know about walking over the bridge though - bit too exhilarating for me!
  • Bit late for Easter time but if anyone is in Edinburgh on 16th or 17th April, entry to Edinburgh castle is free on those dates.
  • I would recommend the City of the Dead tour for your ghost walk, takes you to the famous Greyfriars Graveyard and into the Covenanters Prison, Haunted by the Mackenzie poltergeist!!! go to www.blackhart.uk.com
    The edinburgh dungeon is an amazing experience and is a bit expensive, but if you go to the tourist info centre you can pick up a map of edinburgh with discount vouchers on the back.
    As for Mary Kings Close, i loved it thought it was amazing and definitely haunted but might be a bit boring for kids.
    For food we went to Wetherspoons every day which i think is on rose lane or something like that. It does deal, is great value, has a huge non smoking section and is cheap!!
    You can only have kids there till about 6 in the evening i think, not sure of exact time.
    Hope you have a good time!
  • Any ideas or tips on things to do and see in Edinburgh?? Off there for a couple of days with 10 years old so looking for interesting things to keep us occupied.
    Any tips on great places to eat on a budget also.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Happy Easter folks!
  • heres a few great places:
    edinburgh zoo http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/
    museam of flight, its 20 miles out of edinburgh but good transport links. has a concorde too!!! http://www.nms.ac.uk/flight/index.asp
    or deep sea world (15 min on train from edinburgh) http://www.deepseaworld.com/DeepSeaWorld/HomePage.htm
    hope some of these help you.