Edinburgh with Kids

Over Half Term Break, the family headed up to Scotland to see Edinburgh. Since I'm such a fan of Outlander, I have been dying to get up to Scotland since we moved to London. The scenery in that show is unbelievable!  I had a pretty good feeling that I would love it there, and yes, it was worth all the hype! We spent 3 nights in Edinburgh and it was the perfect amount of time to explore with the boys.

We took a train from London's King Cross Station. We debated flying or taking the train for this trip and are so glad we landed on taking a train. It is a million times easier to take a train than to fly with kids in tow! It took a little over 4 hours to get there and the scenery was gorgeous! It would have taken us at least that same amount of time to deal with transferring to the airport, going through security and then getting back into the city once we arrived. We were able to move around on the train, play games and eat lunch.

I can't go to King Cross without thinking of Harry Potter. Here are all the tourists waiting to have their turn at Platform 9 3/4. I recommend skipping this line by the way and just head straight to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour instead. They have their own version of Platform 9 3/4 with NO line!

 The boys hopped in a giant snow globe in the middle of Kings Cross and tried to win a Mini Cooper!
How fun would it be to drive this around town?

We arrived in Edinburgh around 4pm, dropped our bags and hiked up the Royal Mile to the Castle. We stayed in the Old Town in the Canongate area. The Royal Mile is the main street that is up on a ridge that runs from the Castle Rock down to Arthur's Seat (a 822 foot dormant volcano!).

The Royal Mile

 A little Edinburgh history, the city has two parts- Old Town and New Town. The Old Town includes the Royal Mile, Castle and a maze of medieval cobble stoned streets. The New Town is a planned neighborhood that was built in the 1700s. The two sections of town are separated by the rail line and the Princes Street Garden in the center.

The next day we woke up bright and early ready to explore. Rowe ordered a Babycino at Starbucks and the barista thought he said his name was Raul. We may have called him Raul the rest of the day!

After breakfast, we walked back uphill on the Royal Mile and visited the castle. This was a highlight of the trip for me. The views from the castle were phenomenal and I always enjoy seeing historical sights!

While we were up high in the castle, we spotted a playground down below in the Princes Street Garden so we headed down the rock after lunch.
The Princes Street Gardens used to be a lake but they drained it many years ago. 

A Castle playground with Castle Views!

After walking around New Town, we decided to head up to Calton Hill. This was probably one of my favorite spots in all of Edinburgh. You had views of the sea, the Castle, and Arthur's Seat.

The unfinished replica of the Parthenon.

Canons are everywhere in this city!

For our last day, we had hoped to take a tour of Scotland through the Highlands, but unfortunately we couldn't find a tour that would take kids under the age of 5. Since we hadn't hiked Arthur's Seat yet, we decided to give it a go!

Our boys are used to doing a lot of walking. In fact, we walked 10 miles our first day in Edinburgh! This hike was definitely challenging for them- especially Rowe, but we promised them ice cream at the end and that seemed to push them through. 

At the rocky top of Arthur's Seat- it was so windy that it took your breath away!

This picture does not convey how steep this part of the hike was!!

The family with Arthur's Seat behind us.

 Next we headed over to the Salisbury Crags- this part of the hike was a lot less strenuous than Arthur's Seat and we still had good views over the town.

After such a long hike, we took the boys to the best gelato in town- Mary's Milk Bar.

Edinburgh was such an easy city to visit and I can't wait to explore more of Scotland some day soon!


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