Edinburgh is a city of iconic landmarks, lush greenery and world famous festivals. With museums, gardens, parks, attractions and galleries in and out of the city, Edinburgh is a great destination for families and children. Day two of our Edinburgh itinerary for families promises to be a fun filled packed one! We recommend getting a nice and early start so the family can visit all of these fantastic attractions in one day.
Edinburgh Castle – One of Scotland’s most iconic visitor attractions and also its most popular, this fortress has dominated the skyline of the city of Edinburgh since AD 600. Perched on an extinct volcanic rock (Castle Rock), Edinburgh Castle is a powerful national symbol and part of Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site. As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions. This mighty fortification and favored residence of Scotland’s kings and queens has over 1.2 million visitors every year. With two cafés/restaurants, several shops, and numerous historical displays within the castle, there is much for families to see and do at Edinburgh Castle. Be sure to keep your eye out for the Royal Palace, created in 1617 in honour of James VI, the Crown Room where the Scottish Crown Jewels are kept, and the Stone of Destiny where previous Scottish Monarchs were crowned.
Listen out at 1pm for the One O’clock Gun. The One O’Clock Gun is a time signal, and is fired every day at precisely 13:00, except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. The gun was established in 1861 as a time signal for ships in the Firth of Forth. Although no longer required for its original purposes, the gun is fired now largely as a tourist attraction. The gun is fired from Mill’s Mount Battery, on the north face of the castle, by the District Gunner from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery. The kids should love this one!
This photo of Edinburgh Zoo is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Edinburgh Zoo – One can easily spend the whole day at the the Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland’s second most popular tourist attraction, after Edinburgh Castle. Built in 1913, and owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the zoo attracts over half a million visitors annually, both domestic and international tourists. Located on Corstorphine Hill, Edinburgh zoo is involved in many scientific projects, such as captive breeding of endangered animals,animal behavior study, and various wildlife conservation programs worldwide. One of Scotland’s most popular tourist attraction, it is the only zoo in Britain to have koalas, as well as being the first zoo in the world to house and breed penguins, in particular, King penguins. To enhance your experience at the zoo (and also because kids love to touch anything they can get their hands on), Touch Tables are operated throughout the Zoo, allowing visitors to see and feel animal artefacts up-close. Most of these artefacts are rare and exotic, including such items as tiger skulls, elephant skin, turtle shell and rhino horn.
For visitors planning a trip to the zoo this year, you are in for a treat. In December 2011, the zoo welcomed two giant pandas into the internationally renowned zoo’s impressive menagerie of endangered and exotic species, Tian Tian and Yang Guang. Part of a global conservation initiative to boost the declining population of the panda species, both of these pandas were flown in on a specially-charted jet all the way from the People’s Republic of China. It is hoped that the female, Tian Tian, will give birth to cubs – the first to be born in Scotland. Watch as the pandas wander around their state of the art enclosure, complete with a pool and cave. During the visit, both parents and children can learn educatinoal facts about how endangered these extraordinary animals have become and the steps being taken by conservationists around the world to ensure their survival.
This photo of National Museum of Scotland is courtesy of TripAdvisor
National Museum of Scotland – This museum was formed in 2006 with the merger of the Museum of Scotland and and the Royal Museum which is just next door. Located on Chambers Street, by the intersection with the George IV Bridge, the museum incorporates the collections of the former National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, and the Royal Museum. Showcasing the main national collections of Scottish archaeological finds and medieval objects, the museum contains artifacts from around the world, from geology, archaeology, natural history, to science, technology and art. The newly reopened museum now holds over 20,000 exhibits spread across 36 galleries. Take your children to see the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, ancient mummified Egyptian mummies and specimens collected by Charles Darwin. The museum also has stunning and surprising exhibits from around the world in its 16 new exhibition galleries, with 80% of objects being displayed for the first time.
The museum is opened daily from 10am to 5pm and admission is free.
This photo of Our Dynamic Earth is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Our Dynamic Earth – For a relaxing end to the day, take the children to this educational science centre located in the Holyrood area, at the foot of Arthur’s Seat. Opened in 1999, this tourist attraction seeks to facilitate a better public understanding of the processes that have shaped the Earth. Children and adults will be able to watch the Big Bang from the Hubble Telescope and understand how the earth was created. Visitors will also have the opportunity to witness a tropical rain storm and feel the heat of a bubbling volcano while being taken on a journey through 15,000 million years of Earth’s history up to the present day.
For your time in Edinburgh, check out Fraser Suites Edinburgh’s offers on 1 bedroom apartments where kids stay for free in existing bedding.
Fraser Suites Edinburgh has the most envious location of all Edinburgh hotels –near the Royal Mile in Edinburgh Old Town. St Giles Street was once the Fleet Street of Scotland, housing great Scottish newspapers including the Edinburgh Daily Mail and The Herald. Soak up the atmosphere: trendy restaurants, boutiques and cafés abound. Views stretch across Princes Street Gardens to the Firth of Forth – and beyond. One of the most special places to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This Edinburgh hotel’s central location means the city’s best attractions are within easy walking distance. It’s the perfect choice of Edinburgh festival accommodation, and ideal for those looking for a hotel near Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street, the Royal Mile and St Giles Cathedral. The hotel is near Edinburgh airport (8 miles) and close to Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Yacht Britannia. The best located of hotels in Edinburgh city centre.
Fraser Suites Edinburgh is within walking distance of:
- Royal Mile
- Edinburgh Castle
- Princes Street
- Arthur’s Seat
- St Giles Cathedral
- National Gallery of Scotland
- National Museum of Scotland
- Edinburgh Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
Fraser Suites Edinburgh is one of the most conveniently located hotels near Edinburgh airport – an easy 8-mile drive or taxi ride away – and ideal for business travellers and corporate guests working in Edinburgh CBD. Take advantage of our complimentary shuttle bus, which serves Edinburgh city centre and can be chartered for airport pick-up. Our 24-hour reception and concierge will help with car rental, taxis and other business arrangements.