Family days out within 30 mins of Edinburgh Festival Camping
Edinburgh is a great destination for family holidays. Set in a beautiful location, shrouded in history, Edinburgh is brimming with culture and things to do. With beaches, parks and great walking to name a few, and excellent indoor activities if the rain hits, Edinburgh is one of the ultimate holiday destinations where you can guarantee that your kids will be entertained.
The original Camping Ninjas, and head of our operation Rhian & Geoff both have families with young children and so these suggestions have been tried, tested, and purposefully chosen due to the manageable travel times, fun activities and opportunities to capture your family’s imaginations.
Our list of great days out are all within an easy drive of Edinburgh Festival Camping.
LOCHLEVEN CASTLE (40 mins drive)
Pictured above. Take a boat ride over to this historic castle on a secluded island. It was in this castle that Mary Queen of Scots spent a year as a prisoner in 1567 before being forced to abdicate and dramatically escaping. Our in-house mum said this place was amazing, and the kids, aged 2 & 5 at the time, absolutely loved the boat ride.
EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL CLIMBING ARENA: RATHO (15 mins)
Suitable for all the family, this is Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena, with soft play for ages 0 months – 3+ years and Clip N Climb for ages 4 to 84! Parents get stuck in too, and afterwards treat yourselves to a coffee and a cake at their cafe. A great way to spend a few hours and burn some energy with the kids. Booking required.
THE HELIX (25 mins)
This visitor attraction and home to the Kelpies, the largest equine sculptures in the world, is the perfect destination for an afternoon of outdoor activies sure to tire the kids out. Activities include the Kelpies Experience Tour, an Adventure Zone timber play park for ages 2 up, Splash play area, Canoeing and Kayaking, bike hire from the nearby ‘Falkirk Cycle Hub’ and links to kilometres of cycle paths and walkways. The visitor centre is open 9.30am to 5:00pm 7 days a week.
Our top tip: picnics and BBQs are welcome here, so take the picnic blanket and have a delicious alfresco lunch. Don’t forget the marshmallows!
ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA (30 mins)
Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction – VisitScotland
This famous ship has been named in TripAdvisors UK Top Ten for 3 years and has consistently been judged Scotland’s best visitor attraction by the national tourism agency, VisitScotland, for ten years’ running. The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world. It will be busy throughout August so try to get there as early as possible. We’ve heard there are great scones in the cafe…
TIME TWISTERS SOFT PLAY (10 mins)
State of the art Egyptian themed Indoor Adventure Soft Play Centre for children up to the age of 12 with an award winning restaurant. Our in-house mum rated this place highly!
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND (city centre)
The National Museum of Scotland is a vast building with exhibitions including the natural world, science and technology, arts and world cultures just to name a few. There are family trails and interactive galleries to help enthuse and engage your little ones. There is free wifi throughout the building and a cafe on site. Being in the city centre just off the Royal Mile, this is the perfect place to duck into if the weather turns or if things are just getting a little hectic outside and your children need a quiet environment.
EDINBURGH CASTLE AND THE NATIONAL WAR MUSEUM (city centre)
Tripadvisor’s number 1 must see in Edinburgh
Steeped in history and beautifully set at the top of the Royal Mile, the castle looks out over the city. Home to the Stone of Destiny, the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Scottish National War Memorial and the National War Museum, you could spend hours exploring the castle and learning about Scotland’s rich history. The Scottish National War Memorial is well worth the visit.
PORTOBELLO BEACH (35 mins)
A charming seaside spot with two miles of golden sand. This award winning beach is ideal for sunbathing or swimming, with cafes and restaurants along the promenade. People from Edinburgh rave about Luca’s Ice Cream so keep your eye out for the cafes that sell Luca’s. There is also a market in Brighton Park on the first Saturday of every month, selling fresh local produce as well as crafts.
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS EDINBURGH (15 min walk from city centre)
From building bird feeders and bug boxes, pond dipping and creating sun catchers, there are plenty of activities going on at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Have your pick of lunch at either the Gateway Restaurant, the Terrace Cafe or the East Gate Coffee Bar.