Edinburgh for weekend in August (from London) for family of four, help!(16 Posts)
I'm planning a trip to Edinburgh for my husbands 40th at the beginning of August.
I have 2 dc's 6 and 10 and we live in London.
I don't have a clue where to stay, what to do etc.
We will be travelling by train so any advice on cheap train fares would be appreciated too. I don't even know which station we'd come into.
We love things like museums and galleries and would like to stay pretty central.
If you have not booked anything in advance then you will have trouble getting something as it is the Edinburgh Festival where the City is packed out.
I'd go for July or September if you possibly can.
If not then I'd suggest staying outwith the City and using public transport.
You'd come into Waverley which is the main station or Haymarket at the other end of Town depending on where you are staying.
Edinburgh and August really is a fab time if you have booked but a nightmare in your situation as I think you might struggle to get a hotel or B&B - even if you do I think it will be horrendously expenxive.
Let me know what you decide to do. If you stay outwith the city I can come up with a few ideas for you.
Is this before the Edinburgh festival? I cant remember the dates of the festival, but obvioulsy the city fills up and becomes hugely expensive.
You will probably arrive at Waverly train station, which is very central. Try trainline.com for cheap fares if you book in advance.
There are LOADS of hotels to chose from. Have a look at the Hilton website for starters. The Caldonian Hilton is very central (you can walk to it from Waverly), and kids under 11 stay in parents room for free I think. There is also a pool for the kids. Try tripadvisor for reviews and expedia, 1800hotels or superbreak for bookings.
Places to go: Edinburgh Castle; Museum of Scotland; National Gallery; Edinburgh Zoo; Dynamic Earth (think that is what it is called - ideal for kids of your ages). Apart from the Zoo, these are all very central and could be walked to from a central hotel.
PS: If you want to try and book the Hilton, then the Hilton website is often the best place, and they offer very good (but non-refundable) accommodation.
If it is Festival season as inscotland implies then there is LOADS going on, but much more expensive, and crowds of people. The kids would LOVE the Edinburgh Military Tattoo though - held in the evenings at the Castle. It's a bit cheesy, but v impressive. I saw it as a child and an adult and really enjoyed it.
Just had a look and the international festival is 14 Aug - 6 September so you might be ok in the early part of August. There are other festivals on at that time of year though so I'd do a wee search just to be sure.
P.S. the tattoo sold out last year so if you want tickets you'd be best trying ebay.
Yes you're going to need to be very lucky to get accommodation in Edinburgh now. The Fringe starts the weekend before the International Festival.
See if you can find accommodation and then we can advise further, but I would definitely try and reschedule for July or September.
As everyone says, you may have a problem with accommodation because of the festival. Look at tripadvisor at the aparthotels. We loves the Holyrood Aparthotel but it may be booked up.
Controversial suggestion, but you could stay in Glasgow and get the train through to Edinburgh - they go every 15 mins and take about 50-60 mins to get there. Then you'd have lots of options for places to stay and other options for things to do.
I was going to suggest Linlithgow or somewhere a bit closer but same kind of principle. It used to annoy me in younger days that the last train was before even the late shows at the Fringe had started but with a 6 and 10 year old this is likely to be less worrying.
Okay, if you're finding it hard to get accommodation, what we did a few Augusts away was to book a self-catering flat in North Berwick and train it into Edinburgh. Carparking is crazy anyway so best to go by train. N Berwick is fab..lovely beaches and very low key. Edin festival is okay but beware of the street performers who sometimes entice your (of course very willing) child into the performance action and then present you at the end with a hat to stick money into. Of course they've got to make a living but exploiting kids' engagement in street theatre like this, I personally found appalling. Not all of them do, but there are theatrical sharks about. On a lighter note, climb Arthur's seat..it'd be fine with the ages of your kids..it's free and it'll give you a fab view. Have a lovely time..Edinburgh's great.
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If you don't mind a wee bus or tram ride then have a look at the hi day in beside the zoo. They do family rooms for dinner, bed and breakfast from about £50 (per room)! Probably more in Aug but we stayed once at New Year for £70. There's a choice of restaurants - Asian, carvery and a pub style one and food was fab. Had a make your own pancake machine which the kids loved. There is a pool as well and you can hear animal
Noises if you ask for a room looking on to the zoo. Only a couple of minutes to Haymarket and a few more to Waverley. We love staying there!
We stayed in the Premier Inn at Haymarket in the first week of August last year. Low budget for most but it suited us and was great value. It was a 3min walk from Haymarket station which also has a tram stop and the tram took 10 mins and you were in the middle of Princes Street.
When we went it was before the festival started but it was still pretty busy. We went with a 6 year old and a 2 year old and we had a great time despite the crowds.
The trams do a family day ticket for £8.50 which is unlimited travel on the tram and on lothian buses. It was really useful and we used it to go out to the yacht britannia and also to get back from Holyrood when little legs were tired. I had been worried about getting around with small children but apart from one occasion where the trams broke for an hour we had no complaints about the public transport.
The castle is really lovely but the crowds ruin the experience. If you are going to do it definitely book it in advance to beat the queues.
Depends on your budget, there are flat rentals in Edinburgh for weekends etc. Waverley station is right in the centre, the city is beautiful but you'd need to be quick if its festival. Fireworks are superby. And no I'm not from Scotland.
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