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Edinburgh with a toddler - suggestions please

(22 Posts)
Laugs Fri 11-Jul-08 09:28:31

We are planning a day or two there at the end of the month.

We are 4 adults and 1 toddler, so would like a mix of activites to keep all parties happy!

Would also be grateful to hear of child friendly bars/ restaurants so the night we stay over doesn't have to end ridiculously early (we'll be there midweek).


motherhurdicure Fri 11-Jul-08 11:33:47

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Laugs Fri 11-Jul-08 13:02:06

thanks, I'll look them up.

I know all restaurants would allow children, but where I live at least there are definitely some places more easy-going than others.

schneebly Fri 11-Jul-08 13:03:24

you must go to the zoo - it is fab!

Laugs Fri 11-Jul-08 13:05:12

oh yes, the zoo is on our list. is it accessible by public transport? we can't decide whether to drive or not

NorthernLurker Fri 11-Jul-08 13:05:15

Botantic gardens are excellent for children - just loads of space to explore!

NorthernLurker Fri 11-Jul-08 13:06:22

There will be buses that go right to the zoo - no idea what number you want but Edinburgh buses are cheap, pushchair friendly and plentiful so you culd cope without the car

Laugs Fri 11-Jul-08 13:10:35

Oh this sounds like it's developing into a lovely trip!

Which are the best art galleries for the adults while DD sleeps off her adventures?

motherhurdicure Fri 11-Jul-08 13:10:47

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Laugs Fri 11-Jul-08 14:02:16

ok. this sounds really good.

I'm thinking

day 1 - museum of childhood, princes st gardens, shopping, dinner around princes st

day 2 - botanic gardens and zoo

is this logical?

motherhurdicure Fri 11-Jul-08 14:13:48

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Laugs Fri 11-Jul-08 14:31:46

I sort of thought Princes Street and the Zoo might both take 2/3 of a day, that's why I put them that way around.

would you go back to town between the gardens and zoo?

we could drive, but we'd probably rather not

motherhurdicure Fri 11-Jul-08 15:56:12

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Aefondkiss Fri 11-Jul-08 16:11:29

we went to the zoo last Saturday, took the safari bus to the top of the hill(it is a steep hill), we were there for 4 hours and didn't see everything - the penguins were great, I felt very sorry for the polar bear it looked very agitated/unhappy. after 4 hrs there my legs ached for two days and that was mostly downhill walking! (I cycle loads so I am fairly fit).

We took food with us and got coffees to takeaway, and icecream for the children(even though it was frrrreeezing).

the play area in the Prince's Street is good, (ice-cream there is at least a £1 cheaper than at the Waverly end of the gardens!) and just up from there on Prince's Street is a church with a fairtrade cafe at the back, child friendly and serves wine etc.

We took food with us and got coffees to takeaway, and icecream for the children(even though it was frrrreeezing).

I would usually recommend the museum of Scotland, esp if it is raining, though they are doing some renovation work, the new bit is still open and has loads to see - is free (again food there is very expensive imo).

the National Portrait gallery is good too, though I haven't been in a while, it has a good cafe, but it does get busy.

I would avoid Prince's Street for shopping, it is crap, long, tourist filled and has some shops twice! bit grim imo.

liath Fri 11-Jul-08 22:22:21

Browns & centro tre on George St are family friendly and Hadrian's (below the Balmoral) is advertising itself heavily for families at the moemnt. Harvey Nicks is good with kids too. Have a lovely trip.

ChipButty Fri 11-Jul-08 22:25:32

Found public transport in Edinburgh excellent. Zoo is fab with bus stop right outside and only short trip from city centre - v steep hills to climb at zoo though - I did it whilst pregnant and found it exhausting!!!

bookswapper Fri 11-Jul-08 22:35:00

I would get a number 36 bus or one of those open topped jump on/jump off buses to Dynamic Earth. have a look round let the toddler have a bounce in the small soft play off the gift shop then walk round the next door Scottish Parliament building (you can get in foyer last time I was there and see exhibition) This could be enough for a toddler but if not then either go round the corner for a walk up Royal Mile or divert to the duckponds of Arthurs Seat or (feeling brave?) go round Holyrood palace...or jump on the open top bus again and go somewhere else!!

zoo is okay for new chimp house, rainbow landings and koalas but is terribly expensive for looking at the other (rather outdated) cages - often a sea of mud with not much in it! And if the weather is rubbish and windy (highly likely) then you will freeze if not wrapped up as the zoo is on a hill!

bookswapper Fri 11-Jul-08 22:41:05

and the best castle for toddlers (imo) in Edinburgh is Craigmillar (also a Historic Scotland property) but you would need a car

Edinburgh is full of Italians which will welcome your toddler with open arms especially Vittorios on Leith Walk but that may be difficult to get to because of the tram works in town at the moment
I had a lovely meal with babies in Hanrvey nicks forth floor..they even had bottle warmer for the baby baby or Vincaffe in Multrees Walk (next door) both £££££££ though
try the family run Italians in Hanover Street and Frederick Street as those streets run away from Princes Street and you will be laughing
Also, I had a great toddler friendly meal in Garfunkels in Frederick street ( I think) lovely staff!

elfinblast Fri 11-Jul-08 22:41:21

We went a few years back with an 18 month old. The zoo is quite hard going if you're not the fittest....I was 7 months pregnant and struggled with the hills.

There is also a sea life centre type place just outside, near the forth bridge. Easy to get to on the bus and good fun for kids.

We used to do "stuff" in the day then spend an hour or so at the Princes st. Gardens, where we could drink coffee and she could have a good run round and play.

Have a great time!

princessofpower Fri 11-Jul-08 23:29:05

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Laugs Mon 14-Jul-08 09:50:18

Hi, thanks for all your suggestions! Now I am getting overwhelmed by choice smile

I told DP what I had in mind (he knows Ed. fairly well but hasn't been for 5 years and never with kids) and he did say the zoo is a bit depressing as the animals are in small cages...

however DD is absolutely obsessed with animals at the moment - we go on trips to the park to watch the dogs in the 'dog exercise area' and she is beside herself with joy - so I think I'd still like her to see it.

Besides, apparently Kelloggs is doing 2 for 1 on tickets, so that sounds good.

Perhaps we will do zoo in the morning, tire her out and experience a bit of culture in the afternoon.

Think my dad will like the National Portrait Gallery and my mum will like the Botanic Gardens. I like the sound of the Museum of Childhood (although when I googled it, it came up with a V&A museum in London - are they related?)

With any luck DP and I might get a night out as well while the grandparents babysit!

princessofpower Mon 14-Jul-08 10:56:58

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