Edinburgh in November. If you’re anything like me the first thing that comes to mind is cold! Don’t let the weather put a damper on your family plans. Edinburgh is a great place to take the kids. Just don’t forget a good coat.
Though I’m not typically a big fan of tour buses, it was a good choice for my family. Almost all of the tours allow you to use your ticket to get on and off as often as you’d like. If you have the option, get on a bus with a guide instead of a recording. It just makes for a better day. Using a bus tour eliminates some serious walking, and enables you to at least see places you may not have time to stop and tour. And, if it’s cold, a warm tour bus is worth its weight in gold!
The castle tops the list of things to do, no matter how old you are. Perched on an extinct volcano, it dominates the city sky-line . Your kids will love running around the cannons, and peering over the walls, down on the city below. While they’re peeking, they’re likely to find the dog cemetery that’s been used since the 1840’s as a burial place for officer’s pet dogs.
The castle is also home to the sparkling crown jewels, the Honours of Scotland. While your family’s taking in the shine, you can sneak in some history too. The jewels have been buried three times for their protection—twice in the 1650’s to hide them from Oliver Cromwell and then again during World War II, in case of a Nazi invasion.
The Royal Mile
The famous street connects Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Pick a side and stroll. The Royal Mile is a mix of history, pubs and tourist shops. How long it takes you to cover the one mile and 107 yard route depends on you and how many times you stop. From the house with the cannonball embedded in its wall to Scotland’s Parliament, you’ve got lots of choices.
Holyrood Park & Palace
650 acres of wilderness just minutes from the city. The grassy park offers room to run and explore, lochs loaded with wildlife and if you’re up for a hike up Arthur’s Seat, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Edinburgh and Holyrood Palace. It’s the official residence of Queen Elizabeth when she visits Edinburgh. But don’t get your heart set on catching a glimpse. She typically only spends one week at the beginning of each summer.
As the story goes, John Grey and his faithful dog Bobby were inseparable. When his master died, Bobby refused to leave him, spending 14 years keeping constant watch over his grave. When Bobby died in 1872, he was buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from his master. A year later, a statue was erected in his honor. Numerous books have been written about the cute pup. Disney even has a movie worth watching with the kids before the trip.
If you wind up going with the tour option, many tickets are valid for 24 hours, which allows for a lot of touring flexibility. It also means you can hop on the bus at night. Take advantage of that perk. We did a lot of sightseeing during the day, than rode the bus again at night to see the city lights and we were not disappointed. You won’t be either.