Where is it:
On the East coast of the country, north of the Borders region, sitting on the banks on the Firth of Forth, an estuary which cuts into this part of Scotland.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and a major hub for visitors to the country. The city is not to be missed by first-time visitors, with the iconic Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Holyrood Park, and UNESCO Old Town and New Town areas. Just outside of the capital are the Pentland Hills and many small towns and picturesque villages to explore across the Lothians.
Top things for families:
The National Museum of Scotland, Camera Obscura, plenty of museums to choose from, parks and outdoor spaces, historic castle, palaces, and stately homes, plus Edinburgh Zoo (with Pandas!) and the Royal Yacht Britannia for anyone interested in the royal family.
Edinburgh: Scotland’s capital is a great starting point for a family visit to Scotland. There’s lots of accommodation to choose from, plenty of outdoor activities and things to do on rainy days as well, and an attraction to suit every age and interest in the family!
Roslin: Famous for being the site of Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century chapel with intricate carvings inside that has long been a site of interest, but especially since its inclusion in the Da Vinci Code.
Festivals: Edinburgh is known as the “Festival City” with 11 official festivals held every year, including the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as the Edinburgh Children’s Festival, International Book Festival, and Royal Military Tattoo. Each festival usually has a range of family-friendly and children’s events to go to.
Hogmanay: The Scots word for New Year’s Eve. Celebrations here include the big Edinburgh Street party (prefaced by an earlier children’s party) as well as other events across the country.
Harry Potter: It’s no secret that J K Rowling lived in Edinburgh for some time, and even wrote much of the early Harry Potter books here. You can visit the cafe (or cafes!) where she used to write, as well as locations that inspired places in the series.
Architecture: The Edinburgh Old Town and New Town are a Unesco site. Edinburgh is a beautiful city with many buildings and monuments that are distinctive, including Edinburgh Castle and the Calton Hill Monuments.