Visiting Edinburgh with Young Children-Top tips

Ideas for Visiting Edinburgh with Young Children

A number of visitors to Edinburgh are travelling with young children. We thought it would be a good idea to put together some ideas of activities which would suit a family with small children holidaying in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is a firm favourite no matter what age you are! It’s open every day of the year – excluding Christmas Day, so no matter when you visit you’ll be able to pay a visit to Edinburgh Zoo during your stay.

You’ll find a detailed blog post by clicking this link Visit to Edinburgh Zoo

7 ideas for family fun in edinburgh

Holyrood Park – Young Children

At the foot of the Royal Mile past Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament building you will find Holyrood Park. Holyrood Park is only a few minutes by bus from the city centre providing a spectacular open space and scenery which is unrivalled in any other city in the UK.

You can take a stroll round the low level paths and can circumnavigate the extinct volcano with a buggy or stroller by following the roadway. ¬†Younger visitors are probably not quite ready to try a more adventurous walk up by Salisbury Crags, or scale Arthur’s Seat (these two prominent geological features which give the ‘Sleeping Lion’ skyline). But do take them on a visit to Historic Scotland’s Education Centre at Holyrood Park, which is shown on the Ranger leaflet which you can view here.

There is a play park off Queen’s Drive between the Dynamic Earth exit and the Commonwealth Pool exit.

Getting there:

By Bus:

From Princes Street Lothian service 24 stopping outside the Scottish Parliament Building. Click this link for a timetable 

From Princes Street walk up the Mound. Turn left onto the Royal Mile and walk down hill towards the foot of the mile. Turn right and follow the road past the front of the Scottish Parliament and you’ll find the entrance to Holyrood Park.

Many of the tour buses include Holyrood Park as part of there tour of Edinburgh. You will find that all tours start outside in St Andrews Square or Waterloo Place.. Tickets bought are valid for 24 hours.

The Ranger Centre is on the grassy area known as the Parade Ground behind Holyrood Palace – also a great place to kick a ball or fly a kite!

Royal Commonwealth Pool – Young Children

When travelling with small children it’s sometimes hard to find the places that the local Mums and Dads know about for providing activities for kids to run off some of their energy and give them a safe place to play. One of the favourites when our children were small is the play area at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, called ‘Clambers’ – there’s a soft play area where children can climb and explore in relative safety, and there’s a coffee shop where you can buy light snacks and refreshments.

The swimming pool was originally constructed for the 1970 Commonwealth Games and was opened again in March 2012 after a massive re-fit.

Especially for little ones, there is a 0.8 metre deep kids’ pool which is also worth a visit if your kids enjoy splashing about or practising their swimming technique.

The Commonwealth Games in 2014 saw the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh being used for the diving events.

Getting there:

By Bus:

From Princes Street the following buses will take you to the Royal Commonwealth Pool

Service 33

Service 30

Click on the links for timetables. Also useful if the Lothian Bus App which you can download from the App Store.

Top Tip if you are coming by car the parking is limited and private car parks in the area are very expensive.

Ocean Terminal – Young Children

Small Children
Royal Yacht Britannia

A shopping centre with a difference – there’s plenty available at Ocean Terminal for a day out for all ages. The former Royal Yacht Britannia is moored at Ocean Terminal where there’s a great visitor centre and tours of the ship.

There’s also a Vue Multi-Screen Cinema at Ocean Terminal where you can catch up with all the latest releases.

Getting there:

From Princes Street I would recommend Service 10. Click this link for timetable.

Tram from Princes Street to Newhaven stops at Ocean Terminal

There is a Free Multi Storey Car Park at Ocean Terminal

If you’ve found some good ideas for activities with young children, do let us know in the comments below!

If you have found our blog informative and want to read about more activities you can see and do on a visit to Edinburgh then click on the link to return to the home page.

Updated April 2024

Anything to add?