A young Instagrammer's guide to Edinburgh

01 August 2016

Whether you're planning for the weekend ahead or school holidays finding something fun the whole family will enjoy can be tricky, so we asked two of Edinburgh’s younger Instagrammers to suggest some places you can take the kids and keep them occupied and active around Edinburgh on a budget.

Andrew Bulloch (@hcollub) and Jodie Williamson (@jodeswills) are friends who both love photography and live in Edinburgh. Andrew is 14 and a Leith Academy pupil who has already been shortlisted in the 2016 Scottish Nature Photography Awards, and winner in the Festival of Architecture’s Inspiring Spaces photo competition. Jodie goes to Trinity Academy, and has a great eye for composition and detail in her photographs as well as a love for the outdoors.

Cramond Island

Cramond By Andrew Bulloch

[Photo credit – Andrew Bulloch @hcollub] 

The walk across the causeway to Cramond Island only takes about 15 minutes, so exploring the old World War 2 gun emplacements or just enjoying the views on a sunny day from the beach is a cheap way to keep the kids occupied. Take a picnic or visit the lovely little Cramond Gallery Bistro back in Cramond village once you have returned from your walk. But make sure you check the tide times before you go, so that you are not stuck out on the island for the night!

Golfing in Edinburgh

Golf By Andrew Bulloch

[Photo credit – Andrew Bulloch @hcollub]

Edinburgh has a vast array of golf courses but the 9 hole Wee Braids course is designed for kids and beginners and is only a short drive from the city. Even if you just fancy a pleasant walk while the kids play, the views across Edinburgh are fabulous, giving you something to look at in between searching for their lost golf balls!

Prices for juniors start at only £5.20 and if you haven’t brought your clubs, there is usually a set available for hire at the starters hut. No dress codes or memberships needed! After your round, there’s a cafe at the nearby golf shop (where we recommend the toasties and chocolate muffins!) and if you need the practice you could use the driving range there too.

Scott Monument

Scott Monument By Jodie Williamson

[Photo credit – Jodie Williamson @jodeswills]

The Scott Monument is a well-known landmark in the centre of Edinburgh. It has been towering over Princes Street Gardens since 1844 in tribute to the Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott. 200 feet (plus 6 inches!) in height, it has a total of 287 steps to reach the top. Kids with a head for heights will love the challenge to climb all the steps and scramble up the tiny narrow stairs. Once at the top, the panoramic views across the city are very much worth the climb and the minimal £5 fee.

South Queensferry

South Queensferry By Andrew Bulloch

[Photo credit – Andrew Bulloch @hcollub]

The train ride out to Dalmeny only takes about 15 minutes. As you can take your bicycle on the trains, a cycle ride over the Forth Road Bridge and back while looking at the almost completed Queensferry Crossing and the 126 year old Forth Rail Bridge is possible and takes around an hour.

If cycling isn't your thing you could go on a boat trip from South Queensferry out to Inchcolm Island where there is an abbey and World War 2 relics, including a tunnel under the hill on the east of the island. South Queensferry is a lovely historic village to explore in itself with plenty of walks nearby and lots of places to eat.

The National Museum of Scotland

National Museum Of Scotland By Andrew Bulloch

[Photo credit – Andrew Bulloch @hcollub]

The National Museum of Scotland is a brilliant day out for all the family especially on a rainy day - and it's free! As well as the huge range of exhibits and newly opened galleries, this summer's special exhibitions include Fossil Hunters: Unearthing the Mystery of Life on Land. So if your kids love science, they can discover how life on earth moved from water onto land 360 million years ago through ground-breaking discoveries made here in Scotland. And for the younger ones there is a three metre LEGO® model of the museum to wonder at!

Stockbridge Market

Stockbridge2 By Andrew Bulloch

[Photo credit – Andrew Bulloch @hcollub]

Stockbridge is a lovely suburb of Edinburgh, a 5 minute walk from the city centre. Every Sunday it is host to a diverse farmers market that features a wonderful range of products from food to crafts and jewellery. Even if the thought of shopping with kids in tow fills you with dread, they will love the colours of the stalls and smells of food from literally all over the world. Ideal for a quick Sunday lunch “on the go”. You’ll find it on Saunders Street, close to the Water of Leith, between 10am and 5pm and is a perfect stop on a wander around the city and along the river.

The Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia By Andrew Bulloch

[Photo credit – Andrew Bulloch @hcollub]

The Royal Yacht Britannia has been judged Scotland's best visitor attraction for ten years running. It is very child and even pram friendly with lots to see including an 11 foot LEGO® replica. Under 5’s are free, as are the audio tours of which children's versions are available and are always popular. As it is an all-weather attraction, even if the Scottish weather lets you down, you can still enjoy exploring what had been the Royal Family's yacht for over 40 years.

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura By Andrew Bulloch

[Photo credit – Andrew Bulloch @hcollub]

Looking for something completely different? Right at the top of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura offers an amazing experience with 6 floors of interactive, hands-on visual fun! As well as the traditional camera obscura itself, there is a rooftop experience, a World of Illusions exhibition and many other attractions involving light, mirrors and holograms. A child ticket costs £12 (£14 for concessions/students) but under 5’s are free and it will keep everyone occupied for at least two hours.

Discover even more things to do with the kids in Edinburgh this summer >