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Edinburgh this weekend with a toddler -- ideas?

Edinburgh this weekend with a toddler -- ideas?

Oct 2nd, 2007, 05:12 AM
  #1  
BKP
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Edinburgh this weekend with a toddler -- ideas?

My little family is making the long drive up to Edinburgh for the weekend. We will have all day Saturday and most of Sunday to see the city. We're staying at the Radisson on the Royal Mile. We're hoping to visit Edinburgh Castle Saturday morning and the Museum of Childhood that afternoon. Maybe try to sneak some shopping in -- I hear the cashmere is lovely. Sunday morning we're going to try and hit the aquarium. Any other thoughts? Specifically child friendly restaurants? We want to eat at the castle but aren't sure how child friendly it is. We appreciate any pointers for this last minute city break.
Oh by the way -- if you don't mind me tacking a non travel (but just as important) question on to this post -- does anyone know where I can find candy corn in the UK? This is my first Halloween overseas and I'm getting a little desperate. I know I can have someone back hom ship some to me or use an ebay store but I was only going to do that as a last resort. Any ideas?
BKP is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 05:41 AM
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One idea (especially if it's raining) would be the Royal Museum of Scotland on Chamber Street - it's a treasure trove for adults and children alike. My parents used to take me there regularly when I was growing up and I adored it. And it's free! Not sure about child friendly restaurants, but there are a couple of cafés in the museum which would be easy places to stop for a bite with kids.
hanl is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 05:46 AM
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Hi BKP, I was just in Edinburgh for the first time in July. We walked past the Radisson and it looked like a neat old building - you'll be right in the thick of things! The castle is amazing and will provide your toddler with plenty of room to roam. There are a couple of dining options, including a cafeteria-style cafe in the former cartsheds (located in the Middle Ward, near the One o'Clock Gun) that is certainly child friendly (and the food's not bad either!).

Can't really help with the candy corn! I know that here in Germany, US military personnel can often get stuff like that on base. Also check your big grocery stores to see if any have an "American" food section...
hausfrau is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:04 AM
  #4  
BKP
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Thanks for the quick replies. Hanl -- thanks for the rainy day suggestions! The forecast is for dry but COLD so we will probably spend as much time inside as possible. Hausfrau -- I am excited for the Radisson -- looks like fun. As to the candy corn, maybe I'll have to buddy up with some military personnel . . .
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Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:08 AM
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Hi BKP,

We haven't been able to find candy corn anywhere in Edinburgh (been living here almost 2 years now) - my mother in law sends it out to us. It's one of the few things we miss! I never even thought to look for it on eBay.

About Edinburgh - the castle cafeteria part is definately child-friendly and has really reasonably good food. With other restaurants I know there is a rule at pubs regarding what time you are allowed in with a child - during the day you'll be fine.

I agree with the previous poster about the Royal Museum - it's a great place and it's free. Also, I actually just went to the Edinburgh Zoo recently when my father was visiting and really enjoyed it - I usually don't like zoos but this one gave the animals so much room it was actually a bit of a walk to get around!

If the weather holds out you'll have a lovely weekend - keeping my fingers crossed for you. We're actually in the middle of our second sunny day here - quite a record this year!

pittpurple is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:09 AM
  #6  
BKP
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One more question -- would Holyrood be miserable with a toddler? They abbey looks lovely but I worry that if we tried to see the palace it would just be a lot of velvet ropes that my toddler would want to swing from. I know that it is HRH (?) home in the beginning of summer. In that respect is it similar to touring Buckingham Palace, which we toured a few summers ago and would never do with a toddler! Thanks -- for any answers or other suggestions!
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Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:20 AM
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In all honestly I wouldn't think of going to Holyrood with a toddler - I found it a bit slow going - beautiful, but not the most dynamic experience. I think after going to the castle and having a wander around the Royal Mile you'll probably be ready for dinner - the castle takes a while, particularly if you're stopping for lunch.

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Oct 2nd, 2007, 05:06 PM
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I also wouldn't bring a toddler to Holyrood, there are definitely velvet ropes! I think the castle and royal mile will be quite a lot to do. I also saw your hotel this past June, great location.

I've been to the aquarium, and while I don't recommend it to adults, I think it will be perfect for a toddler and a family.

Have a nice time!
amelie is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:11 AM
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By the aquarium, do you mean the Sea Life Centre in North Berwick or the one at North Quennsferry ? I'm not aware of one in Edinburgh.

Can't really improve on any of the other suggestions. There is a guidebook on Edinburgh for the under fives but I guess it's not worth buying for two days. You could look at The List (fortnightly listings magazine, most newsagents) which has a children's section to see if there are any special events on this weekend. But I think you probably have enough to occupy you already.

BTW hausfrau, the Radisson isn't an old building, it's a new one pastiche- style.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:34 AM
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Try the penguin parade at Edinburgh Zoo or just have a wander in the Botanic Gardens - I've never known a toddler not to be fascinated by squirrels
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:57 AM
  #11  
BKP
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Thanks for the headsup regarding Holyrood. Maybe we'll work out a naptime deal. Honestly, I think my husband might be more relieved to stay in the hotel and nap than my son!
If you could only choose 1 of the following, the Zoo, the Aquarium or the Butterfly and Insect Exhibit -- which would it be? My son is 2 and everything that that implies -- a handful!
Alan -- squirrels and pigeons -- give my child a package of ritz crackers to feed them and he'll be content for hours in any city!
Thanks again!
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:01 AM
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No contest - zoo if only for the penguin parade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6e6yfURdCw

Even more fun than squirrels for toddlers (or adults)
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:06 AM
  #13  
BKP
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Alan -- my son would love that! A quick google search tells me that they do that through September. Do you know if I am out of luck this weekend? My first thought was that it was too cold for them . . . but they're penguins!
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:26 AM
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Agree that the zoo is great fun for kids, and the penguins are a bit attraction there.
Unless of course it's raining, in which case I'd opt for the aquarium (if you mean the one at North Queensferry, which is excellent).
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:27 AM
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*big* - not "bit"!!
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:39 AM
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Just rang the zoo (0131 334 9171) and they say the penguin parade is still on at 2:15pm

You might want to give them a ring on the day just to be certain

Tip for the zoo - take the internal bus up to the top then walk down
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:30 AM
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You didn't answer my question about which aquarium - assuming you mean the one in North Queensferry or the one in North Berwick, be aware that both of them - and the Butterfly & Insect world - are several miles outside Edinburgh. The zoo is in Edinburgh, though. Driving and parking in Edinburgh is very difficult; so if you weren't already planning to, I recommend abandoning the car for the weekend & getting buses where necessary.

Where are you driving from - London ? Are you sure that's what you want to do, as opposed to getting the train or flying ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 05:06 AM
  #18  
BKP
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Sorry for the oversight Caroline -- I was assuming we would go to the Queensferry Zoo. I know that usually trains/flights make more sense for this kind of journey, but we love a good road trip! Honestly, the idea of being in the car for 7+ hours with my husband and child sounds perfect. The baby will nap, eat, watch the DVD and my husband and I will get some zero t.v., zero email, zero any distraction besides each other and some music time!
I assume we'll park the car at the hotel and explore the city on foot. We'll stop by the zoo on our way out of town to minimize city driving.
Thank you for your comments! My husband made the reservations and told me last minute so all of this has been much appreciated!
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 05:39 AM
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I have never used them so cannot vouch for them but try
http://www.cybercandy.co.uk/
and click on "American stuff"
They have candy corn.
MissPrism is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:13 AM
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KBKP, still not sure you are clear on the different zoo type places ? I don't want to seem pedantic - just trying to help !

Edinburgh Zoo is in the city, 3 or 4 miles out the west of the centre, and you can get a city bus there from Princes Street. Deep Sea World is near North Queensferry, several miles from Edinburgh on the other side of the Firth of Forth.

I don't think there is any parking at Edinburgh Zoo, but you may be able to park on the main road on a Sunday. Anyone else know for sure ? There is parking at Deep Sea World, though, so if you want to do both, it would make sense to do Deep Sea World by car before driving home.

Hope you have a lovely time - the forecast for the weekend is currently quite good. As for me, I'll be in Cardiff ! Flying, incidentally - 8 hours in the car is my idea of hell, even without a baby, but each to their own !
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