Edinburgh is a wonderfully family friendly city has some excellent attractions which are perfect for toddlers including museums, soft play areas and parks. The city is particularly picturesque coming up to Christmas and brings to mind images of Hogwarts, not least because it was the place which inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. You will be able to find plenty of baby and toddler friendly hotels in the city and your baby and toddler essentials are all readily available here.
Edinburgh is a great city for walking and is generally suitable for walking around with a pram or stroller (although there are steps in some of the older sights). It’s streets are like a museum and at night the centre is illuminated beautifully. Edinburgh is a great destination for family holidays or breaks at any time of year, but avoid August and early September unless you have specifically come for the Edinburgh Festival as the city is packed and expensive. To see the city in its full glory, come for Christmas and particularly Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), when Edinburgh celebrates with a ‘Winter Wonderland’ with fairground rides and a big wheel, ice-skating, German markets and a Highland Fair. There are plenty of baby and toddler friendly hotels and eateries in the city and you will be able to find all your essentials here as well.
Edinburgh has an airport 11km from the centre, with connections throughout the UK and Europe and transatlantic flights. It also has good rail links with the rest of the UK. One of the best ways to get to Edinburgh from London is by Scotrail’s Caledonian Sleeper, with accommodation options including bargain berths (standard-class double cabins) from London Euston starting at just £19pp one-way. Interconnecting double cabins are available. The London–Edinburgh journey takes 6hrs 30mins, and there are two departures each night except Saturdays. This is only suitable for older toddlers however as cots are not provided.
Edinburgh is 650km north of London, giving a driving time of around 7hrs. From Leeds it’s about 4hrs by car.
The best way to get around Edinburgh is on foot. Driving can be a nightmare in the city centre due to the one-way system and bus only routes. Most hotels have free guides and maps of the major attractions. There are a lot of cobbled streets and these can be tricky with a flimsy stroller, so bring a good solid one if possible and a baby carrier or sling. Also wear comfortable shoes. There are taxi companies in the city that will be able to provide you with a car seat. Your hotel should be able to help you to find one. The Royal Mile in the centre of the old town with Edinburgh Castle at the top and The Palace of Holyroodhouse and the new Scottish Parliament building at the bottom. St Giles Cathedral, John Knox House, the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre and the Mercat Cross are located on the Royal Mile. There are several pavement cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and pubs if you are in need of refreshment. Princes Street runs parallel to the Royal Mile, a short walk away. It is the main street in Edinburgh and separates “The Old Town” and “The New Town”. Princes Street has souvenir shops and a number of department stores. Princes Street Gardens offer a bit of tranquility within the bustling city centre and also offer a stunning view of Edinburgh Castle. The National Gallery for Scotland, and Royal Scottish Academy are both located on Princes Street.
If you want to use the hop on, hop off tour buses, they can be picked up on Waverley Bridge (just outside of Edinburgh Waverley railway station). You get a guided tour of the city and can either stay on or get off to visit some of the major attractions. There are four routes so you will be sure to find the one that covers what you want to see.
The city also has a bus and tram network which is for the most part stroller accessible. Click here for more information on public transport in Edinburgh.
Please see below for all the information you will need for travelling to Edinburgh with a baby, toddler or young child.