Joules are currently running a competition where they ask you to imagine your ideal family weekend away and this post is our take on what that would mean to us.
I think we’d return to Edinburgh as we really enjoyed a visit there a couple of years ago and felt that we’d still got a lot to see there. We’d start our holiday with travelling there: you see for us that’s all part of the fun. Now you can get to Edinburgh by plane or car, but a train ride will get you right into the heart of the city and it’s a relaxing way to travel. On the way we’d do a little reading; maybe play some travel games like ‘i-spy’; and when we need to chill we’d sit back and watch something on the tablet.
Staying in the heart of the city allows you to drink in more of the atmosphere, but from a practical perspective it also means you are well placed. It’s not far to go from the train station; there are plenty of places to eat; and all the attractions are easy to reach. Being able to walk out the door and go for a wander to get a feel for the city is a real treat too, so a little random exploring is always on our agenda. We usually look out for a local pub (usually not a chain one) as we find that’s a good way of getting to experience something of the spirit of the place. It will be a little bit different to the pubs back home and will give you a chance to meet people or try some local food (and drink) specialities. On our last trip we got involved with an early evening pub quiz which H loved taking part in too and it made us feel like part of the community.
For days out I think we’d revisit some of our favourite spots from our last trip and seek out some new. One bit hit last time was our day out at Edinburgh Zoo where we had a chance to see the giant pandas. This time we’d hope to see one of them awake, as last time we only saw the male and he was fast asleep all the time we were there. H loved the penguins too as they have a great penguin area and shows at Edinburgh Zoo.
You can’t go to Edinburgh without a trip up to the top of Arthur’s Seat. It’s a challenging, but achievable, walk (H did it when he was 7) and a great way to work off that B&B cooked breakfast or long lunch. The views of the city from the top are well worth the walk and it helps you understand the layout of the centre of town. H still talks about getting to the top and it’s clearly a source of pride for him.
Somehow on our last visit we just didn’t manage to fit in a visit to the castle and we’d like to correct that oversight. I’ve been before so I know that Edinburgh Castle is well worth a visit with its long, proud and interesting history. Few castles have such a dramatic position (it’s perched above the city on a volcanic plug) or are in such good condition. We’d want to make sure we were there at 1pm, so that we could hear the 105mm field gun being fired.
Another highlight we’d want to repeat was a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia. Going around is a real insight into royal life aboard and there are so many stories connected to the yacht’s long history. We loved the fact that you could see all the behind the scenes stuff too, like the staff accommodation plus the officer’s bar!
I think to be truthful we might struggle to pack it all into a weekend, but we’d certainly have a good go.