Family days out in Edinburgh & The Lothians

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  • A mother and child examine an acrigultural exhibit at the Almond Valley Heritage Centre
    Almond Valley Heritage Centre, West Lothian
  • A family at the edge of the loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow
    The loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
  • The main gallery of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
    The main gallery of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • A group take a tour of the Scottish Mining Museum
    The Scottish Mining Museum, Newtongrange, Midlothian
  • Edinburgh Zoo's female panda Tian Tian © David Fu, photographer
    Edinburgh Zoo's female panda Tian Tian © David Fu, photographer

From castles and fascinating museums to country parks, gardens and much more, come and explore the excellent range of activities for the whole family across Edinburgh & The Lothians. Enjoy a day out in the city, or head into the country and discover the great outdoors.

Attractions

The fascinating displays at the National Museum of Scotland on Edinburgh’s Chambers Street will have both children and adults mesmerised for hours. Discover the natural world and explore cultures from around the globe, as well as Scotland’s story.

For a great slice of history, as well as fantastic views across the city, take a trip to Edinburgh Castle where you’ll find everything from Scotland’s crown jewels to the One O’Clock Gun. From the castle, walk about half-way down the historic Royal Mile to the Real Mary King’s Close, one of the city’s spookiest attractions. Investigate the fascinating series of underground passages with an eerie tour guide dressed as a former resident of the street and uncover the dark secrets the passages hold.

The Edinburgh Dungeon on Market Street near Waverley Station is also well worth a visit. Travel back in time and meet some of Scotland’s most famous, and infamous, characters. If you survive meeting body snatchers Burke and Hare and the cannibal Sawney Bean and his hungry family, you can visit the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions which has entertained visitors with its marvellous optical illusions since the Victorian period.

Our Dynamic Earth allows you to travel back to the beginning of our planet and watch the Big Bang from the Hubble Telescope. Witness a tropical rain storm and feel the heat of a bubbling volcano ready to erupt as the museum takes you through 15,000 million years of Earth’s history up to the present day.

Another popular attraction with families is Edinburgh Zoo where the daily penguin parade and Scotland’s very own pandas are just two of the exotic species on show.

In East Lothian, the National Museum of Flight features a wonderful collection of aircraft including Concorde and there are also some marvelous castles to explore such as the charming Dirleton Castle and the breathtaking Tantallon Castle, which is perched on the cliffs above the Firth of Forth.

Step back in time in Midlothian with a visit to the National Mining Museum at Newtongrange and find out what life was like for the miners who worked there. If you're brave enough, go and meet a wide variety of creepy crawlies and tropical butterflies at Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World in Lasswade.  

Country parks and gardens

Take the whole family for a fantastic free day out at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, where you can spend hours of fun exploring the grounds and discovering rare and beautiful plants and trees. There’s a packed programme of educational events throughout the year too which includes bird feeding days and arts and crafts.

If you fancy getting active, visit Beecraigs Country Park in West Lothian and try your hand at archery or take a boat trip out on the loch. A short distance away lies Almondell & Calderwood Country Park which includes beautiful woodland and riverside walks and a heritage centre packed with interesting exhibits.

Browse the listings for more family day out ideas across Edinburgh & The Lothians.

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101 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Broxburn

    Almondell & Calderwood Country Park is a popular 88 hectare (220 acre) Visitor Attraction near Broxburn. One of three Country Parks in West Lothian - also visit Beecraigs Country Park near Linlithgow and Polkemmet Country Park near Whitburn.

  2. Randolph Gallery

    Type

    Galleries

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    The Randolph Gallery was established in Edinburgh in 1996 by Margaret Bruce and Alan Renfrew and promotes the work of leading contemporary realist and surrealist painters.

  3. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Visit one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings and explore a fascinating overview of Scotland past and present though a wealth of imagery encompassing painting, photography, sculpture and film

  4. Gradings

    Broxburn

    Self-Guided Walking Holidays across Scotland's most beautiful landscapes. Our professional service provides pre-booked accommodation, baggage transfers, maps, guidebooks and more. Visit our website for full details.

  5. John Muir Country Park

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Dunbar

    John Muir Country Park is located on a beautiful stretch of coastline.

  6. Vogrie Country Park

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Pathhead

    105 hectares of woods and Victorian parkland including a 1876 Victorian mansion - part of which is open to the public, a nine-hole golf course, adventure playground and an excellent cafeteria.

  7. Gradings

    • 5 Visitor Attraction
    5 Visitor Attraction

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Camera Obscura and World of Illusions - where seeing is not believing! Welcome to Edinburgh's oldest visitor attraction, delighting visitors since 1835. Rated top Attraction in Scotland and #2 Attraction in UK in inaugural TripAdvisor awards 2013!

  8. Hopetoun House

    Type

    Historic Buildings & Homes

    Gradings

    • 5 Historic House
    5 Historic House

    South Queensferry

    Hopetoun House, Scotland's finest stately home, is an important part of European architectural heritage situated in South Queensferry, outside Edinburgh.

  9. Linlithgow Palace

    Type

    Historic Buildings & Homes

    Gradings

    • 4 Historic Attraction
    4 Historic Attraction

    Linlithgow

    The magnificent ruin of a great Royal Palace set in its own park and beside Linlithgow Loch.

  10. Gradings

    • 5 Visitor Attraction
    5 Visitor Attraction

    Newtongrange

    Marvel at the sheer size of the National Mining Museum, be astounded by the engineering brilliance behind all the machinery and retrace the footsteps and struggles of the thousands of miners and their families before you.

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