• Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

The Edinburgh parent tour: a “where to go” when parents come to visit

ByRebecca Houghton

Oct 12, 2023
Edinburgh at night seen from Blackford Hill, woman sitting in front of the view

Are your parents set to visit? Perplexed as to where to take them or how to cover all interests? Look no further, this article is here to serve; whether interested in art, exploration or relaxation, Edinburgh is a city overflowing with opportunities.

To start, it’s impossible to visit Edinburgh without admiring its natural beauty. Full of green spaces, footpaths and walks, this city is waiting to be explored on foot. Whilst the weather isn’t always perfect, even when its cold, the extra-layers are a small exchange for the breath-taking views. Although this list is not exhaustive, here are just some of the walks which aren’t to be missed: Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Park (especially Queen’s Drive – a road which wraps around Arthur’s seat, providing panoramic views from sea to mountain), Prince’s Street Gardens and Dean Park.

Following on from Edinburgh’s majestic beauty is its royal connection. Whilst London might have Buckingham or Kensington Palace, this city offers more than just Edinburgh Castle. Other royal venues include Holyrood Palace and the Royal Yacht Britannia; if you and your parents are intrigued
by history, more specifically the British Monarchy, these venues are ideal and often less congested
than the Castle (although still worth a visit if you’re yet to go). For Holyrood, not only can you tour
the Palace itself, and all the exhibitions inside, there are the private gardens to the rear with the
option of dining in the excellent café as an afterward. Similarly, the Britannia offers both a chance to
tour the ship, which once took the Royal family all over the world, and dine within its idyllic

If the Royal Family isn’t quite your forte but history is, take advantage of Edinburgh’s many
museums; the National Museum of Scotland, The Writer’s Museum (a tribute to Robert Burns, Sir
Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson), the Museum of Childhood and the Surgeon’s Hall are all
strong contenders but, again, the list is ever-flowing – there really is a museum for all members of
the family.

Enriching Edinburgh’s cultural scene even further are the multiplicity of theatres. As with the
museums, there is a show available for all tastes. Between The Playhouse, King’s Theatre, Festival
Theatre, Lyceum and Usher Hall, all your musical, comedy and drama desires can be fulfilled.
Nevertheless, there are also smaller, more personal theatres which provide for even further
diversification, aiming to highlight contemporary talents. Such theatres include, but are not limited
to, Edinburgh’s People Theatre, Summerhall and the Comedy Attic.

Finally, this guide would not be complete without reference to the vast array of shops and
restaurants available across the city. For all your shopping needs, St James Quarter, followed by
George Street, offers all the most current and popular brands. In terms of food, the possibilities are
endless. Edinburgh boasts a wealth of cuisines compatible with all budgets and ambiance
preferences. Not only will you find all your favourite chains, Itsu, Wagamama, Tortilla, Bella Italia…
but an amazing array of independents which shouldn’t be missed. If you’d like a few specific
recommendations then make sure to search for Isola (a wonderful Sardinian), Chaskaa (for all your
curry needs), Nanyang (for Malaysian-Asian fusion) or Howie’s (for a traditional Scottish-European
lunch or dinner).

Never overwhelming but simply full of life, Edinburgh is waiting for both you and your family.

Photography via Tommy Manning