City breaks are quite easy with a small baby. No really. You’re always near shops where you can buy supplies and there will be changing facilities and feeding spots in abundance in a busy tourist spot. As long as you choose centrally based accomodation, so you can nip back once a day for a break if you need it, you can still get quite a lot done. Babies love taking in the world around them so get them strapped in thier stroller or to your chest and go exploring a city before the years of endless pool days and kids clubs start. We took Ivor on his first city break to Edinburgh when he was just four months old. Here’s why I think you should choose it too.
1. If you’re based in the UK, you will probably be on the plane for little more than an hour and a half, including time on the tarmac. The idea of flying with a baby for the first time is daunting as hell so this is a great way to experience it without having to commit to several hours. The liklihood is if you feed your baby as soon as you board, they will sleep through the rest of the flight. We didn’t have to do a nappy change on either leg of the journey either. Most airlines allow the two free baby items in the hold on domestic flights too so you can take two large items like your car seat, stroller or travel cot.
Tip: If you’re going on a short break, why not leave the carry cot at home and just use the car seat attachment for your travel system? Most airlines will class this as just one item and then you can still take the travel cot for free as well. Take a sling so your baby gets a break from sitting in the car seat all day.
2. You don’t need a passport. With everything else you have to deal with in the first few months, many of us don’t get around to applying for a baby passport straight away. As long as you are travelling within the UK, your baby can travel without a passport, although you should check with your airline incase they require any other proof of identity like a birth certificate.
3. Almost everything is on one street. The Royal Mile runs through Edinburgh’s city centre and is the hub for tourism in the city. With Edinburgh Castle at one end, and the Palace of Holyrood House at the other, you can spend a couple of days meandering up and down The Royal Mile taking in the attractions like Camera Obscura, St Giles Cathedral, The Scotch Whiskey Experience, Museum of Childhood, Museum of Edinburgh and Our Dynamic Earth. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants to keep you fed and watered. I recommend the cafe under St Giles Cathedral which was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle and had good changing facilities.
4. You can still have a relaxed day at the beach by taking a short trip out to Portabello or Crammond Beaches. We went in November so didn’t venture out this time, but it’s definitely on the list for our next visit. Leith and it’s canals, or Carlton Hill offer other alternatives for a quieter day.
5. You can have coffee where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter and visit the grave that inspired Voldemort. Even if you’re not that into Harry Potter, you’re going to have to get to grips with the boy wizard in the next few years so why not start now? The Elephant Cafe is purported to be the place where JK famously sat and wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You can also visit the grave of a man named Thomas Riddell in Greyfriars Kirkyard, thought by many to be the inspiration for Tom Riddle, who went on to become the notorious Lord Voldemort. This is going to impress the hell out of your kids later.
6. Public transport in Edinburgh is easy. The tram to the city centre leaves literally from right outside the airport and drops you in central Edinburgh near all of the major hotels. You can even buy your tickets in advance using the Lothian Transport ticket app to save any stress. There’s also a good bus service, although unless you’re going further afield to Leith, The Royal Britannia Yacht or the beach, you probably won’t need to rely on them much as Edinburgh is a very compact city. Edinburgh also has Uber, so you can get back to your hotel in the touch of a few buttons if you really need to.