Family Theme – from the Borders Railway

Train travel comes with ‘family-friendly’ built in. The city choices start with traditional attractions like Edinburgh Zoo, while Midlothian offers great country parks and family fun centres. The Scottish Borders cycle choice is world-class while plenty of stately homes and castles provide lots of diversions for children.

Family-friendly  travel trade itinerary

Day 1

The first of at least two days exploring family venues in the Scottish Borders. Travel from the railhead at Tweedbank to Traquair House. There is plenty to do here for families - so most of the first day can be spent here. Overnight in Galashiels / Melrose area.

Day 2

Pick up bikes from local hirer to experience a section of the Four Abbeys Cycle Route – heading eastwards for Kelso. As well as visiting Kelso Abbey ruins here in the town, Floors Castle is close by. Either overnight in Kelso area and take in the rest of the Four Abbeys Cycle Route the next day, or overnight in Galashiels / Melrose area, as above.

Day 3

Travel from Galashiels or Tweedbank station to Eskbank for an excursion to Dalkeith Country Park. Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World is equidistant in the other direction from the station and it will be possible to take in both. Overnight Dalkeith area.

Day 4

Next day, experience an all-action session at Ozone Action Centre via Newtongrange Station before travelling in to Edinburgh. 

Day 5

Family fun in the city starts with Edinburgh Zoo. Though both the Museum of Childhood and Dynamic Earth are very close to Waverley Station, don’t hurry the visit to either: they should probably be on your Day 6 itinerary!

Family – friendly Theme Listings:

Traquair House

As well as the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, Traquair is also one of the most characterful. With its colourful history, Traquair certainly takes its place in Scotland story. Children are especially well looked after with scavenger hunts, activity sheets, woodland trails and a maze - plus an events calendar with a family focus House tours, craft and gifts, brewery, restaurant. They also have bed and breakfast accommodation available.

Further Information Traquair House

Distance from station: Galashiels 13 miles / 21 km

Suitable for G & FIT

Floors Castle

This is Scotland’s largest inhabited castle and home of the Dukes of Roxburghe. Inside there are fine collections of art, tapestries, porcelain all set in grand rooms, while outside are woodland and riverside walks and gardens in the very extensive grounds. Tailor-made, self-guided or themed tours available. Choice of cafes and shops - plus an adventure playground. Floors makes an ideal family day out.

Further information:  Floors Castle

Distance from station: Tweedbank 14 miles / 22 km

Suitable for G & FIT

Four Abbeys Cycle Route

This circular route links the four famous abbeys of the Scottish Borders, mostly on quiet roads. This is a great way to get to know the Borders countryside and discover the importance of the Borders Abbeys. The whole circular route is 55 miles / 88 km and usually done clockwise. There are plenty of other points of historic and scenic interest on the way. It can be done in a big day by a fit family, but better over two!

Distance from station: Tweedbank 2 miles / 3 km.

Further information: Four Abbeys Cycle Route / Diamond Cycle Centre

Suitable for G & FIT

Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World

This is the world's longest-running butterfly house - a rain-forest where hundreds of exotic butterflies fly free. In addition to butterflies, there is the opportunity for other insect encounters - and fish and reptiles too - basically, from scorpions to snakes. The animal handling sessions may be the place where clients can deal with their spider phobias!  Group rates available.

Further information: Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World

Distance from station: Eskbank 1.7 miles / 2.7 km

Suitable for G & FIT

Dalkeith Country Park

A family fun destination and Midlothian favourite, made even better in 2016 by a totally redesigned adventure park for children. Add to this a café, restaurant, shopping and wellness space as the centrepiece of the extensive grounds and woodland trails in the grounds of Dalkeith Palace, former home of the Dukes of Buccleuch.

Further information: Dalkeith Country Park

Distance from station: Eskbank 1.7 miles / 2.7 km

Suitable for G & FIT

Ozone Action Sports

This skate park and extreme sports complex offers state-of-the-art entertainment and leisure centre for children of all ages. High-energy young clients will love the trampolining options at Ryze - sometimes called an ‘extreme trampoline experience’ - and the range of sport and game activities that are part of the sessions. Then there is Transgression Park - an indoor arena with every possible challenge and facility for skateboard, BMX, Inline and more. Packages to suit your exact client requirements. Shops and cafes are on site too.

Further information: Ozone Action Sports

Nearest station: Newtongrange 1.2 miles / 2km

Suitable for G & FIT

Edinburgh Zoo

Long-established family attraction in the city. Those pandas are getting all the attention at the moment - but there are plenty of other things to see. Pandas are time-ticketed, with limited spaces - so advance booking is essential. But there are talks, feeding times, demonstrations and animal handling sessions - plus the famous penguins are invited out for a stroll on a daily basis (the ‘Penguin Parade’) Also great views over the city from the hill-top. Group rates.

Further information: Edinburgh Zoo

Nearest station: Waverley 4 miles / 6 km

Suitable for G & FIT

Museum of Childhood

A great family venue on the Royal Mile in the very heart of Edinburgh - not just a collection of toys, but a social history of childhood. This is the museum that generates lots of conversations and discussions between family members. Permanent and wide-ranging displays of toys, games, crafts and hobby items, everything from dolls’ tea-sets to Meccano and displays on babyhood, child health and school days. Changing programme of themed exhibitions.

Further information: Museum of Childhood

Nearest station: Waverley 0.5 mile / 1 km

Suitable for G & FIT

Our Dynamic Earth

This hi-tech family-focussed visitor attraction tackles the big subject: Planet Earth

and its story: its origins and its future. The visitor experience here includes the heat of a volcano, the chill of polar ice and the ambience of a tropical forest. Groups can also experience Scotland’s only 360 degree full dome film theatre with a changing programme. Overall, it’s an absorbing experience taking in every sense, suitable for all except the very youngest children.

Further information: Our Dynamic Earth

Nearest station: Waverley 0.8 mile / 1.4km

Suitable for G & FIT