When taking a trip to Edinburgh with our youngest son (3 months) and my sister-in-law, I had a chance to remember the freedom of travelling without a toddler (Daniel, Peter and my mother-in-law went to Rome while we ventured North). The portability of an infant, leisurely meals in restaurants without food being thrown around, and a lie-in after an awful night because no one was waking me up at 6 am.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten that a stroller = limited accessibility. I’m so used to taking the bus in London, or jumping in a black cab, that I haven’t recently felt limited by travelling with a pram. But Edinburgh is a city full of stairs. To get in and out of restaurants, shops, hotels, stairs are everywhere.
Sarah and I could handle a short flight of steps, but I would suggest wearing your infant in a sling, if possible. That way you are free of most of your constraints and the city is yours to discover.
Edinburgh Castle is a gorgeous building overlooking the capital city. I was excited to go in and explore the buildings. Alas, almost all of the buildings have stairs at the entrance. This is one of the least accessible tourist attractions I have ever been to (which is understandable due to its age), but it’s something to be aware of. And it’s a terrible thing to discover when it’s 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the wind is howling and it’s raining outside. Weather, I get the sense, that occurs frequently in this city.
We also had trouble locating any changing facilities in the café where we went to escape the weather. This is why after only seeing the entrance and the café, I left the castle 20 quid poorer and looking like a drowned rat.
Luckily, I took shelter in the Tartan Weaving Mill right on the Royal Mile when exiting the castle. It is a bit of a tourist trap, but I picked up some lovely wool scarfs as souvenirs, and found our families tartan had I wanted to purchase it as well. It’s a free attraction that fits the pram (though to see the mill where they make tartans, and not just the shop, you need to navigate many sets of stairs) and gives a bit of shelter from the weather.
What other cities or attractions would you also not want to take a pram to?