(ad- press stay)
& a mini toddler friendly guide to Edinburgh!
A few weeks ago, my mum, Arlo and I headed up to a (surprisingly) sunny Edinburgh for a magical 48 hours at the newly opened Gleneagles Townhouse on St Andrew Square…
Having been lucky enough to visit Gleneagles a few years ago during a snowy January, I knew the townhouse would be nothing short of special, but amazingly it still exceeded expectations and made my first city break with a toddler a very special one indeed…
Having our travel plans ruptured to due a rail strike, travelling looked a little different than originally planned- but arriving at the hotel on a cold Thursday, we made quick work of dropping our bags off and heading out to explore and make the most of our time. Having never done a city break with Arlo before, we tried to make sure we had a good balance of toddler-friendly things mapped out (thanks to lots of very generous Instagram recommendations), cafes that were baba friendly and green spaces to charge about in too- and Edinburgh really had all of those things in spades, and really made for the perfect place to take a small person (I’ve popped a long list of spaces below, so you can save these for any trips too)!
But! Back to the hotel. Surprisingly Gleneagles Townhouse doesn’t market itself as being child friendly, and although it would make for *the* most romantic city retreat or magical couples getaway (I truly couldn’t recommend it enough for an anniversary stay or girlie trip); it would also make for the most beautiful spot to stay with a little one too for a special occasion- as it’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful (and child friendly) places I’ve been lucky enough to stay. Not only did the staff go above and beyond at every corner, but everything that I usually worry about when travelling with little A was taken care of. A travel cot with blankets in the room, a baby bath and wash, nappy bin (plus a very important children’s dressing gown) and a children’s menu, plus plastic plates and cutlery in the restaurant that would accommodate even the fussiest of eaters- with everything homemade fresh (with the chefs willing to make things work for any needs too).
And if you’re not travelling with little ones, or simply grabbing dinner at their restaurant, The Spence, it’s just as stunning. With attention to detail in every corner of the design- it oozes the traditional glamour of low lit and grand dining spaces, marble tables and bistro curtains; all whilst balancing the beautiful corners peppered throughout in a really fresh and contemporary way.
The bedrooms feel like cosy home-from-homes (you know, if your home looked like *this*) and there’s a warmth and cosiness that runs throughout. Maybe it’s the fireside nook in reception, or at dinner whilst you decide between puddings on the trolley. Or maybe it’s the slippers next to the bed as you climb in after a long day of covering the city. Either way- Gleneagles Townhouse is one to bookmark and make a beeline for next time you’re in the city…
Edinburgh Recommendations (with a toddler):
Days Out & Green Spaces:
Royal Botanic Gardens
Head to Portobello Beach; there’s Civerinos Slice, Beach House Bakery and Bros Bagels to eat there too.
In Leith; there’s Joy Tots, Wonder World Soft Play and Mimi’s Bakehouse.
Inverleith Park & Hot chocolates from Milk in the park
Princes Street Gardens
Love Gorgie Farm
Saughton Park and Gardens
Museums & Libraries:
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Museum of Childhood
National Museum of Scotland
Lovely Shops (more in guide above):
Style Your Spaces
St James Quarter (apparently the lifts are also pretty special, as lifts go)
& Child Friendly Places To Eat:
The Pastry Section / The Scran & Scallie / Leo’s Beanery / Stack & Still / Lowdown / Amarine / Bonnie & Wild / Loudons / The City Café / Leaf Bean Deli / Elliotts (for a lovely bit of lunch on the go) / Uplands Roast / 101 Bakery / Bits Bake Shop / The Palmerston / Milk / Salt Café Morningside