The kids and I just returned from a three day trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. We found out that Edinburgh had not changed much since our previous visits in 2003 and 2008, but the kids had changed a lot.
We took the five hour train ride from London Kings Cross Station to Edinburgh. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you may recognize Kings Cross Station as the location of Platform 9 ¾ where Harry and his classmates take the Hogwarts Express Train to Hogwarts Castle at the beginning of each new school year. Platform 9 ¾ has changed over the years from a simple sign hanging on the wall between platforms 9 and 10 in 2003, to a wall with a trolley coming out of it in 2008, to an elaborate set up in 2014 with a trolley full of props and a camera man and assistant there to hand you a wand and dress you up in your favorite house scarf. You used to be able to just walk up to the wall and take your own photo, but now you have to wait in a line behind a dozen or more people to get dressed up and have a professional photo taken which you can purchase at the Harry Potter shop in the station. They do allow you to take your own photo for free if you stand off to the side, but you still have to wait in line to get to the wall.
We had fun visiting familiar places around Edinburgh and recreating some photos from the past at Greyfriars Bobby and Edinburgh Castle.
We also visited the Museum of Childhood which has a huge collection of toys and the Palace of Holyroodhouse where the Queen of England stays when she visits Scotland.
Once again we were visiting during the Edinburgh International Festival when professional and amateur performers from around the world come to share their talents. The streets were packed with people watching street performers and people handing out flyers to invite you to watch their production of drama, music, dance, comedy, improv, etc. We enjoyed attending an improv production called Upstairs Downton which was a hilarious spoof of the television show Downton Abbey created from audience suggestions.
We left Edinburgh feeling tired from all the walking we did, but happy that we had seen everything we wanted to see, and knowing that this time the kids will remember it.