We arrived into Edinburgh, Scotland after being in Ireland. Norton House Hotel was a perfect introduction into majestic Scotland. This imposing estate was a sight which connected us immediately to the grandeur of Scotland. The Renaissance architecture of the house’s porch reflected the detail that it was once a home to John Usher of the Scottish brewing family. The inside of the home has been modernized to hotel accommodations. The home was purchased in 1883 by John Usher. The gardens and patio were breathtaking!   An extra day at Norton House Hotel would’ve been nice so we could indulge in the grounds and great dining hall some more but we stayed on schedule by heading into the city centre. Fortunately, for us, we’ve trained our sons to keep up with our pace which is usually full of daily changes in location. Edinburgh’s Royal Mile was everything we expected and more! We stayed at Edinburgh’s Jury’s Inn. The highlights were:

  • The Ghosts and Ghouls Tour –a 90 minute walking tour of the long history of torture and plague, ghosts and underground vaults.
  • Hop On/ Hop Off bus tour
  • James Scottish Evening at Thistle Edinburgh–a dinner-show
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Holyrood Palace
  • St. Giles Cathedral
  • a children’s museum– Camera Obscura
  • dinner at The Witchery
    The Witchery Restaurant
    The Witchery Restaurant


One thing we observed about the “rules” in Scotland, especially Edinburgh, is that they always seated families in the back of the restaurant. The front of the restaurant seemed mostly for adults. You ordered your food at the counter,  yet in Ireland, the servers waited on you at your table. We loved haggis, benoffee pie (banana + toffee), Smithwick’s Beer and Jameson Whiskey.

Follow this lesson plan to build trip itineraries with your family:

Travel Lesson Plan: Integrate the Concepts

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