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Edinburgh | Roadschooling on Royal Yacht Britannia

Edinburgh | Roadschooling on Royal Yacht Britannia

Europe is littered with some amazing cities to explore and we’ve been lucky to see over 50+ of them on our European Roadtrip. They’re great places for kids to fill up on knowledge. Each city is different, no one is the same. Bustling, lively places where you can discover new sites and smells around every corner! So here’s just one of Edinburgh’s family attractions to give you a taste of what’s on offer north of the border.

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We’re fortunate that both girls are thriving thanks to their ‘world schooling’ curriculum….. Experiencing their school subjects in real life.  Learning about history at the WWII graves at Ypres, geography whilst climbing Mount Etna or science by exploring glaciers in Norway. But there’s plenty of opportunity for similar experiences in the UK too… just like Royal Yacht Britannia in the irrepressibly cool city of Edinburgh.

On our European Adventures, we’re often asked “What’s the first questions we face when telling new people about our Roadschooling Adventure across Europe…..? Well it’s almost always ‘How did you set about teaching your kids?’

With experienced teaching backgrounds behind us, we were pretty confident we could structure the daily learning using more traditional methods (workbooks, daily dairies) alongside the obvious educational benefits of visiting places like the WW1 trenchesChateau des Engimes or Postojna Caves.

​All of which made it into our ‘Top 10 Educational Experiences across Europe‘… but what else have we used to help the girls learning?

Well, visits to places like Royal Yacht Britannia offer a wealth of opportunities and are loved by both girls. A chance to broadly discuss the geography of the commonwealth, social history and the Monarchy and even a little science, semaphore and photography! Sounds like a busy but enjoyable day already…..

a ship that never sleeps

For us, it’s been a brilliant place to expand on the semaphore (first learnt in Portugal in Lagosand at the Age of Discovery in Porto) and engineering feats that yesterday’s ship builders offered…. But the ‘down to earth’ interiors are a fantastic insight into what life must have been like for everyone from the Queen to the very lowest rated sailor! From comfy bunks to impeccably decorated dining rooms and cosy sitting rooms

Scotland's Top Attraction

Voted as Scotland’s top visitor attraction, it’s conveniently located outside of the main city centre towards the docks at Leith. Close to the end of the Stirling Tourist Route, it’s also not far from the beautiful seaside town of Musselburgh. So what’s so special about this ship? Well, the Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing a staggering 1,000,000+ miles around the world… it makes our 50,000 across Europe seem insignificant in comparison!!!

a ship with a million memories

So how long did it take us to visit? The visit lasts about 2hrs but could easily last a little longer due to the excellent audio visual support on board. So it’s certainly worth a visit with little children (or grown up grandparents) and was just as enjoyable as city centre visitor attactions like Camera Obscura or Edinburgh Castle

How much did it cost? A pretty reasonable £40 for a family ticket (with free annual visits included)

What’s more it’s also given us a great chance to hand over ‘photography duties’ to Lottie who took almost every single picture shown above…. not bad for a budding 12yr old photographer in the making!!!

A Place to learn

To make the tour more enjoyable, they’ve clearly focused on making the experience enjoyable for everyone, as both girls loved hunting for the ‘corgis’ and listening to the enthusiastic commentary (via the handheld speakers that are included in the price). With geography covered as we discussed and drew copies of the onboard maps to see the extent of the Queen’s travel.  We turned our attentions to the science of keeping this vessel afloat. Not just the science either but also the extent machinery kept on board (from a working hospital, Rolls Royce to a fully equipped post office and laundry!). It has just about everything!!!! So interesting!


What else is nearby?

 So what else can you do with an afternoon free near Edinburgh? Well it’s an easy choice for us as we headed back to the well located ‘Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park‘ before  starting the Stirling Tourist Route (maps here) and a trip to Lilithgow Palace. So having spent a morning enjoying what Edinburgh had to offer… we’ve also moved west to try and add a little more history to the day… including a visit to the home of ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ at Linlithgow Palace near Falkirk.

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About The Author


Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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