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Even though it is located so close to the the town center of Dalkeith, Dalkeith Country Estate is an oasis of calm and a natural getaway. This estate with its vast playgrounds, scenic trails, cycle tracks and picturesque farms is an ideal location for family outings and picnics. The 850- acre farmland is also home to several wild animals and birds. So whether you are a nature lover or someone who is looking for a fun day out with family, Dalkeith Country Estate is the place to be.
Formerly the Birds of Prey Center, Falconry Scotland continues to introduce the public to the power, agility and beauty of these awesome predators. Get face to face with eagles, kestrels and owls - there are 30 different species of bird to view and aerial displays daily. If you get hooked by these talon-ed raptors, there is the chance to handle the birds yourself, enjoy a quick introduction, go on a Hawk Walk and then take the plunge into the art of falconry. Once you have mastered the falconer's knot, some basic handling and the essential flying techniques, the sky is the limit. The center also organizes falconry holidays. Demonstrations and handling sessions are available on a pre-booked basis only, please telephone the center to discuss your needs and their current rates.
Visit Edinburgh's volcano and walk over its lava flows, there is no danger as it has been extinct for 350 million years. The name may refer to the legendary King Arthur of Camelot, the 6th-century Arthur of Strathclyde or be a derivative of the Gaelic ard-na-said, meaning height of arms. The highest point in Holyrood Park, on a clear day you can see for miles from the mound across Edinburgh city, along the coast to East Lothian and out to the Forth to Fife.
This well-respected rental and repair shop in the city center's Old Town is great for locals or holidaymakers looking to take bikes for a trek up north, south or anywhere in between. You can rent for the day (from as little as £10) or longer, and there are a number of guided tours available as well to suit your needs. Amongst their organized trips is a tour of Scotland's distilleries, called The Whiskey Trail, as well as various itineraries that visit the dramatic landscapes of the West Highlands. There are different types of bike to choose from and each cycle comes with a helmet, lock and a repair kit.
The Edinburgh Experience is housed in the historic City Observatory, which sits astride Calton Hill. This wonderful building was built in 1818 by the celebrated architect William Playfair. Nowadays, visitors can put on cardboard glasses and view a 20-minute 3-D multimedia extravaganza, showing images of Edinburgh and its dizzying sights. Take a journey through the history of Scotland's capital from its volcanic origins to the present day. Group and family discounts available. Parking nearby.
This child-friendly attraction is billed as "a breath of the countryside in the heart of the city." There is a pet lodge and loads of friendly farm animals for you to meet including goats, ponies, poultry, rabbits, sheep and tortoises. Children can enjoy the play areas and the educational Discovery Center. There is also the chance to have a go at woodworking, spinning, weaving and pottery in the workshops at Gorgie City Farm. There are even vegetable, herb and wildlife gardens to explore too!
This Victorian listed building has a 25-yard swimming pool and a plethora of other activities to choose from. Work your body in the weights room and the fitness studio before adding more perspiration in the sauna. Stretch your sinews in a yoga session and then smell to get well in the aromatherapy/massage classes at Glenogle Swim Centre. It also has a creche to allow you to do all of the above whilst your children are being looked after. There are other life-affirming classes throughout the week for groups, including aquafit and fitness for the over-50s. It underwent extensive renovation in 2010 to keep it up-to-date with latest amenities. Call or visit their website to know more.