Edinburgh, Scotland

Playing the Bagpipes on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Although I do a lot of travelling for my Nanny role, it’s something I’m super passionate about. On my time off, I explore places closer to home. So here I am, in EDINBURGH! If you can’t get to Edinburgh to explore with your little ones, explore with them through the books recommended in this blog!

I’ve not been to Edinburgh since I was 14 and I can’t really remember much. I do remember Graham Norton once saying in his stand up that when he was staying in a really posh hotel, Balmoral Hotel, he had a few too many and got chips on the way home. He got in his hotel room and his food had got a little cold on the walk so he put it in the microwave…after he shut the door, he realised it was a safe!!

Edinburgh Castle

Me in front of Edinburgh Castle

There’s More to books…

Normally, I would put the #moretobooks sectioned at the end of the blog, however; this blog has many sections so I’ll share the books linked to the heading as we go along.

For younger learners:

Scottish Castles Illustrated by Louise Forshaw

For older learners:

Avoid being Mary Queen of Scots by Fiona MacDonald
Slimy Stuart’s by Terry Deary

Harry Potter

Did you know that JK Rowling wrote most of the Harry Potter books in Edinburgh?

The cafe JK Rowling started writing the Harry Potter books in

Apparently, there are areas around Edinburgh that inspired Jk Rowling for some of the things in the books.

George Heriot’s school is the inspiration for Hogwarts Castle

JK Rowling finished the final book in Balmoral Hotel. I wonder if she used the microwave?!

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriar’s Kirkyard

A graveyard, called Greyfriars Kirkyard, is said to be one of those places. In an interview, she said she collected names from gravestones.

When I was a child, my mum used to love to look at really old graves and try to find the oldest gravestone, or the person who was the oldest when they died. Recently, my mum and I walked through a graveyard in Tuscany, Italy. They had pictures of the person and it helped my Italian too, trying to translate what it meant.

Funnily enough, I wasn’t going to go to Greyfriars Kirkyard but then when researching books, I found out about Greyfriars Bobby, a true story of a dog who became famous all over Scotland. So famous, they made a statue of him. And I just had to see for myself.

Greyfriars Bobby Statue

So while I was there, I had a sneaky peak around the Graveyard too!

There’s more to books…

For younger learners:

Bobby by David Gall and Cameron Scott

For older learners:

Greyfriars Bobby by Richard Brassey


Everyone talks about Haggis being a traditional Scottish dish and when I went for dinner at a local pub down from Edinburgh Castle, I asked what he recommended. It was actually really tasty.

I even had Haggis on my Scottish Breakfast at Zaza’s at the end of Grassmarket which has an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle.

Hamish The Hairy Haggis by A.K Paterson

Can you believe there is even a book about Haggis?

Highland Cows

Highland cows, taken while on a Day Trip to Hadrian’s Wall
Baby Highland cows

There’s more to books…

For younger learners:

Harry the Highlander by Cameron Scott

I love this one! Plus it has jigsaws in which will help with your child’s fine motor skills. There are several books like this with other titles.

For older learners:

The Kilted Coo by Rachel McCaw

Some of the words are very strange to me, as it uses Scots as do the next two following books;

Three Craws Illustrated by Melanie Mitchell
The Reiver Rat by Julia Donaldson (The Highway Rat, but in Scots)

I had such an amazing time in Edinburgh and I have so much more to write… so keep a look out for blogs on Camera Obscura and the Writers Museum coming soon!

They will be packed with ideas for books and also, activities to bring learning to life!

Postcards and Siri

Yes, that does say Siri. (Although, I’m sure Alexa or whoever else is just as helpful!)

With my last nanny children, before I settled them to sleep, they were allowed one question to ask Siri, before we had our stories. I verified the questions to make sure they were appropriate and I skim read the answers to make it child friendly and understandable…

Since that role, I have taken on a Travel Nanny role, and I send postcards from every country to my last nanny children. I try to choose a photographs that can provoke a conversation, and I write three or four questions for them to ‘find out’ the answers, either by asking Siri, or other methods (ie books/internet- whichever way, it promotes reading and learning)

So from now on, I’ll share the postcard and the questions on my blogs.

Can you find the answers?

Send a postcard from your hometown with your child.

Love Kat x

Published by moretobooks

Award- winning author of the book: “There’s more to books than reading- how to help your child bring stories to life” With a Masters in Education, I have taught as a School teacher across Northern England and have worked as a Nanny/Governess in London and across the world. I support parents and nannies to bring learning into the home in an exciting and purposeful way. Also a speaker at events such as NannyPalooza and the International Nanny Day 2017 and featured in the Nanny Magazine (USA) and Childcare Magazine (UK)

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