afternoon, or even a whole day if you take your time. The penguin parade at 2pm is a must, and the newly-built African plains afford a fantastic view of the city. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Edinburgh Art Listings page 81.

Georgian House

7 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 225 2160. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun 2—5pm. £4.40 (£2.90). Experience a period Georgian house, giving a taste of life in Edinburgh when the New Town was built. Special offer throughout 2000 up to three children under eighteen go free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Museum Of Childhood

42 High Street, 529 4142. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Founded in 1955, the museum has five public galleries with all manner of archive material and old toys relating to childhood through the ages. From antique dolls to 19805 computer games, there’s plenty here to send you off on a trip down memory lane.

Museum Of Scotland

Chambers Street, 247 4219. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—5pm; Tue 10am—8pm. £3 (£1.50); children under 18 free. Devoted solely to the history and heritage of Scotland, the building contains five thematically-arranged exhibitions, moving from pre-history, through the Industrial Revolution, to the present day, at which point national heroes such as Billy Connolly and Elaine C. Smith get involved. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Edinburgh Art Listings page 81.

National War Museum Of Scotland Edinburgh Castle, 225 7534. Daily 9.45am—5.30pm. £7 (£2—£5). Opens Tue 18 Apr. Housed within Edinburgh Castle, the former Scottish United Services Museum re-opens this year after major refurbishment. Six new galleries have been added to the national collections, exploring military influence in the last 400 years of Scottish history and presenting the experience of the individual Scot in war and peace. Admission to the Museum is included in the admission price to the Castle.

Old Town Weaving Company

555 Castlehill, Royal Mile, 226 1555. Mon—Sat 9am—5.30pm; Sun lOam—Spm. £4 (children £1); family ticket £8. Watch tartan appear before your eyes at this

weaving wonderland. You’ll get the chance to try your hand on a real loom and visit two mixed-media exhibitions, Story Of Weaving and Highland Dress Through The Ages. And if you’re feeling brave. you can dress up in ancient Scottish costume and have your photie taken.

Palace Of Holyroodhouse

Royal Mile, 556 1096. Daily 9.30am—6pm (last admission 5.15pm). £5.50 (£2.70—£4); family ticket £13.50. Starting life as a 13th century abbey, the palace has evolved into a sumptuous regal residence, crammed full of paintings and artefacts dating back primarily to the 17th century. The tower apartments housed a sad and lonely Mary Queen of Scots’ for a time, but with a spectacular view of Arthur’s Seat, and magnificent gardens to look at, it’s hard to feel too sorry for her.

Royal Botanic Garden

lnverleith Row, 552 7171. Daily 9.30am—7pm. Free. A sea of tranquillity in the hubbub of the city, the Botanic Garden is home to a wealth of flora from all over the world. The glasshouses give you the opportunity to check out tropical plants as well. The site also hosts art exhibitions, horticultural courses and various countryside events, including daily guided walks in the summer. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Edinburgh Art Listings page 81.

Royal Museum

2 Chambers Street, 247 4219. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—5pm; Tue 10am—8pm. £3 (£1.50—children under 18 free). A 19th century museum housing international collections of natural history, geology, science, technology and the decorative arts, plus two permanent exhibitions: Arr & Industry and The Ivy Wu Gallery. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Edinburgh Art Listings page 81.

Royal Yacht Britannia

Ocean Drive, Leith, 555 5566. Daily 10.30am—6pm (last entry 4.30pm). £7.50 (£3.75—£5.75); family ticket £20. The former royal yacht has opened its doors to members of the public after a £25 million refit. The on-shore visitor centre contains historical information on the boat and its furnishings, while, on the yacht itself, members of the public can have a good nosy round the royals’ former quarters.


Billed as ’the noisiest museum in the world', it comes as a surprise to find that The Museum of Childhood is actually a fairly tranquil place. Prior expectations might have you visualising a children’s museum as a kind of Willy Wonka factory colourful, lively and teeming with imagination. If you go in expecting that, you’ll be disappointed, but what you will find is the means to transport yourself to the lives of yesterday's children.

Founded in 1955 by town councillor Joseph Patrick Murray, the building was the first museum in the world to

be devoted exclusively to the history of

childhood. Divided into five galleries,

rything you ever wanted to know about THE MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD

each area looks at different aspects of children's lives, and there's no escaping the toys. Punch and Judy sit side by side with a carousel horse and vintage bikes, while panels tell the story behind the exhibits. Prepare to feel jealous when you see a giant model farmyard and train layout it's the sort of thing you could only dream of in childhood. Children can try out different types of hand, glove and string puppets while parents enter deeper into nostalgia with the ’When I Grow Up' display remember the days when you had complete confidence you’d end up as the Lone Ranger or a world-famous magician?

Anyone who’s watched more than a few horror movies might feel a chill when entering the dolls room. Pale waxen faces with blank expressions stare out from the cabinets, out of the corner of your eye you’ll swear you see one move. People not suffering from delusions will enjoy finding out about which dolls have been popular over the years, from the Jolliboy sailors sold on ocean-going sea-liners to the colourful souvenir dolls representing nations from across the globe.

While kids might still make log cabins out of ice-lolly sticks and big wheels out of meccano, the advent of television and computers has had a radical effect on leisure time. A visit to The Museum of Childhood lets us see that some aspects of childhood, the teddy bears, toy cars and dressing up boxes, have remained

unchanged. (Louisa Pearson) Fun Factor 3/5

Informative 4/5

Value for money 5/5 it’s free.

How do you get there It’s on the Royal Mile.

How much it costs Free. When it's open Mon—Sat lOam-Spm.

The Museum of Childhood, 42 High Street, 529 4742.

Royal Highland Show

Is it just our farmyard friends on display? As ever, livestock competitions take centre stage, featuring around 4000 cattle, sheep, horses, goats and poultry, but there are plenty of other attractions to look out for.

Such as? The first ever Scottish Organic Show will be there, packed with info about all aspects of the organic movement, along with wine tasting, cookery and an organic juice bar.

And if I’m still hungry? The Food From Scotland exhibition

Nick Nairn.


333 3036.

showcases the country’s finest produce, with cooking demonstrations from

Anything else? The main ring features show jumping, sheep dog trials and the unique 'Dancing Diggers’! There’s also a flower show, handcrafts exhibition, music and family activities, making the 16lst Royal Highland Show the biggest

Royal High/and Show, Thu 22—5un 25 Jun, Royal High/and Centre, lng/lston,

Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre

354 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, 220 0441. Daily 10am-5pm (last admission 4.15pm). £5.50 (£2.75—£3.85); family ticket £13.50. Take a romp through the traditions and history of yer national drink at this fully interactive attraction. Highlights include a lesson from a ghost master-blender, a barrel-car ride through whisky history and a well-stocked bar in which to test your newly-acquired expertise.

Shaping A Nation

Fountainpark, Dundee Street, 229 1706. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun 11am—5pm. £5.50 (£4); family ticket £16. The newest addition to the Fountainpark complex provides a fresh look at Scotland’s heritage. Interactive displays and computers give a ‘hands-on’ feel to the attraction, which recognises the inventors and innovators who have made Scotland great. The finishing touch is a themed journey on the Turbo Ride.

The Turbo Ride

Fountainpark, Dundee Street, 229 1706. Mon—Thu 10am—10pm; Fri & Sat 10am—l 1pm; Sun 11am—10pm. £3.50 (£2.75); family ticket £10. Step on board the world’s most exciting motion simulator for a thrilling ride. Using flight simulation technology, digital sound and

a five storey high screen, the Turbo Ride throws you right into the middle of all the action, in films such as Dino Island and Red Rock Run.

Water Of Leith Visitor Centre

24 Lanark Road, 455 7367. Daily 10am—4pm. Discover everything there is to know about the 24 mile journey the Water of Leith takes from the Pentland Hills to Leith, through interactive displays and video panels. The visitor centre is the ideal starting point for a stroll along the Walkway where you can spot a wide diversity of plants and wildlife.


Strathaven Balloon Fest 2000 Sat 24—Sun 25 Jun, 2pm. Free. Strathaven Park, Threestanes Road, Strathaven, 01555 860285. Enjoy a ride on a hot air balloon, or come along to watch the spectacle. Entertainment includes children’s rides, a bouncy castle and food stalls.

International Co-op Day Sun 2 Jul, 11am—5pm. Free. New Lanark Visitor Centre, New Lanark Mills, Lanark, ()1555 661345. A family day celebrating the international Co-op movement, with children’s entertainment. games, music, stalls and so much more.

22 Jun—6 Jul 2000 THE LIST 87