Roadtripping | Scotland Day 7

Edinburgh Zoo, Zoo, Pelicans
Edinburgh Zoo, Zoo, Monkeys
Edinburgh > York

Today we said goodbye to Edinburgh and Scotland, as we head south for the border and York... Well the afternoon anyway, the morning was still spent in Edinburgh – at the zoo.

I absolutely love zoos, in fact our first date was spent at the zoo (albeit, it was raining), but it was the first time we had taken Alfie to a zoo and thankfully he’s now at an age to understand it a little. He loves animals – he’s been to farms before, he has an animal-themed bedroom and lots of stuffed toys (well a giraffe, rhino, sheep, Paddington Bear and Mickey Mouse to name but a few). He loved the freedom of being able to walk around and go up to the glass and see the animals. His speech is coming on so well, he’s able to say more and more words, particularly animals – but during our visit, he could only say “bear” when seeing the beautiful pandas.
Edinburgh Zoo, Zoo, Zebra
Edinburgh Zoo, Zoo, Giant Panda, Pandas
We managed to look around in under three hours, which is pretty good – but the maps are really helpful in guiding you to all the different areas. The zoo is accessible, which was handy as we had the pushchair... but there is the most horrendous steep hill between the tigers and the zebras, where they’re currently building a new home for the giant pandas. It was bad enough the first time we climbed it, but we turned left at the top and completely missed the zebras, so had to do the route again (and it was certainly harder the second time around). The new panda home looks really impressive though, with its oriental theme and wooden pagodas.

A giraffe house is also in the pipeline, so unfortunately we didn’t see any this time, but it definitely proposes a case to return! My favourite animals were the giant pandas, for which the zoo is famed. The zoo is the only one in the UK to have the species. Tian Tian and Yang Guang live in separate enclosures and as most people know, they meet once a year for breeding. They were just so interesting, sitting and eating their bamboo. I could have watched them for ages. I loved the koalas too, which were in an enclosure you could walk through. Although difficult to spot, as they were sleeping in the trees they managed to blend in with, I find them fascinating too.

There’s obviously only so much you can say about a zoo and the best thing to do is to visit yourself. I’d say it was one of the best I’ve been to, but maybe not as good as London Zoo. I’d recommend visiting if you have a couple of days in the city – but the location is a little random, on a main road next to a Holiday Inn.

From here, it was a pit-stop to get some lunch bits and picnic in the car, before the long drive down to York, which luckily was very scenic. I remember crossing the border before and stopping to take photos by the sign, which has England on one side and Scotland on the other. We didn’t stop this time.

On arrival in York, we checked into our hotel for the night and decided on where to eat for dinner. Luckily there was a pub within walking distance, so we settled on that as it meant we could both have a couple of drinks. It was one of those ‘family-friendly’ pubs, which also meant we could actually be on budget for the final night – we were in agreement that we had too many blow-outs, with restaurants and excursions and in future, we would probably budget a little better!

Today we drove 213 miles
Today we walked 6.7km
Where we stayed
Mercure York Fairfield Manor Hotel - Shipton Road, YO30 1XW
The hotel was nice, in a good location (not too far from the city centre) and worked out good value for money. When we checked in, we were warned that there was a wedding going on and that it was likely, we would hear the music and noise – we did, but it didn’t keep us up or interrupt our sleep and Alfie slept through it, so not a problem. We had a family room, so a double bed for us and a single bed (against the wall) for Alfie. Both were comfortable. The breakfast the following morning was good, your usual standard hotel buffet fare – and it was no better or worse than any other breakfast we had during the week.

Love, Lucy xx 

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Love, Lucy xx

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