While Scotland is a country full of historic landmarks we’d love to visit, having a 4-year-old has held us back.
A youngster who races around at high speed and thinks the words “don’t touch” mean grab with both hands and shake vigorously if the mood takes you.
So we keep a mental list of places to look at in a couple of years – once Blake is old enough to know better.
When we were invited on a family day out to the Royal Yacht Britannia, I had my concerns.
Isn’t that where the royals used to hang out? Royals who dined on fine bone china, drank from crystal glasses…..
However, since this big boat advertises itself as child-friendly, there is no more vigorous tester of that claim than our youngest son.
Which is why we decided we’d give it a whirl one Saturday afternoon.
So it’s possible to find a decent restaurant for lunch, and get in a little retail therapy to coincide with a visit to this magnificent vessel.
Which is exactly what we did, to make a day of it.
And because I had a feeling Britannia might not hold the kids’ interest.
I was wrong.
We were greeted by staff who gave us each a handheld device to guide us through the yacht.
This was easy to use. Every part of the ship had a number, and all we had to do was type in that number and press “play” to listen to a commentary.
Starting from the top of the ship, we worked our way down. Most of the valuables were behind glass partitions or roped off. Which was good news.
Our tour took us from the captain’s plush cabin all the way down to the more modest bunks of the crew, and from the grand dining room where the royal family entertained presidents, down to the laundry room where the staff no doubt pressed the crisp white tablecloths.
As we walked around, we met staff who welcomed us with a smile (not always the case when you have two boisterous young boys). They talked to us about interesting aspects of the ship.
And they engaged with Brodie and Blake, answering any questions they had.
Being 6, Brodie got a bit more out of the visit than his little brother did.
Blake preferred racing around on deck. He didn’t linger to take in the history or listen to much talk on his handheld guide.
But that didn’t matter. He could run around quite comfortably without disturbing anyone.
We would go back to the Royal Yacht – especially when we have family and friends up for a visit.
We’d maybe get more out of it when Blake is a little older, and we don’t have to chase him from deck to deck.
But it was refreshing to see a little piece of history, in a place where we didn’t feel out of place, or that our kids were a nuisance.
Tickets for the Royal Yacht are priced at £7.50 for children (under 5s go free) and £11.75 for adults. A family ticket costs £34.
But all views and opinions are our own.