Yesterday we both went on a day out with the kids using the swap-a-tron by ScotRail. So before we go into what we got up to let us explain exactly what the swap-o-tron and The Great City Swap is all about!
Glasgow and Edinburgh are both amazing cities, we are lucky enough to live right between the two so it’s really easy for us to travel to either and we do a lot. But what if you are from one of the cities? Why go to the other? You have everything you need right where you are! Or do you?
Even though it’s only around 50 minutes to travel between the two, most people don’t for leisure. ScotRail found a lack of knowledge of the other city one of the main reasons behind this.
So to try and improve this The Great City Swap was born! We must say we really do love this idea and how it works. It will give you suggestions of what to do based on age/interests/when you want to go and even gives you info on train fares.
Also if you find a hidden gem that wasn’t already included in the swap-a-tron you can suggest it yourself! So each time you use it there could be even more suggestions from people who live there and know their way about or from others who have traveled through.
So what did we get up to?
Megan & Abel in Edinburgh
We were lucky that trains to Edinburgh/Glasgow were leaving our town station at the same time, yep we awkwardly had a conversation shouting over the platforms! So off to Edinburgh the two of us went!
We arrived just after 11 so we went for a little wander to the Grassmarket before getting some lunch. I love it here for the little shops, great food and it’s just generally a nice place to be especially when the sun it out! There is also some great cafes, little independent shops and vintage shops in the surrounding streets if you are into that.
For lunch we headed to Bread Meats Bread. I have been here with Mr before but not with Abel but the kids meal was fab! For a fiver they can get a burger/hotdog/toastie with fries/sweet potato fries, a drink and ice cream after! I went for the red head, my fave!
After lunch we headed towards the National Museum of Scotland, a must for any day out with the kids in Edinburgh. It’s free, huge and you can really make a day of it.
Abel especially loved the transport area, I love the section with all the space stuff (geek) and the old clothes. Something for everyone and the cafe is quite good too from previous visits.
After this museum we headed to one of the places the swap-a-tron suggested for us – Dovecot Studios. Conveniently is was just down the road and I have never been before!
Definitely my kind of thing, they had a glass exhibition on which was really interesting, Abel definitely stayed in the pram for this trip!!! He did love all the colours and looking though. There is a cafe and a lovely little shop too. I was gutted that the tapestry studio viewing gallery wasn’t open, it’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – it looks fab! Really lovely little place definitely worth checking out if you like arty stuff like me.
So to end our busy day we headed towards Prices Street Gardens to have a little drink and a cake. I love it here again it’s amazing when the sun is out and ESPECIALLY at Christmas.
We really did have a fab day and done things we normally wouldn’t have thanks to the swap-a-tron! Usually when we head to Edinburgh we immediately go to the shops and maybe visit the typical places but it was really lovely to go a wander and see places we haven’t before!
Lucy & Nora in Glasgow
As Megan mentioned, Nora & I traveled to Glasgow. I’ve only been on the train with her once myself & nowhere as big as Glasgow! I was slightly nervous!
We arrived just after 11 & headed straight to The Gallery of Modern Art. It’s only a 5 minute walk from the station, I have been to many pubs & restaurants around it, walked past it hundreds of times & never known what it was so it was good to have a nosey around!
We headed to lunch afterwards, I had saw ‘Pizza Punks‘ pop up a few times on my Instagram feed & since pizza is basically my main food group I really wanted to try it out. It’s just off Buchanan St so handy if you are in the city center. I tried out the ‘Punk up your pizza’ which is basically create your own pizza & have as many toppings as you wish which was great value for money! It was amaaazing!!! As Nora is only 7 months I usually take food with me rather than order off a menu but looking at the menu, I would actually be comfortable ordering off it for her. I think we will head back as a family the next time & I will try it out!
Glasgow is definitely the more built up city & is a lot more modern in comparison to Edinburgh. If you are looking for great shops, I’d definitely be heading here! We went for a look around The Princes Mall, I am putting heavy emphasis on the word ‘look’ here as it is full of designer shops & little boutiquey places that I could only dream of buying from. Look but don’t touch Lucy! It is handy for a coffee however, with a large sitting area on the bottom floor surrounded by little cafe’s, it’s great for having a seat & letting the kids run around for a bit.
When you head out of The Princes Mall, The Arcade is just down a bit. It’s nice to have a wander down, it’s full of jewelry and diamonds and again, things I can’t afford but if you fancy a window shop take a look!
If you are looking for a coffee stop or even a lighter lunch, I would recommend Kimbles in the St Enoch’s center. It’s full of cupcakes, scones, macaroons, ice cream.. everything looked amazing! It was my first time going but it’s a new favorite for me I think! I ordered a scone with jam & cream which was just lovely along with a much needed caffeine fix. Although its in the shopping center it’s still such a lovely little atmosphere. I could have sat there all day but I think Nora’s excited screams would have done the staffs head in eventually…
Whilst in the St Enoch’s center I thought I’d take the opportunity to let Nora have a little crawl around. On the top floor up at the food court they have lots of stuff for kids, the had a Lego stall where they could build stuff with Lego, a bouncy castle and a little play area. Although she is only 7 months she has been crawling (more like an army crawl) for about a month & she had been in her pram most of the day so she absolutely loved exploring this little bit! She was showing off her standing skills & practicing moving around.
Afterwards we had a quick look around Hamley’s, I’m lucky Nora was with me & not Abel as I would have never got him out! Definitely worth having a look around, the place is full of toys, gadgets, puppets….
On the way to the station I passed The Lighthouse which is just outside the St Enoch’s center on Buchanan Street. I didn’t have to have a look but there is several exhibitions on throughout the year & I’d love to check it out next time in through! It’s things like this that you would never know were there if it wasn’t suggested by the swap-a-tron & that’s what the campaign is all about! Thanks ScotRail for giving us the opportunity to explore!
So as you can see we both had great but very different trips! We love both cities equally but they definitely have their own personality in a way. Glasgow we feel is more modern, better for shopping due to the huge malls and Buchanan Street although there are some hidden historical gems you may have never noticed along the way. Edinburgh is more historical with the castle, the buildings and on every street corner there is a tour, a Scottish shop or a performer. Both cities offer a great night out as well we can confirm from previous visits… We can really see why you would go to the other city if you live in the opposite, they really offer something different and we hope more people embrace the unknown and get on the train!
For more information or to try out the swap-a-tron check out the link below…
[This is a sponsored post therefore we were financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely our own and are 100% honest.]