Willow Den at Spartans

Located in Ainslie Park Football Stadium, Willow Den at Spartans offers a unique woodland setting based in the heart of urban Edinburgh, for children from age 3 up to when they join primary school.

Our nature-based nursery has access to a hidden garden through our ‘secret gate’. It is the perfect environment to connect with nature – do some climbing, swinging or even build a den or have fun in our mud kitchen.

Children can see some of Scotland’s top female sporting athletes in training, and if your wee ones chooses they can engage in play-based sport.

Willow Den at Spartans was inspected by the Care Inspectorate in June 2023, achieving Grade 5 – Very Good across the board.

You can see the full report here:

How much does it cost?

***The Waiting List for August 2024 intake is temporarily closed while we process Admissions****

We offer funded places. Click on the button below to book your woodland nursery place now! (Children 3 years and over).

Fees 2023/24
Full Day (Monday to Thursday)8.00 am – 5.00pm£57.50
Friday half day8.15 am – 12.30pm£30.00
  • two course hot meal
  • morning snack
  • afternoon snack

View our current menu:

For more information download our current Fee Schedule:

Funded Places

For more information on funded places, check our our FAQs

Forest Fridays

Open to all children aged 3 to not yet at primary school, these are flexible drop off sessions which can either be booked as ad hoc sessions (pending availability) or part of your child’s weekly booking pattern. Sessions run weekly from 08.15am to 12.30pm including lunch for just £30.00 per session.

Funded hours can be used for children registered to attend our core provision or if booking Forest Fridays as a weekly attender.

To register for Forest Fridays complete an enquiry with ‘Forest Fridays’ in the subject

Our community partner Spartans Community Football Academy

Spartans Community Football Academy offers much more than football. Spartans are mindful of the challenges facing many children, young people, and their families in the local area. By adding an outdoor nursery to their existing facilities and community coaching programmes, Willow Den and Spartans can support even more children to change their lives through active outdoor play and sport.

  • School holiday programmes
  • Community Football
  • Coaching Programmes 
  • Youth Work Provisions
  • Volunteering Opportunities

For more information on Spartans Community Football Academy programs contact: 0131 552 7854 
or Debbi McCulloch at debbimcculloch@spartanscfa.com

Children attending Willow Den outdoor nursery will all have the opportunity to take part in sport and physical activities.

Standards & Quality Report Improvement Plan 2023/24

As part of our ongoing self-evaluation and as partner providers with City of Edinburgh Council, the team are working together to create and improvement plan for the year. This plan sets out our whole nursery’s priorities and tasks for the year ahead and helps us to reflect, improve and strive for excellence.

Willow Den & Spartans
Ainslie Park
94 Pilton Drive

0131 376 0080


CI Registration Number: CS2021000369

Click to register


Contact Willow Den at Spartans with your enquiry and one of our friendly team will be in touch.

Enquire now


You probably have lots more questions, and we would really like the chance to answer these. We’ve compiled a handy list, to give you an idea of the Willow Den experience.

Closure Dates 2024

  • Friday 3rd May – Staff Training Day
  • Friday 9th August – Staff Training Day
  • Friday 20th December to Friday 3rd January 2025 (children returning Monday 6th January 2025)

Duty of Candour