Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a beautiful city with its skyline dominated by the castle. It is filled with history and the Old Town is particularly interesting as it is situated on two levels which makes it exciting to explore but also incredibly confusing and easy to get lost in.
Every year, in August, Edinburgh plays host to the largest arts festival in the world- The Edinburgh Festival. This year was the second time I have been and the fourth time for Fraser. The festival takes place around the whole city and includes exhibitions, performances, cultural experiences and much, much more.
So why do we keep going back? Every year there is something different going on, no two years are the same. Also, being very interested and involved in performing arts this is the ideal place to scope out new writing and talent and to see established artists at a much lower price than normal. Where else could you see a TV comedian followed by a play including a puppet sponge, a musical about lovebirds and an Oxford Uni acapella group in one day? You can try to fit in a full day of shows or just a couple whilst doing other tourist things in between; the amount of the festival you get involved in is all personal choice.
The main hub of the festival is on the Royal Mile, most of which is closed off to traffic during the month so that performers can leaflet and persuade the public to come and see their show over any others on offer. It is worth wondering along just to take in the atmosphere although it is a complete nightmare if you are in a hurry to get somewhere.
Around the rest of Edinburgh fringe venues are squashed into whatever free space can be found. This means you can end up in small bars or little gems of buildings that you may not have discovered otherwise.
One of my favourite things about the festival are the small gardens that seem to pop up everywhere with street food and drinks venues in them. They are the perfect place to relax and people watch, a regular past time of mine. They are open throughout the day and often late into the evening but do need a certain level of good weather to enjoy them fully.
August is not the time of year to visit Edinburgh if you want to avoid the crowds or stay there for cheap. It is all very busy, you need to book if you want to dine in a popular restaurant and hotel/ apartment prices are hiked up to a premium. It is however THE time to go if you want a buzzing atmosphere.
I would recommend dressing comfortably during the festival especially if you plan on catching a lot of shows like us, it involves a lot of walking. We were averaging about 14,000 steps/ 5 miles walking per day. It is also worth taking layers as Scotland’s weather can be very variable but you are likely to get hot in the performances. The city’s streets are also largely cobbled which means heels are an absolute nightmare.
The Edinburgh festival is definitely a bucket list event and I would encourage anyone who can to go, even if just for a weekend, and get involved at least once in their life.
Have you ever been to the Edinburgh festival? What do you think? Any tips or recommendations?