03 August 2017
Its festival time, here’s our top tips on what to do if you’re visiting Edinburgh this August
Enjoy a show at the Fringe
The Fringe began in 1947 when eight groups arrived in Edinburgh hoping to perform at the newly formed Edinburgh International Festival but were refused entry. Rather than being discouraged from performing, they went ahead and performed on the fringe of the Festival anyway and so the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was born. 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of these eight groups' defiance and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is now the largest arts festival in the world. The Fringe is a truly open access festival where, in the spirit of the original eight, no one is denied entry, making it the largest platform on earth for creative freedom.
Take a walk through Royal Botanic Garden
A tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, escape the crowds and get some well deserved rest and recuperation on the Chinese Hillside or perhaps a wander through some of the finest examples of Victorian Palm Houses in the world.The maze in The Queen Mother's Memorial Garden will keep the kids entertained. For refreshment head to the John Hope Gateway where you'll find a fabulous restaurant with views over the biodiversity garden.
Enjoy High Tea
Not many things are more British than a traditional Afternoon Tea; we recommend the Tower Restaurant and its 70 seat outdoor terrace with the best views in the city. Take a break from all the festival madness below with panoramic views of the city and Edinburgh Castle as well as a delicious Afternoon Tea with a selection of open and closed sandwiches, cakes, scones with clotted cream and jam, pastries and of course your choice of loose leaf tea. The Tower is open all day from 10am until 10pm, 7 days a week.
Climb Arthur’s Seat
Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh, Scotland which form most of Holyrood Park, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design". It is situated just to the east of the city centre, about 1 mile (1.6km) to the east of Edinburgh Castle. The hill rises above the city to a height of 250.5m (822ft), provides excellent views of the city and beyond, is relatively easy to climb, and is popular for hill-walking.
Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia
Discover what life was like on board HM The Queen’s floating residence! Named Scotland’s best visitor attraction by Visit Scotland this is a must see for any British Royalty fans out there. The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world. Now berthed in Edinburgh, you can follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.
Enjoy a meal at the enchanting Witchery by the Castle
No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to Scotland’s most famous restaurant and rooms. Hidden in a collection of historic buildings at the gates to Edinburgh Castle, James Thomson’s Witchery is the most spectacularly atmospheric dining destination in town. The stunning décor and legendary food have ensured the Witchery by the Castle has become a much-loved Edinburgh institution. Dine in the rich baroque surroundings of the original oak panelled Witchery dining room or among the candle-lit charms of the Secret Garden. There are also 9 theatrical suites, perfect for those looking to stay in the most indulgent settings. Lavishly decorated, our suites romance with a capital R! Whether you stay or dine, the Witchery is an unforgettably magical experience. Open for lunch and dinner everyday from 12noon until 11.30pm (last reservation).