The train from King’s Cross, London took us around 5 hours to reach our destination. With meadows, highlands, sheep farm views and comfortable seats on the train I had already imagined how this small city with 80k population of Edinburgh
would be. From the busy London city to peace and tranquility I was waiting to reach Edinburgh (pronounced ‘Edinburrah’) and soon check into my hotel on the Royal Mile Road (5 minutes hike walk from the train station).
As soon as we stepped outside the station, the cold summer breeze touched my cheeks making me shrug in my jacket and reach for my scarf. Once out of the station and walking towards the hotel.. I was in for a surprise… A sight with buses and cars speeding, people crossing, music playing, big large banners and leaflets being distributed and just about all kinds of noise .. but, good noise, if I may say so.
That’s when I found out during check-in that every year in the month of August Edinburgh hosts the “Fringe Festival”. (https://www.edfringe.com/). As shared on the website “The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
Every year thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events. In 2014 there were 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues, making it the largest ever arts festival in the world.”
Had I known it earlier, I may have shifted my dates of travel. But had I done that, I would have missed the real fun of seeing Edinburg and its vibrancy.
From amazing magicians, to lovely trans music, comedy shows, acts, artisans, theatre artists, stand up comedians, funny plays, dangerous acts, street plays, meaningful plays and a big bunch of happy go lucky crowd. The place was filled with youthful energy. With 90% as free shows, one may freely walk-in to what you feel like attending. There are shows in the morning and go late into night. There is always something interesting going on. So if you there during this time don’t miss the sparkling night Edinburgh Military Tattoo fireworks display from “The Castle Esplanade”; the Royal Mile Sky just lits up!
While we were there most of our late evenings went in discovering different shows and watching acts, while the mornings we kept for some scenic tours on the outskirts.
For a short stay of three days in Edinburgh, we choose to explore a whisky distillery, the closest to Edinburgh Glenkinchie Distillery, drive to Glenorchy, visit the Highlands and Inverness and just enjoy the city.
Though there are many other known brands of distilleries like Glenfiddich and Macallan but we choose to keep some for our next visit to the city.
Some things not to miss while in Edinburgh:
Carlton Hill Scale up Scott Monument (287 stairs) Sterling Castle
Other Things to do:
Walk down the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat/ Holyrood Trek, Edinburg Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, Wine Tasting at Devil’s Advocate, Mary’s Milk Bar Ice cream
For another day can drive to Sterling Castle and enjoy the different smoky and spicy flavors of Single Malt Glenkinchie Whisky.
If you love long scenic drives and picturesque surroundings then you ought to drive to / take a tour to Inverness, Cruise @ Loch Ness & stroll around Glenorchy. ( Ideally leave by 6:30-7 am to enjoy and have ample time to head back)