Edinburgh during the festival is one of my favourite times. It’s the atmosphere I fall in love with; everything feels exciting. I grew up just outside of Edinburgh and when I was younger (and even now) I would visit at every available opportunity because Edinburgh just makes my heart happy. I love wandering around lost in my thoughts, meeting friends, going for coffee and generally just being there. It is one of my favourite cities because it just inspires me, makes me happy when I’m sad and really is very pretty. I want everyone in the world to visit! If you want a new city to explore let me give you an insider’s eye to what there is to do!
One of the first things I would do is go for coffee! Edinburgh has loads of pretty coffee houses that are really worth a visit. Two of my favourite places are Starbucks and The Elephant House. The Starbucks at the end of Princes Street is upstairs and has these big gorgeous windows where you can see Edinburgh Castle and it just has this great vibe. I really like just sitting and writing or people watching and thinking all the thoughts that are floating around in my mind. It’s a great place to plan your day whilst sipping your coffee. I personally would go for a Dirty Chai (which is, if you’ve never had one, is a Chai Latte with a shot, or two, of espresso) because it is so good.
The other place to go, which I love, is The Elephant House. You may have heard of it before? It’s the birth place of Harry Potter! There is always someone outside taking a photo(!). It’s a lovely place because it not only serves coffee but lots of food for lunch, dinner (it’s open til 10pm and does a great range of veggie food, I LOVE when places are open so late!) and does an amazing hot chocolate. After Eight hot chocolate anyone?! When you walk in there are little Elephants everywhere and of course tributes to JK Rowling and Harry Potter.
So by now, after a coffee or two, we’ve probably planned what we want to do next. The Fringe Festival is currently on; it takes place every year throughout August and goes on until the 26th (so you still have time to visit if you want…). It’s full of amazing comedy, dance, music and everything else you can think of – suitable for both adults and kiddies. My favourite part? The buskers.
We can also wander up the Royal Mile, which alone is pretty impressive, but during the Fringe is packed with entertainment. If you continue walking up the Mile you’ll get to Edinburgh Castle, home to the Tattoo during the Festival but during the year it also hosts concerts. I’ve been to see Arcade Fire there!
After wandering around for a bit maybe it’s time for a rest. I’m a bit Fro Yo (Frozen Yogurt) fan, and Edinburgh has happily adopted this Americanism, AND it’s healthier than ice-cream you know. I would go for Chocolate Fro Yo with M&M toppings, coconut, chocolate drops and maybe strawberries too. Er, not quite as healthy but we did walk around loads remember?! If you don’t fancy Fro Yo, perhaps a cupcake? Princes Gardens is great for sitting/lying around and simply enjoying our Fro Yo (or cupcake) especially on a sunny day. You can people watch and see the Scott Monument where a statue of Sir Walter Scott (historical Scottish author) sits.
That’s all lovely, but where oh where to go for dinner you ask? There are so many good places! There is The Elephant House which I previously mentioned, and there is HOWIES which is situated on the Grassmarket – there is a great selection of restaurants on the Grassmarket, definitely a good place to have a wander and looks pretty in the evening.
There is one place I HIGHLY recommend, and that is the Henderson’s on Hanover Street. It’s a vegetarian restaurant – but it also has a Bistro and a shop! Of course it’s brilliant for Veggie’s like myself because we can have EVERYTHING on the menu, but even if you eat meat you are guaranteed a wonderful meal. I take my meat loving friends all the time and it’s often them that suggest we go back. Go on try it, it’s very enticing (and students get 10% off!).
I hope you enjoyed my post about Edinburgh and some of my favourite things to do and places to go. I would be here forever if I showed you everything, and it would spoil it for when you came to visit! Edinburgh is such a wonderful lovely friendly place, and if you can’T make it for the Fringe you should just visit anyway – but we do have quite a few other festivals and of course there is Edinburgh Hogmanay! It’s important for you to discover your Edinburgh! Hopefully my sneak peeks will give you some things to think about and get started. If you do visit, please let me know where you went and what you thought!