Edinburgh is really buzzing during the festivals and it is a wonderful time to visit, but sometimes its good to find somewhere away from the madness to remind you that Edinburgh is still a city where people live and work. Here are some of the activities that locals like to do while the festivals are on or which you might like to try.
Pop-up gin gardens
During August Edinburgh comes alive with a variety of pop-up gin gardens that are both fun and luxurious escapes. So whether you head to the Edinburgh Gin Garden at the Melville Monument, One Squares colourful Pickerings Gin Terrace, or the Tanqueray TEN Terrace behind the G&V Royal Mile Hotel, youll undoubtedly be served a brilliant cocktail. And with Scotland increasingly renowned for gin distilling, it is likely to be a local tipple you are testing.
Swim at Portobello
Just three miles from Edinburgh city centre, Portobello Beach is a charming Victorian seaside suburb, with two miles of golden sand making it perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Its long promenade is ideal for taking a stroll and is dotted with buskers, the famous wee green van for coffee and cake, traditional fish and chips and plenty of convivial pubs. A short visit to Portobello is like taking a tiny summer holiday!
Sunbathe in The Meadows
Despite Scotlads reputation for wet weather, the sun does come out in the summer months. The Meadows, an expanse of open space in the south of the city, provides a lush haven in the summer months. Tree-lined paths criss-cross the area and locals come here to play Frisbee, enjoy a barbecue and to watch the world go by in the shade of cherry trees. With daylight until at least 10pm there is all the more time to enjoy the outdoors and relax.
Edinburgh International Book Festival
The Edinburgh International Book Festival in August is often described as an oasis located in the city centre. The quiet leafy space in Charlotte Square gardens is a little bit of tranquillity away from the August buzz. You can browse the festivals book shop, enjoy coffee, cake and ice creams, or listen to world-class authors and celebrities such as Alexander McCall Smith, Ruby Wax, and Ian Rankin.
Sleep under canvas
The citys accommodation is so busy during August that sometimes it is nice to get away from the buzz for a bit and stay somewhere like Dundas Castle Estates glamping site. Ten luxury canvas cottages set around a lake on the estate feel like you are deep in the countryside and yet, it is under half an hour to the city centre. With ensuite bathrooms and hot water, comfy proper beds, wood burning stoves and lots of eco extras, its festival glamping with a difference.
Fireworks over Edinburgh Castle
Every year the 45-minute long Virgin Money Fireworks Concert brings Edinburghs summer to a resplendent conclusion. Set against the iconic backdrop of the historic Castle, this spectacular event brings together stirring orchestral music from the world-renowned Scottish Chamber Orchestra, while a fireworks team provides magnificent pyrotechnics, specially choreographed by international fireworks artists Pyrovision. It is both inspiring and uplifting and a seat in Princes Street Gardens is one of the hottest tickets in town.
Douglas Walker is Chair of Unique Venues of Edinburgh.
Source: A Luxury Travel Blog