The world's greatest Arts Festival can seem a little overwhelming on first glance, there are thousands of shows on from Circus's to mime, comedy to amateur theatre and I recommend mixing it up a little by balancing your more professional shows with some amateur ones which really show the spirit of the original Fringe. Obviously the best place to start is by visiting www.edfringe.com but also check out the individual venues websites too (the Pleasance, The Assembly Rooms, Underbelly, Gilded Balloon to name a few) that way you can collect tickets at the venue rather than going to the Fringe office. If you were to spend all of your time at the festival just at one venue I would recommend heading up to George Square at Edinburgh University, you have literally everything here, amazing street food, awesome venues and the real deal Festival buzz. Take the bus from the bus stops closest to the flat, or walk as it is only a max 15 minute walk. Walking around is definitely the way to get around in the festival to give you the chance to absorb the atmospere, stop off and check out smaller venues and maybe watch some street performers (recommend either the Mound or the High Street for that). Most of the venues are within a 20 minute walking radius of the flat. I recommend booking in advance the more popular shows, but also make sure you leave time in your schedule to go to some shows which attract your interest last minute. Good deals can be had with daily half price deals and to really capture the original spirit of the Fringe, have a look at what's on for free www.freefringe.org.uk . The downside of the Festival is that it can be very expensive so a few free shows is a bonus and there are some real crackers in the program. Enjoy!
Edinburgh has no shortage of ghoulish stories and there are lots of activities you can do if you want to immerse yourself in the darker history of this wonderful city. The City Art Centre in Jeffry Street just at the South Entrance to Waverly Train Station has a wonderful exhibition featuring the reconstructed image of a young 18th Century woman who was buried directly opposite the then Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and was one of the victims of an underground trade in human remains after her teeth were stolen by staff at the hospital to supplement their wages. Who knew there was such a market for 'real' false teeth back then. The exhibition also features more than 300 other objects and works of art drawn from the capital’s vast archives, including Walter Scott’s childhood rocking horse, Deacon Brodie’s family bible and Robert Louis Stevenson’s smoking jacket.
The notorious pair, Burke and Hare, graverobbers who graduated to selling freshly killed human cadavers to the medical community for 'research' are well kent in Edinburgh. The Surgeon's Hall Museum in Nicholson Street tells their story and gruesome exhibits such as the pocketbook made from the skin of Burke can be seen there. It is a very unusual museum charting medical history with lots of interesting exhibits if you can stomach it! Another exhibition and walking tours can also be found at http://www.witcherytours.com/william-burke-museum in Edinburgh's West Bow, in the Old Town.
You can also explore Edinburgh's past by taking a tour of the underground streets, frozen in time since the 17th Century, to be found under the Royal Mile in the Old Town which is well worth a visit. Go to https://www.realmarykingsclose.com/ for more information.
And of course the ultimate in gruesome thrills has to be a trip to the Edibnurgh Dungeons, just along from the City Art Centre.
If you have kids with you or even if you don't and you are a Harry Potter fan, you can take a Harry Potter tour through Edinburgh http://www.pottertour.co.uk/ which looks very entertaining and something a bit different.
Something to clear the mind after all this gruesome history would be a trip to Edinburgh's Botanical Gardens, take a stroll through the gardens, visit the impressive glasshouses and then indulge yourself with a lovely afternoon tea served in the restaurant there.
Edinburgh is famously known as 'Auld Reekie' due to the high proliferation of Breweries in the past and a great afternoon out would be taking a Brewery Tour with https://www.scot.beer/edinburghbrewerytour.html with the added option of stopping to sample the beers in local establishments.
Restaurant of the month is The Printing Press in George Street, serving delicious fresh Scottish produce. “We set out to create seasonal dishes that are bursting with the flavours of local produce,” says Head Chef Colin Fleming. “The world-class quality ingredients in Scotland are at the heart of our menus in The Printing Press”. http://www.printingpressedinburgh.co.uk
June and July are a wonderful vibrant time to be in the City, for more information please go to http://www.whatsoninedinburgh.co.uk/
It's going to be a very busy month at the Edinburgh Playhouse, just a few minutes up the road from the Apartment with a wide array of well known theatre shows such as Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Cage aux Folles and Lord of the Dance to name a few. http://www.playhousetheatre.com/ for more info.
Spring is wonderful in Edinburgh and it is well worth taking a stroll through Princes Street Gardens to see the Spring planting and enjoy the views of the majestic Castle and Princes Street.
To get there head up the hill from the flat to Princes Street and walk down into the park from the Easternmost corner. You can walk the length of Princes Street through the park and perhaps stop off at the wonderful National Gallery to see the Old Masters and Scottish Masterpieces and the Royal Scottish Academy housing contemporary Art in a magnificent Georgian setting, Edinburgh's Architecture at its finest.
A market is a nice way to get closer to a town and its people and every weekend the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market takes place on Castle Terrace at the Western End of Princes Street Gardens under the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Listed by Lloyd Grossman as one of the World’s Best Farmers’ Markets and now in it’s 17th year, you will find a huge variety of fresh local produce from over 40 specialist producers. The majority of stallholders grow or rear what they sell.
You could then take a short walk along Kings Stables Road to the Grassmarket, one of Edinburghs oldest and most charming areas where there is a regular Saturday Market selling all sorts, from food to jewellery.
There are also markets in Leith (20 minutes walk down the hill from the flat) and Stockbridge. See
www.stockbridgemarket.com for more info on all the markets.
Leith a part of Edinburgh just East of the Apartment is a characterful area and it is worth a walk down the hill from the apartment to browse the wide variety of small independent shops on Elm Row and Leith Walk. The Cats Miaou next door to the entrance to the Apartment is crammed with wonderful ethically sourced gifts and all down the street you will find interesting shops, from model shops to a Chinese Supermarket, it is a treat to see such variety. You could walk further down to the Shore of Leith, a charming area by the sea (approx 30 mins walk) which is packed with wonderful eating and drinking spots. For more info please go to https://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/leith-p918421
For more information on What's On in Edinburgh The List is a useful resource.
Our restaurant of the month is Taste of Italy, a fantastic restaurant just up the hill from the flat on the corner of London Road, they do a great brunch and it has a casual, cafe type atmosphere. Perfect for breakfast before you set off for the day.
Aside from the obvious January sales and all the myriad bargains to be had in the shops, there is plenty going on in Edinburgh in the next couple of months and I have picked out just a few things of interest.
To celebrate Dry January there is the launch of a pop up dry bar in Edinburgh's New Town which is definitely worth a visit. Opening on 17 January 2017 at 15 North West Circus Place, Stockbridge, this alcohol free bar has entertainment and events planned for the duration of the opening. More info can be found here: www.facebook.com/dryedinburgh
On the subject of pop up bars, if you are a Game of Thrones fan, then this is the place for you! A twice weekly GOT themed bar on Dublin Street, just a few minutes from the apartment, more info HERE
To celebrate Burns night, The National Museum of Scotland in Chamber Street has a day packed with events and activities on 22nd January. This museum is well worth a visit, it is free of charge and full of amazing permanent exhibits and temporary exhibitions, the one I most recommend is the Wildlife photographer of the year exhibition featuring 100 of the best photographs.
If you find yourself short of time, yet you want to see Edinburgh in all its glory then here is a novel idea - take a bus tour in a vintage bus around the iconic Edinburgh landmarks and enjoy an afternoon tea or a gourmet burger at the same time! Indulge in a selection of pastries, cakes and warm home baked scones with Traditional preserves and fresh locally produced Dairy cream. The bus departs from Elder Street bus station, just a 5 minute walk from the apartment. More info HERE
Edinburgh has a long and illustrious Literary History and to celebrate this fact Canongate Stars and Stories has developed a new illuminated walking trail for Edinburgh’s Old Town. Explore 20 beautiful light boxes displaying quotations which shine a light on the print and publishing history of the Canongate area. It takes 45 minutes to walk the trail and adds a different slant to this wonderful area steeped in history. For more info please visit the website at
The Old Town of Edinburgh is steeped in history and no visit to Edinburgh is complete without a tour around the Old underground streets and Wynds underneath the present Royal Mile. A whole fascinating world is revealed from Edinburgh's past - visit http://cityofedinburghtours.com/ for more info.
And finally, restaurant of the month has to be www.adarestaurant.co.uk a traditional Turkish grill restaurant serving delicious char grilled food and generous sharing platters, walk in or reserve, just a few minutes walk from the apartment.
More more info about What's On in Edinburgh please visit www.thelist.co.uk
Well where do we start for December? Edinburgh is positively glowing with Christmas and the obvious place to start is a visit to George Street, just a 10 minute walk from the apartment to the Street of Light to see the wonderful christmas lights. Just a stroll along the street gives you the Christmas buzz. Of course you must also visit the Edinburgh Christmas Markets where you can buy unique gifts and enjoy some tasty European food and drink, again just a short walk from the apartment. There are theatre shows ranging from the West End Musical of Mamma Mia at the Playhouse Theatre a stones throw from the apartment, to a production of Alice in Wonderland at the Lyceum Theatre and Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without seeing a good traditional Scottish pantomime with lots of laughs and local humour! This year the panto is Jack and and Beanstalk at the Kings Theatre.
An exhibition not to be missed is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 at the NMS in Chamber Street, only on till February 17 2017
The Omni Centre just up the road from the apartment has, as well as restaurants and bars, a large multiplex cinema showing all the latest releases including, the wonderful Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.
Restaurant of the month has to be Cosmo at the Omni Centre, an all you can eat buffet restaurant with food from all over the world so guaranteed to please everyone in your party. Very popular and you can't book so turn up early!
Edinburgh is a fantastic city for shopping and the apartment is well situated for easy access to the central shopping areas: Princes Street, George Street, Mulberry Walk and John Lewis for starters.
Check out the Edinburgh website http://www.edinburghschristmas.com/ for all things Christmassy.
Not forgetting Hogmanay where all you need to know can be found here.
To all our guests have a very Merry Christmas and a happy prosperous and safe 2017!