After hearing about it for years from friends, we decided to take a weekend trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I looked for accommodation at least 9 months before the date, and was shocked to find the hotel prices so high. In the end, we settled for student accommodation (£85 a night), other than shared hostels, probably the cheapest accommodation available!
We took the train up to Edinburgh, both stations are ideally located right in the City, and walked to the accommodation, where we were pleasantly surprised. It was a modern block, right on the Meadows, and easily accessible for the city with a staffed reception. The room was compact with a small ensuite shower room, in a block of 4 individual rooms and a shared kitchen/lounge. We were there so little time that it didn’t matter that we didn’t have the usual hotel type frills.
The choice of shows for the Fringe is huge – you can check out and book on-line, or there’s a big book you can order in advance or pick up in Edinburgh. If there’s anything you want to see, I’d recommend pre-booking and getting the tickets delivered home, although you can pick up tickets in Edinburgh, it might be quite busy. Shows vary widely from Comedy, Talks, Dance, Music, Theatre, and Children’s Shows. Allow yourself a bit of downtime to have a meal or a drink, otherwise you find you are rushing from one show to the next. Also bear in mind the locations of the shows, you might book two events at the opposite end of the city. There can be a lot of walking between shows, and some of the events are up in attics or down stairs in basements. The venues can be very busy too.
The city is buzzing, there is so much going on. Especially on the Royal Mile, this is cordoned off, with lots of street performers.
Edinburgh is a great city for Museums too – they are mainly free (donations welcomed). We visited the Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile which was lovely, lots of old toys you can remember playing with. The Music museum (which has occasional recitals too), and the Tapestry Museum which is sited in an old swimming pool – a fascinating building.
There is also a Free Fringe – there’s a separate booklet for this. You can check out what’s on by time and you get to go to some amazing venues – some down in cellars, some in historic buildings, some in nightclubs, bars or jazz clubs. It’s a great way to explore the city.
The Edinburgh Tattoo is also on at the same time as the Fringe, so I’ll be visiting that on my next trip (already booked!) next year. If you are out and about in the City, there’s a Fireworks display afte reach Tattoo performance which lights up the skies above the Castle.
Well worth a visit. You’ll find you are coming home for a rest – but the experience is great.