We love Edinburgh all year round but spring can be a fantastic time to see the city at its best. Here are some reasons why we think spring is the perfect time to visit Edinburgh…
It’s actually quite sunny
March, April and May are some of the sunniest months in Edinburgh with the least rainfall. There may be a winter chill in the air but spring is definitely one of the best seasons to get out and explore the cities streets and parks.
The city is in full bloom
Spring is one of the rare occasions to see Edinburgh’s beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Take a walk through the Meadows and enjoy a flurry of pink petals in the sunshine.
It’s not too busy
Spring is still well before the mega tourist influx August so you can enjoy the city’s best attractions without having to queue (as much).
There is plenty to do
The International Science Festival, the Hidden Door Festival and World Whisky Day all take place before the summer months arrive.
And lastly… you can see the spectacular Beltane Fire Festival
The Beltane Fire Festival event takes place every year on the 30th April and celebrates the beginning of the summer season. This ancient Gaelic pagan tradition involves dazzling fire displays and (probably quite cold) painted performers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle!
Two of our favourite Scottish vloggersMoscoMoonand Shaun went to experience the Edinburgh Ghost Tour! They took a little trip down into the haunted vaults of Edinburg and guess who their scary guide was?! Our lovely teacher – Stefanie!!
Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time travel novels by Diana Gabaldon. The majority of this fantastic TV Show, developed by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Sony Pictures Television is set in Scotland. It stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse who, in 1945, finds herself transported back to the Scotland of 1743, where she encounters the dashing Highland warrior, Jamie Fraser and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite risings.
Since yesterday, the cast has been filming in Edinburgh for the 3rd Season! Some Scottish bloggers shared some great shots of a quick autographs session.
Halloween is approaching as fast as people from Edinburgh died during the dark time when The Black Death (also known as The Plague) spread across the city and killed thousands of its inhabitants, and so we would like to share with you some of the most haunted places in Edinburgh.
White Hart Inn
This old Grassmarket Inn is reputed to be the most haunted pub, not just in Edinburgh but in the whole of Scotland. Public executions used to take place nearby. Sightings of a shadow going to the cellar have been reported and a door down there has been seen to slam shut on occasions. Barrels have been moved and beer taps closed off and when the staff opens them to pour a pint, they find they are switched off again. These incidents and many more have been reported by staff and owners over many, many years.
A Haunted Underground City
Underneath South Bridge are many vaults and passageways. The bridge was built over Niddry Wynd and its cobbled street still lies under the bridge. In the past, people lived in the vaults and there were even shops underground. You can visit the vaults on a tour and over the years many ghost stories have surfaced. One of the most interesting stories happened early in 2003 when a radio producer was interviewing former rugby star, Norrie Rowan, who owns part of the underground city. On playing the interview back there was a ghostly voice shouting Go Away in Gaelic but no one else had been there at the time.
A number of ghost tours take place in the city’s underground vaults and there have been a various reports of paranormal activity. The TV show, Most Haunted, hosted a live investigation in the vaults in 2006 and, according to some reports, Burke and Hare stored the bodies of their victims in the site before selling them to the medical school.
The Banshee Labyrinth
Partially located within some of the city’s many underground vaults, the Banshee Labyrinth describes itself as Scotland’s most haunted pub. It is reportedly occupied by a banshee – a group of workmen once heard a bloodcurdling scream and a few hours later one of them received a call about the death of a family member. There are also said to be occurrences of drinks flying off tables and smashing into walls.
The Missing Piper
Edinburgh has a hidden underworld to which the castle is strongly connected, a series of secret tunnels leading from Edinburgh castle down the Royal Mile. One of these is rumoured to lead to Holyrood House. Holyrood house itself is closely associated with Scotland’s turbulent past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived here between 1561 and 1567. Successive kings and queens have made the Palace of Holyrood house the premier royal residence in Scotland; even today it’s still a royal residence.
When the tunnels were first discovered several hundred years ago, a piper was sent to explore. As he navigated the tunnels he played his bagpipes so that his progress could be tracked by those above. About halfway down the Royal Mile the piping suddenly stopped. When a rescue party was sent, there was no trace of the piper. He had simply vanished. Several search parties went into the tunnel system but no trace of the piper was ever found.
The piper’s ghost still haunts Edinburgh today, walking endlessly along the underground tunnel beneath the Royal Mile. His music can sometimes be heard from within the castle and on the streets above the tunnels.
It has a history dating back more than 2,000 years and has been the site of numerous battles and sieges so it’s no wonder there are reports of ghostly goings-on at the city’s most iconic landmark. The sound of drums, unexplained knocking sounds, and mysterious orbs have all been reported. In 2001, a team of scientists carried out an investigation into the paranormal experiences at the castle as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and said the results appeared to support the stories.
The largest island of the Outer Hebrides, Lewis offers amazing opportunities to explore all the elements of life on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean – with history, heritage, wilderness, wildlife, arts, crafts, crofting culture and even adrenaline-fuelled adventure all here for the taking on your Hebridean holiday.
From the neat Victorian homes lining the streets of Stornoway in the east, to the stretching white sands of Bosta on Great Bernera in the west, where the clear Atlantic waters sound the evocative toll of the Time and Tide Bell as a reminder of the link between us and the elements, Lewis is an island of exciting contrasts and diverse experiences.
Discover the rich history of the proud Lewis people, from the Norse invasions to the strong Gaelic traditions that are still observed today. Head to Ness, a stronghold of the local language, and listen to the sound of Hebridean heritage being carried on the winds which rage around this northern headland making it the windiest spot in the UK.
Explore the sea caves and stacks at Garry Beach just round the headland from Broad Bay to better understand how the relentless seas have shaped this island environment, and the lifestyles of those who live here.
Isle of Harris:
The Outer Hebridean island of Harris is one that has offered inspiration for generations. With its rich traditions, stunning shifting scenery and strong sense of community, Harris offers a unique introduction to island life on the edge.
Travel the Golden Road through Bays for a whistlestop tour of the rich history that has shaped this island’s identity across the centuries with Norse and Gaelic influences evident in the names of the hamlets that punctuate this coastline or explore the popular village of Tarbert where you can visit the Harris Tweed Shop and take home a piece of true Hebridean heritage.
Gaze out across the West Harris sands to the famous uninhabited Castaway island of Taransay and experience a glimpse of the isolation from which the proud self-sufficent communities of the Outer Hebrides were born, or tour the adjoining Isle of Scalpay with its strong seafaring connections to understand more about the symbiosis of islanders and ocean.
Whatever you are looking for, you can find it here on Lewis and Harris, along with a warm Hebridean welcome.
Did you know that Scotland has over 10,000 km of coastline? It’s a real paradise for watersports adventurers. Many activities are available all year round and everyone can find an activity to enjoy. Whether you are surfing Atlantic swells, rafting down a grade 5 river, or sea kayaking around the islands of the west coast, you are in for a thrilling adventure in Scotland.