It is the most central park in Edinburgh and definitely one of the busiest parks in town when it is sunny. In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the Gardens were created in two phases in the 1770s and 1820s. Both run along the south side of Princes Street and are divided by The Mound. East Princes Street Gardens run from The Mound to Waverley Bridge and cover 8.5 acres (34,000 m2). The larger West Princes Street Gardens cover 29 acres (120,000 m2) and extend to the adjacent churches of St. John’s and St. Cuthbert’s, near Lothian Road in the west.
The Gardens are the best-known park in Edinburgh, having the highest awareness and visitor figures for both residents and visitors to the city. Various concerts and other events are held at the Ross Bandstand including the Festival Fireworks Concert, Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest, and during the city’s Hogmanay celebrations.
The Meadows is a large public park in the south of the city centre. It consists largely of open grassland crossed by tree-lined paths, but also has a children’s playground, a croquet club, tennis courts and recreational sports pitches. It is bordered by the University of Edinburgh’s George Square campus and the Quartermile development on the site of the old Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to the north and Marchmont to the south. To the south-west, it becomes Bruntsfield Links where there is a free, public pitch and putts golf course. It is one of the best places in the city to organise BBQ with friends!
Just one mile from city centre, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh offers visitors peace and tranquillity amongst 72 acres of stunning scenery.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the finest botanic gardens in the world. A pleasure for all the family, the Garden offers fantastic views of the capital’s skyline, featuring Edinburgh Castle, and is located just a mile from the city centre. Visitors can discover its fascinating history, which dates back 300 years, learn about its plantings and walk around 70 acres of beautiful landscape.
Harrison Park is at the heart of a lovely community, shared by dog walkers, children, picnickers and duck feeders. It’s gorgeous in the summer and stunning in the autumn. It sits beside Union Canal, so throw down your blanket and get the sandwiches out and watch the world go by!
Nestled right under Edinburgh Castle, this spot on a summer’s evening is perfection! You are surrounded by little cafes and bars, so this is a great spot for an impromptu picnic. Located in The Grassmarket, it can get quite busy so get down early and enjoy the sun all day!
One of the seven hills of Edinburgh, it’s well worth the short steep walk with your picnic to the top of Calton Hill. The historic site is in the centre of the city and overlooks the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. With such vast and stunning views down over the city, Calton Hill is popular with picnic-ers on the rare Edinburgh sunny day.
Blackford Hill is towards the south of the city and popular with dog walkers and weekend hikers. From here you can see Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill and, on a clear day, all the way out across the Firth of Forth.
Inverleith Park was made for picnics. Meticulously manicured grassy parkland, lovely trees, and a resplendent sundial garden all add to the appeal. Once more, those looking to congregate in large groups, toss a ball about, meander over the quaint wooden bridge, or explore surrounding flora and fauna, will be in their element. Such a prime spot demands a perfect picnic.
Portobello is a coastal suburb of Edinburgh. Once known as a beach resort, it is located three miles (5 km) to the east of the city centre, facing the Firth of Forth, in eastern central Scotland. Although historically it was a town in its own right, and is often seen as such by its inhabitants, it is now a residential suburb of Edinburgh, with a promenade fronting on to the wide sand beach. It lies between the suburbs of Joppa and Craigentinny.
Enjoy the feel of an old fishing village which the suburb of Cramond still retains. There is plenty of history to see in the area too with Cramond boasting one of the longest known periods of human settlement, and refreshments are available at the nearby pub or the nice coffee shop.
It’s also possible to walk over the causeway to the island at low tide – do keep an eye on the tides though as it is possible to get stranded on the island.
Arthur’s Seat may be a predictable choice and yet, it still never ceases to enrapture the people who walk it. Every time something new arises, whether it’s an added entity in the skyline or an uncharted route graced with new but equally astounding views. If lugging a picnic to the top doesn’t sound like too much of a headache, the vision of the city (and beyond) will erase all images of arduous power walking. That, and some surprisingly delicious Scottish BBQ from Reekie’s Smokehouse. Perfectly placed nearby, this family-run eatery is a winner in the meat, coffee, beer and cake game. Quick and easy, consider this a wonderfully spontaneous kind of Scottish picnic experience — no fuss, no frills — just good food and views.
Star in your own film and escape for a picnic in the Pentlands. Rolling hills, picture-perfect streams and views worth knowing about make this an ideal spot to throw down that checkered blanket and soak up the serenity. Adventure junkies will see this as an exploration opportunity, which may or may not cut into valuable eating time. Budding romanticists, on the other hand, will see this as a blissfully remote location. Strategically placed at the foot of the Pentlands is The Secret Herb Garden. This herb nursery hosts a café filled with produce harvested on site, along with various jams, chutneys and jellies.
Yellowcraig is a natural cove beach with spectacular views to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson famous tale Treasure Island.
Yellowcraig is a natural cove beach with spectacular views to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson famous tale Treasure Island. It is a popular family beach, which offers a nature trail, barbecue site (which must be pre-booked with the council) and a network of footpaths through the sheltered woodlands and extensive grassland.
Come along with us as they explore the top attractions and things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland city tour. They shared their 20 things to do in Edinburgh travel guide features the best activities, museums, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, food and entertainment venues in the city along with numerous suggestions for tours that will make your stay in Edinburgh unique and memorable.
20 Things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland Travel Guide:
Organised for the second time, Fair Trade Fiesta aims to highlight Scotland’s renewed Fair Trade Nation status and celebrate World Fair Trade Day on Saturday 13th of May. By involving people of all ages and backgrounds they hope to raise more awareness on the Fair Trade Movement through a vivid Carnival Parade and engaging FREE five hour Concert with Red Hot Chilli Pipers headlining the event.
Please see below previous Fair Trade Fiesta event on YouTube:
1pm @ City Chambers: Fiesta Carnival Parade
2pm-7pm @ Ross Band Stand: Fiesta Concert
The Carnival Parade starts at 1pm from The City Chambers right in the heart of The Royal Mile, going down to Princes Street Gardens via The Mound. With the Parade then gathering at the Ross Band Theatre, there will be a wide range of performances taking place at the Concert from 2pm onwards; with pipe-bands, samba, reggae, jazz, soul, dance and more promising to entertain and educate all people attending this fantastic event.
Musicians and performers taking part in the Fair Trade Fiesta include: Cantara, Davidson Mains Pipe Band, Edinburgh Samba School, Pulse of the Place, Martin Aelred, Leanne & the Radix, Edinburgh Got Soul, Glasgow Gospel Choir, Nadia Alkoc, One Tribe and Zuba.
Fair Trade Fiesta is a completely non for profit event managed and funded by Hand Up Events – a social action business that primarily exists to platform and promote fair and ethical trade, through several events. All to provide a positive mainstream engagement for all people interested in more sustainable ways of life.
Edinburgh is the top festival city in the world and it’s easy to see why. There are festivals taking place all year round but the summer season is jam-packed with fun and interesting things to do and see. So, if you’re visiting at this time of year, make sure you take advantage of these top 10 summer festivals!
This multi-arts festival is currently in its fourth year and is completely run by volunteers. This year it aims to transform a derelict theatre into a creative hub by putting on 10 days of music, theatre, visual art, film and spoken word performances. It’s free to explore every day until 6pm when tickets a required for the evening events.
This is a perfect chance to meet local Edinburgers and international students alike as everyone comes out in force for this chilled-out, cheerful festival. It takes place in one of Edinburgh’s largest green spaces and showcases performances by musicians, comedians and other artists alongside rows of market stalls where you can buy everything from local farm produce to a second-hand piano.
Immerse yourself in film this summer at the world’s longest-running film festival! The Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place in various venues around Edinburgh and features critically acclaimed films of all genres from the UK and wound the world.
Edinburgh International Magic Festival 30th June – 8th July 2017
Sit back and be amazed by some of the world’s most spectacular magicians at the Edinburgh International Magic Festival. This year’s theme is “Levitations” so be prepared for some jaw-dropping illusions and stunning circus acts.
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (14th – 23rd July)
Edinburgh’s Jazz & Blues Festival is the biggest of it’s kind in Britain and is guaranteed to please music-lovers of all generations. Don’t miss Mardi Gras in the Grassmarket where many of the acts showcase their music for free in the open air!
Edinburgh Art Festival (27th July – 27th August 2017)
This is the UK’s largest annual celebration of visual art and the good news is that it’s mostly free to attend! Last year’s festival showcased the work of 250 artists in over 40 venues around Edinburgh.
This world-renowned performance combines music and dance, Massed Pipes and Drums, Massed Military Bands, cultural troupes, singers and the iconic Lone Piper with a spectacular display of lights and fireworks, all against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The show sells out every year so don’t forget to book in advance!
It’s the largest arts festival in the world and it takes place every year right here in Edinburgh. The city is completely transformed over 25 days in August with thousands of performance flocking to showcase their work in hundreds of venues around the city centre. A once in a lifetime experience!
Running parallel to the Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh International festival presents the finest music, theatre, opera and dance from some of the world’s most esteemed creators. Don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display marking the end of the festival!
Edinburgh International Book Festival (12 – 28 August)
The Edinburgh International Book Festival presents over 750 events involving everyone from brand new authors to to some of the most famous names in world literature. Previous participants included Al Gore, George R. R. Martin and J. K. Rowling!
The Edinburgh Mela perfectly closes Edinburgh’s summer festival season with a celebration of Edinburgh’s ethnic minorities. It regularly attracts over 20,000 visitors and features an extraordinary programme of theatre, dance, music and art.
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!!