If you’re a fan of the City of Edinburgh, you probably know all about its summer festivals. The Edinburgh Fringe is most probably the world’s largest arts festival and usually runs throughout the entire month of August every year. Among the hundreds of shows offered to the public stands the exceptional Tattoo set-up.
Did I say tattoo? Why, yes indeed! But it might not be exactly what you have in mind. By tattoo, you should understand a military music performance or display of armed forces. The term originated in the 17th-century and comes from the old Dutch phrase “doe den tap toe” which means “turn off the tap”. It refers to the ancient drum signal for tavern owners to stop serving drinks to soldiers at a reasonable enough hour. Later on, the term “tattoo” was used to talk about evening musical entertainment played by soldiers.
During the Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Military Tattoo performs every night in front of up to 8,800 people and brings together performers from over 45 different countries. The show has been taking place since 1950 and now allows around 220,000 lucky spectators to enjoy the live performance every year. It takes place on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle and combines everything from military music to dance, theatre performances, and even amazing firework displays!
If you’re planning on coming to Edinburgh this summer, don’t miss out on this breath-taking performance. Be sure to book your ticket in advance because they sell like hotcakes every year! It would be a shame not to go, but don’t take my word for it: if you’re still unsure, check out the videos below from previous years!
It’s a well-known fact that the City of Edinburgh offers an abundance of festivals all year long to its citizens and countless tourists and May is no exception. A couple of weeks ago, the Leith-situated Biscuit Factory welcomed the second annual Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival. And it delivered!
The London-based company is all about promoting and celebrating modern beer culture: with some 40 different breweries, around 3,500 visitors over three days, music, DJs and incredible street food, the key word of the weekend was: “discovery”. The organiser, Greg Wells, tells it himself in the preliminary note to this year’s magazine: “Please feel free to try everything on offer. You are a kid in a sweet shop”. … And try, we did!
With the sunny weather on our side, we entered the festival with smiles on our faces, received our wristbands, magazines and glasses, and boldly made our way into the amazing venue. Take a look at the pictures and videos below for a sneak peak of what was on.
For those who missed this year’s festival, do not despair; the Edinburgh Craft Beer festival WILL be back in June 2019! In the meantime, for the most impatient of you, you can still get tickets for this summer’s London Craft Beer Festival (3rd-5th August). Hurry up before they are all gone!
Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano, is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh which form most of Holyrood Park. It is situated just to the east of the city centre, about 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east of Edinburgh Castle. The hill rises above the city to a height of 250.5 m (822 ft), provides excellent panoramic views of the city and beyond, is relatively easy to climb, and is popular for hillwalking.
Though it can be climbed from almost any direction, the easiest and simplest ascent is from the east, where a grassy slope rises above Dunsapie Loch. At a spur of the hill, Salisbury Crags has historically been a rock climbing venue with routes of various degrees of difficulty; however due to hazards rock climbing is now restricted to the South Quarry and a free permit is required.
It is also the site of a large and well preserved fort. This is one of four hill forts dating from around 2000 years ago. With its diverse range of flora and geology it is also site of Special Scientific Interest.
Experience a proper hill walk in the heart of the city. Arthur’s Seat’s rocky summit towers over Edinburgh, with fabulous views in all directions, and the extensive parkland surrounding it is an oasis of calm as a retreat from the busy city.
Within the park you can also visit St Anthony’s Chapel – a 15th century medieval chapel, Salisbury Crags – a series of 150 foot cliff faces dominating Edinburgh’s skyline as well as Duddingston Loch – a fresh water loch rich in birdlife.
Arthur’s Seat is often mentioned as one of the possible locations for Camelot, the legendary castle and court of the Romano-British warrior-chief, King Arthur.
Tradition has it that it was at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, covered by the forest of Drumselch, that Scotland’s 12th-century king David I encountered a stag while out hunting. Having fallen from his horse and about to be gored, he had a vision of a cross appearing between the animal’s antlers, before it inexplicably turned away, leaving him unharmed. David, believing his life had been spared through divine intervention, founded Holyrood Abbey on the spot. The burgh arms of the Canongate display the head of the stag with the cross framed by its antlers.
The slopes of the hill facing Holyrood are where young girls in Edinburgh traditionally bathe their faces in the dew on May Day to make themselves more beautiful. The poem ‘Auld Reekie’, written by Robert Fergusson in 1773, contains the lines:
On May-day, in a fairy ring,
We’ve seen them round St Anthon’s spring,
Frae grass the cauler dew draps wring
To weet their een,
And water clear as crystal spring
To synd them clean
Scotland’s capital city will be filled with colour this weekend as Pride returns to Edinburgh for its 23rd year. At inlingua we embrace cultures, diversity and love. We are proud to support Pride Edinburgh.
Save the date, Pride Edinburgh will be on Saturday 16th June 2018. Events kick off with the annual Pride Scotia march, this year starting at The Scottish Parliament at midday, before heading up the Royal Mile, along George IV Bridge and into Bristo Square. There will be a brief pause outside Edinburgh City Chambers for speeches.
Pride Edinburgh exists to promote equality and diversity and protect the future of the LGBTQI community in Scotland. The traditional Pride March provides a platform for politicians, community activists, and most importantly individuals turn out to march through the streets of Edinburgh to celebrate Pride. The Festival has LIVE Music, Health and Community Fair and lots more. Pride Edinburgh takes place in Edinburgh every year.
11:30 Pride Marchers to assembly at Scottish Parliament on Parliament Green by Horse Wynd.
12:00 March moves off, heading North and turning left into the Canongate, proceeding ahead into the Canongate, then the High Street.
12:30 The March will halt outside the City Chambers for speeches from invite guests. Speakers will talk to the March from the Mercat Cross.
13:10 March departs the City Chambers heading west up the High Street, turning left at Lawnmarket Junction into George IV Bridge, continuing along George IV Bridge, a slight left into Bristo Place, turning left into Potterrow, ahead into Potterrow. Turning left in Crichton Street.
13:30: Turning left into Charles Street, The Pride Scotia March arrives at the EUSA Campus the site of the Pride Edinburgh 2018: True Colours Festival.
All timings following departure are approximate, should The EUSA Campus reach capacity, The remainder of the Pride Scotia March will continue ahead from Crichton Street into George Square, turning left into Middle Meadow Walk, dispersing on the Meadows.
Every year, The Beltane Festival gathers hundreds of people to celebrate the coming of Summer on Calton Hill, in Edinburgh. This modern reimagining takes its roots in an ancient Celtic festival marking the changing seasons. Everyone comes together to celebrate the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring in a mix of music, fire and physical performances.
The festival draws all kind of street performers, split into different groups, each having its own theme for the costumes the put on according to the characters they represent. You will encounter the Blues, keepers of the ritual, the Whites, companions of the May Queen and the Reds, those who embody chaos.
Body painting, loose leaves, and long feathers are all common parts of their costumes. The performers are also not afraid to show a little (or even a lot of) skin! The many entertainers demonstrate their skills in acting, dancing and acrobatics often mixed with impressive pyrotechnics. Fire has a significant place and meaning throughout the festival, as it symbolises warmth during the cold night. Beltane’s many fires literally burn the last traces of Winter away, enabling Spring to come out of their ashes.
Enter a journey from sunset through the middle of the night, and watch all the rituals that make this event so special come to life in this video.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for quite some time, you must have heard of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After 7 novels and 8 movies the worldwide phenomenon has attracted countless tourists and fans in London and Oxford, but did you know that Scotland is closely related to this magical world?
Here are some famous sites every Potterhead should visit on their next trip to Scotland!
The Elephant House, Edinburgh
The Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, moved to Edinburgh in 1993 and The Elephant House is one of the cafés she used to go to in order to write her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone. The coffee house is constantly flooded by fans trying to retrace the steps of their favourite author, and maybe, who knows … get inspired themselves!
Victoria Street, Edinburgh
As Rowling lived in Edinburgh for several years, it’s only natural that she looked around her for inspiration when writing her novels. For example, Victoria Street was her main inspiration for the mysterious and magical Diagon Alley, where the young Harry Potter bought his first year’s school supplies. If you dare venture into this wizarding street, don’t hesitate to stop by Diagon House or The Boy Wizard, two Harry Potter Shops where you will find all the magical supplies you need.
Tom Riddle’s Grave, Greyfriars Kirkyard
Victoria Street is not the only part of Edinburgh that inspired the author. With a 7-novel series, you can imagine the number of characters evolving in Rowling’s work and all the names the author has had to make up for them. Hidden away in Greyfriars Kirkyard, some very interesting tombstones can be found, which most likely helped Rowling in the naming process of some of her characters: Tom Riddle, McGonagall, Moodies, etc. Walk down the graveyard’s alleys for more spooky discoveries!
The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
This beautiful Victorian luxury hotel was once Rowling’s safe haven. She frequently visited the hotel while she was finishing Harry Potter and theDeathly Hallows. Room 552, now renamed the J.K. Rowling Suite in her honour still holds the desk and chair where the author sat to write.
Rowling’s handprint, the Edinburgh City Chambers
The Edinburgh City Chambers is another stop HP fans will not want to miss when visiting Edinburgh. Rowling’s handprints can be found on a flagstone in the quadrangle in front of the City Chambers. The prints were set in 2008 when Rowling received the Edinburgh Award.
George Heriot’s School: Edinburgh’s very own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Although nobody except Rowling really knows where Hogwarts really is located, many believe that the castle was inspired by George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh. The gothic architecture of the breath-taking school situated in the city centre will undoubtedly remind fans of Harry’s beloved school. Even the four houses of Hogwarts may have been inspired by the George Heriots School’s four towers!
Glennfinan Viaduct – All aboard the Hogwarts Express
Hidden in the depth of the Scottish Highlands, this railway is famous for being featured in the Harry Potter movies. Harry Potter enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Hogwarts Express is no longer only reserved for Wizards: Muggles can now journey across Western Scotland on board the famous steam train just as Harry and his friends did!
Finally, Scotland’s countryside is packed with breath-taking landscapes which are heavily featured in the Harry Potter movies.