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There is something about any city on a brisk autumn day. The air is crisp, the leaves are dancing like ballerinas as they descend from the trees, aromas of artisanal coffee beans smell all the more better, and folk are cozily starting to wrap up warm in their knits and scarves. Ask anyone when to visit Edinburgh and they will tell you any time. However, let it be known that Scotland’s capital is particularly lovely to see during the autumn season.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a whole other world and artistic playground. From famous acts to newbies on the cusp of their career, folks are spoiled for choice. However, every rose has its thorns — the crowds that go hand in hand with the Fringe are, at times, spiky. Visit during autumn and be free from hoards of people bustling about trying to not be late for the next play.
The Castle acts as Edinburgh’s ever present eyes watching the dots below transition from one activity to the next. Whether on an official tour or observing from afar, flip matters around and make sure to visit the Castle during autumn. Every time you will see something new and different upon and inside these whispering walls.
It’s true. The skies may be grey and the days dreich, and yet the city takes to it like a duck to water. Clamber up the majestic Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill and delight in panoramic views of the city, as it undergoes the seasonal transitional known for a kaleidoscope of colours. Try it and don’t be surprised with a sight for sore eyes.
Congregate to any park and notice the leaves. You can’t miss them. Appreciate what were once a multitude of bright greens and see how they have undergone an inevitable transformation into the most resplendent assortment of colours. Expect rusty oranges, ruby reds, dull browns, and alluring yellows. The Royal Botanic Garden, Princes Street Gardens, and The Meadows are great places to watch the leaves turn and fall.
Visit any of the many farmers’ markets in Edinburgh and prepare to be mind blown with the extensive amounts of fruits, veggies, meats, breads, fish, eggs, olive oils, and more. As the season change, so does the produce, which all comes straight from Scotland’s natural larder.
It is no secret that Edinburgh is Scotland’s comedy capital and home to the largest open arts festival in the world. Autumn may not be the official Fringe season but don’t let this deceive you — the city is bursting with theatres all raring to go with a myriad of sell-out performances. From Tony award winning numbers and classic plays, to meaty theatre, stand-up acts, and musical displays, delight in a jam-packed time of theatre galore. The Playhouse, Traverse, and The King’s Theatre are all great spots to start with.
Once autumn arrives, the days get cooler and require an extra layer or two. From luxury designer fashion and high street brands to bespoke boutique finds, charity shops, and vintage stores, Edinburgh has an abundance of must-visit shopping places to tide you over the seasons. Tour the streets and pick up that staple winter hat, coat, or scarf. Finish the look with layers of tartan, tweed, and cashmere — you won’t have to search far.
Edinburgh is home to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, an epic celebration of live storytelling. What started in 1989 is now an integral part of Edinburgh’s vibrant literary scene. Via the art of storytelling, this festival transports audiences to the deepest depths of their imaginations and allows the thoughts to run free. This momentous festival occurs every October.
Those unafraid of the supernatural and gruesome are more than often intrigued with Scotland’s ambiguous and dark past. During the month of October, many come to venture on a ghost tour, explore the dungeons, The Real Mary King’s Close, and the Vaults.
During late autumn, fans of the popular holiday film Elf are drawn to Edinburgh like Rudolph to a sleigh. Come November, the Winter Wonderland springs up in the Princes Street Gardens and the city is filled with festive cheer and happy people. From ice-skating and mulled wine to the European Christmas Market and the Big Wheel, folks cannot help but partake in the celebrations before December.