At once ancient and brimming with culture, Edinburgh is worthy of a weekend trip at any time of year. The Scottish capital is rightly lauded as one of Europe’s cultural hotspots, as evidenced by the world-famous Fringe Festival, which lands in the city every August. Here’s an itinerary for the perfect weekend in Auld Reekie.
To get a real sense of Edinburgh’s history, there are few better things to do than walking the length of the Royal Mile. This stretch between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace contains some of the oldest landmarks in the city, including the Tron Kirk, the Canongate and Parliament Square. As well as being a great sightseeing route, there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants along the route, and it is almost always alive with buskers and other street performers that keep visitors entertained along the way.
Twinned with another club of the same name in Glasgow, The Stand encapsulates Scotland’s cultural pedigree in comedy and live performance. Depending on the night, you’re as likely to find a local up-and-comer as you are to find a famous comic brushing up on their material, and, during Fringe season, the bill is alive with special performances. Fringe nights and special appearances sell out quickly, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their website if you’re planning on visiting, but, if you take the time to book in advance, you’ll be in for a real treat.
While it might sound like the setting of a Gothic horror novel, Blackness Castle is actually a hidden gem sitting on the outskirts of Scotland’s capital. It takes around 35 minutes to reach from the city centre, either by car or bus, but it’s well worth the extra mileage. Built in the 15th century, it was a prison for a time before becoming an artillery fortification against English invaders and finally falling to Oliver Cromwell in 1650. Today, all this history can be learned about as you explore the castle and take in the stunning views over the Firth of Forth.