As is often customary at the end of A-level exams (perhaps any exams, although I’m yet to experience that), myself and a group of friends booked a short trip away to Edinburgh in the middle of the Fringe Festival. I thought I’d compile a little photo diary to share the highlights of the four days.
By booking in advance (January), we managed to secure some relatively cheap flights, making it far more worthwhile to travel by aeroplane than spend almost a whole day on the train. The other bonus was that I love watching out of the window and was astounded to see the sun shining over the Forth Road Bridge as we descended into Edinburgh.
It was my first time visiting Edinburgh during the Fringe, but I’d heard horror stories of the danger of ‘free’ events, especially comedy. That said, we took a punt with this ‘Pottervision’, and despite being crammed in at the last minute (I may have tested my map-reading a little too much on the first day), we were given a space to stand in the sound booth – and felt like VIPs! It was here that this retro neon sign adorned the wall.
As you’ll soon see, it became a Harry Potter filled trip (how could it not, walking around the old haunts of J.K. herself?). Victoria Street soon became a firm favourite of ours, not only because of it’s possible position as the inspiration for Diagon Alley, but also because of the beautiful medley of colours that is vaguely reminiscent of Balamory (or Tobermory for the more geographically accurate!)
The second day of the trip was very exciting for me – I finally had the opportunity to see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in real life. As someone with Scottish family, it became tradition to watch the tattoo on the August bank-holiday, usually while it was raining… British summers and rain, sound familiar? I was very blessed, as some good friends who also happened to be in Edinburgh treated me to the evening of fun. The photos below don’t really do it justice – and I firmly recommend it if you happen to be in Edinburgh in August.
This year’s theme was ‘A Splash of Tartan’ – celebrating the history, heritage and colour of Scotland’s family. It was a stunning evening, and we were so fortunate with the weather – it was dry and not too cold! Practically unheard of in Scotland!
Being our last full day in the gorgeous city, we definitely made the most of it. Between wandering back and forth booking tickets for various shows, and chilling in ‘The Meadows’ (the park closest to the university), we loved the sun being out!
It was on Day 3 that I discovered a great comedy group – ‘The Noise Next Door’. They had been recommended to me, so as a group we decided to check out their afternoon show, (the family friendly one), called ‘The Noise Next Door’s Really, Really Good Afternoon Show (with swords)”. Honestly, I don’t think the four of us have laughed so much at four grown men prancing around on stage in a make-belief world…
Needless to say, we enjoyed their afternoon show so much we booked to spend our final night watching their evening show..and it didn’t disappoint.
The day was filled with improvisation – and the next show was outstanding. If you’re a musical theatre lover, this is definitely one to check out. The performers and musicians were amazing, and so talented!
To top the day off, we ventured into ‘The Elephant House’. If you’re a potterhead, you’ll probably be aware that it’s one of the locations that J.K. Rowling sat and wrote some of the Harry Potter series. The toilets are covered from head to toe in fond messages from visitors from all over the world, and the odd quote from the book. One of my favourites was an arrow pointing above the toilet, saying ‘This way to the Ministry’! They also had the cutest elephant-shaped shortbread, and shortbread is really one thing you can’t go to Scotland and ignore! (that and Irn Bru).
For our last day we left behind the Fringe events, and instead explored some of Edinburgh. For me, this meant trying to catch a glimpse of Holyrood Palace, and so yes, I did drag my friends down the entire Royal Mile and back up again… (I love you and I’m sorry!) But as a history-nerd, it was well worth it.
The sun even came out at occasional points, though we got caught in a couple of heavy downpours – that said, we were fortunate it didn’t rain until the last day!
One of the best things about Edinburgh are the beautiful old streets, independent shops and quirky historical buildings. I’m really looking forward to a chance to go back and explore properly (without all the Fringe crowds). Don’t get me wrong, I think the Fringe is worth experiencing, but I’m not sure it’s completely my cup of tea!
To end the day we headed back to the airport, and waved goodbye to the Scottish capital.
Have you ever been to Edinburgh? Let me know some of your favourite spots in the comments below!
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