With its royal sites, stunning Scottish scenery and cultural roots, Edinburgh is a great destination to visit throughout the year. However it is in August that the city truly comes alive, making it the perfect month to plan a visit.
Sitting on the edge of the Firth of Forth on the east coast, Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city. Visiting the capital in August you will find a city enjoying the warmth of its summer. Temperatures average 19C (66F) but ensure you pack an umbrella as the UK summer is prone to the odd rain shower.
The main draw to Edinburgh during August is the wide range of festivals and events that the city has to offer throughout the month. Most famously is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which dates back to 1947. It is the largest arts festival in the world and features drama, comedy, music and dance performances. Events are held across the city in over 250 different venues. You can choose to attend the International Festival, Military Tattoo or the Art Festival which also run during the whole month.
If you thought four major festivals was quite enough, then Edinburgh is here to prove you wrong. The International Book Festival runs for two weeks from mid August and features a wide range of authors and events in the UNESCO City of Literature. There is also the Edinburgh Mela which celebrates the cultural diversity of the UK and begins at the very end of August and carries on through into September.
- For more information on all of Edinburgh’s festival and to book your tickets, visit edinburghfestivals.co.uk
With so many festivals, it’s easy to see why Edinburgh is the cultural hub of Scotland and indeed one of the most cultural cities in the UK. There are many cultural activities and sites to keep people of all interests entertained. To best understand the heritage of Edinburgh and indeed Scotland, visit the National Museum. Here you’ll be treated to a wide scope of artefacts that cover from ancient times through to the present day, including the stuffed remains of the first cloned sheep, Dolly.
- Location: Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
- Opening Hours: 10am-5pm (daily)
- Admission: Free
- Website: nms.ac.uk
There are some great ways to explore Scottish heritage in Edinburgh once you’ve gotten inspiration from the National Museum. Visit the Tartan Weaving Mill, located on the Royal Mile, where you’ll be able to learn the history behind this famous Scottish piece of clothing. Alternatively, visit the Scotch Whiskey Experience which is nestled beside the castle. What finer way to quench your summer thirst than with a nice glass of Scotland’s finest drink. You should also take the time to visit the grave of Greyfriars Bobby, a dog who famously guarded his owner’s grave for years after his death.
Edinburgh’s Royal history is plain for everyone to see from the moment you enter the city. Dominating the skyline is Edinburgh Castle, which sits upon an extinct volcano. The castle dates back to the 12th Century and has played an important part in securing the freedom of the city. It sits at the top of the Royal Mile and provides a fascinating look at the history of Edinburgh as well as some fantastic views across the city. Ensure you visit the castle around 1pm to witness the daily cannon fire. To make the most of the beautiful castle, why not book a room at the Caledonian Hotel which sits across the road – it is a beautiful sight to wake up to of a morning.
- Visit edinburghcastle.gov.uk to book your tickets online to avoid the queues
To look at Edinburgh’s more modern Royal history, take a trip to the Palace of Holyroodhouse where you’ll not only find the new parliament building but the Queen’s official residence when she is visiting the city. Then take a trip outside of the city to Leith where you’ll find the beloved Royal Yacht Britannia which was retired from service in 1998 and has been turned into a museum.
As Edinburgh Castle has proven, the city has learnt to blend perfectly with the rugged Scottish landscape. Edinburgh is build on 7 hills and heading up to explore any feels like you’re venturing into the highlands. Personally, I would recommend visiting both Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill. There is also the wonder of the Water of Leith Walkway which is a fantastic way to enjoy the natural beauty of Edinburgh.