Five Places in Edinburgh You Shouldn’t Miss
Everyone who visits Edinburgh in August will find their way to the Royal Mile, but in order to get the full Festival experience, make sure you stray beyond its cobbled lengths. Here’s some places to look out for…
The National Museum of Scotland
After several years of shuttered windows, Scotland’s leading museum is open again, and if you go in August you’ll be among the first to visit it. Highlights include a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex, the world’s oldest surviving colour television, and a twelve- foot long feast bowl. Locals, though, may mourn the passing of the museum’s famous fishpond.
Urban Garden, C Soco (pictured)
For most of the year, this is a derelict, unloved patch of land. But under a canopy of fairy lights, it becomes a fantastic hang out spot. The property was recently sold, so this is likely to be its last appearance. Gaze up at the bridges or down at the grime of the Cowgate and feel like you’re at the frontier of the city.
Probably the best loved park in the Burgh, the Meadows is home to all: students, junkies, performers, families and even that rare thing – Scottish cricketers. There’s lots to do here, from hitting some balls on one of the world’s first golf courses to sipping coffee at The Pavilion Café.
The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of performances and forget that a different kind of party is taking place in Charlotte Square. But even if you don’t know your Dickens from your Dostoyevsky, you can soak up some of the literary atmosphere at the café and the bookshop.
An art house café and headquarters of alternative Edinburgh, the Forest Café has had a colourful life since its birth in 2000. Browse the ‘free shop’, peer in at the latest art installation or watch a show (it’s a Fringe venue). Sadly, the Forest is being forced to relocate, so this is your last chance to catch it at 3 Bristo Place.