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Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Survival Guide

Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Survival Guide

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017 – Complete Survival Guide

Tips and tricks to help you survive and enjoy the worlds leading arts festival.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is underway for the 70th time, making it the largest, longest-running arts festival in the world. The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe, in-fact, during the month of August, Edinburgh’s population almost doubles, going from around 502,000 to a street-bursting 1.1m. With all the shows, people and activities it can be hard not to feel slightly overwhelmed by it all.

So, here is our quick survival guide to help you navigate your way through Edinburgh Fringe Festival and enjoy it.

Edinburgh Fringe 2017 | Street Performer

Tip 1: Embrace the weird, wacky and wonderful.

The Fringe Festival, as you would expect, attracts a fair few interesting characters, whom at first, may be intimidating. Where are you likely to come across these people? Most likely, The Royal Mile. The long, historic road plays host to a bunch of eccentric street performers and ‘alternative artists’. You can expect to see the most pierced woman in the world, a man playing saws like violins, bagpipers and less-than-official characters from well-known franchises such as Star Wars, Pokemon and Lord of The Rings.

Be warned, if you stop to take a photo with/of a performer, some expect you to pay. Obviously, you don’t have to unless they have explicitly mentioned they only allow photos with/of them for a fee. However, even those without signs explaining the need for a cost expect you to pay anyway, and if you don’t, they can become unkind. It is very rare that this becomes the case.

Tip 2: Pack for anything and everything.

Edinburgh is famous for its rich history, famed authors and fascinating architecture – not it’s weather. So, be prepared for rain, wind and a kilt-frosting breeze. However, while the weather is usually glummer than summer, that does not mean you’ll be spending your trip soaked and cold. The weather can be as unpredictable as one of the many headlining comedians. One day it can be 24 degrees (Celsius) and not a cloud in the sky, then, the next day will be 8 degrees (Celsius) and pouring it down with rain – sometimes, these drastic changes aren’t days apart. They can be hours. One minute you’re eating an ice-cream from one of Edinburgh’s best ice-cream parlours, the next minute you’re ducking for cover from a sudden rain shower.

So, pack clothes for the sun and the rain. You may experience all the seasons in the space of a day.

Edinburgh Fringe - Free Fringe

Tip 3: Don’t just go to paid shows.

People commonly avoid the free shows, under the assumption that they are worse, only because they are ‘less exclusive’. But, paid shows are not always better, some free shows are among the best of the whole Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The reason some shows are free is simply that the artist/performer can’t afford to perform in the bigger venues or there just isn’t room in the time table.

Tip 4: Don’t overbook.

It’s tempting, we know. But don’t fill your days and nights with booked shows, you want to give yourself time to explore Edinburgh, and you never know what else may grab your attention last-minute. You will also need to take into consideration the distance between venues. You may have a show booked that finishes at 13:30 and then your next booked show starts at 13:45 but, it’s on the other side of town. Nobody wants to be the latecomer to a show, especially not a comedian/comedienne – unless you want them to mock you for the remainder of the performance.

Edinburgh Fringe | Arthurs Seat

Tip 5: Forget the Fringe.

You will start to tire of the festival. You will tire of drinking, laughing and sitting in a dark, crowded room. But don’t worry, you’re in Edinburgh, a city filled with stories, monuments and nature. So, take a breather from the shoulder-to-shoulder hustle of the Fringe and explore Edinburgh. Take a walk up Arthur’s Seat, browse one of the museums, visit Calton Hill or go on a historical tour to uncover the dark past of the city. After you’ve taken a break and taken in some of the beautiful scenery and fascinating history of the city you’ll be ready to jump back into the excitement of the Fringe.

Flyers | Edinburgh Fringe

Tip 6: Flyering will annoy you.

You cannot walk around Edinburgh during the fringe and not be handed a flyer/leaflet. It just can’t be done. For some reason, comics, actors, musicians and other performers rely on this age-old marketing method to spread awareness about their respective shows and performances. You can barely take more than a few steps before being greeted by an extended arm holding a flyer, attached to that arm is usually a member of the cast/crew of the advertised show, but often they are hired by the more famous acts to drum up some buzz. While there is no way to fully stop the annoyance of people offering you flyers left, right, centre and even diagonally.  You can do subtle things to let the ‘flyerer’ know you aren’t interested in collecting an encyclopedic collection of Fringe show flyers. When you are eating, they tend to leave you alone, and when you tend to be in a rush, most people recognise that and don’t wish to slow you down by stopping you and talking about the show they are promoting. One thing that will attract more flyers than you can count is, you guessed it, flyers. Once a flyerer sees you accepting a flyer from someone else or sees you carrying a flyer, they will be next in line to stop you for a chat about ‘The show critics are calling the best of this years Fringe’.lyering can be annoying, but it is important to respect those handing them out. You never know, you may find a hidden gem of a show you would never have gone to because of a flyer. Keep in the spirit of the Fringe.

Flyering can be annoying, but it is important to respect those handing them out. You never know, you may find a hidden gem of a show you would never have gone to because of a flyer. Keep in the spirit of the Fringe.

Bonus Tip: Stay at one of The Edinburgh Collection’s city centre hotels.

Our Edinburgh accommodation includes the 5-star boutique hotel The Howard in Edinburgh’s New Town as well as one of the most renowned 4-star hotels in Edinburgh, Channings – your haven from the hustle and bustle of the festival. To this can be added the historic 3-star Old Waverley Hotel on Princes Street, right in the heart of all the August mayhem. The 4-star Holyrood apartHOTEL Serviced Apartments Edinburgh just off The Royal Mile, giving you easy access to some of the most renowned Fringe venues.

The Edinburgh Collection has recently welcomed a new hotel to their eclectic portfolio of city centre properties – Haymarket Hub Hotel. Located directly opposite Haymarket Railway Station, it is in a prime location to explore Edinburgh and stay connected with the Fringe. Guests are treated to a free complimentary smartphone during their stay and will have access to Sky Sports, Sky Movies and Sky Entertainment in their rooms – for free.

Edinburgh in July 2017

Edinburgh in July 2017

Edinburgh July 2017

Things to do in Edinburgh this month

Festivals, music, markets, galleries and activities to keep you busy in July

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
(14 – 23 Jul)

Image result for edinburgh jazz and blues festival 2017

Getting Edinburgh’s festival season off to a swinging start, the Jazz & Blues Festival, The biggest of its kind in Britain, is sure to delight all those in attendance. This ever-growing festival has everything from big band favourites to skiffle, ragtime and freeform jazz on the menu at over 1000 shows that’ll make even the fringe blush.

Polar Extremes at Dynamic Earth
(1 Jul – 28 Aug)

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With the heat of summer, why not stay cool at Dynamic Earth. Their Polar Extremes exhibit is full of polar-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. Uncover a world of incredible experiences in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. Tour the amazing galleries, get your hands on a real iceberg and much more as part of your dynamic exploration of the coldest places on earth.

Edinburgh Food Festival
(26 – 30 Jul)

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Welcoming over 250,000 people last year, Edinburgh Food Festival returns for it’s third year celebrating the finest of Scotland’s food and drink. The festival takes place in George Square Gardens, where artisan producers and stallholders will fill the festival grounds while foodie talks, debates and demos will put the cherry on the top. It completely free to enter, you pay for food and events separately.

Edinburgh Art Festival
(27 Jul – 27 Aug)

Image result for edinburgh art festival 2017

Edinburgh Art Festival was founded in 2004 and it has quickly become the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art. Its aim is to bring together Edinburgh’s popular galleries, museums and artist-run spaces, alongside new public art commissions by established and emerging artists for an exciting programme of special events.

It’s Alive!
(1 Jul – 18 Sept)

Image result for its alive edinburgh

The Museum of Childhood displays a world of automation. Starring clockwork characters. In our cabinet of wonders, see forty astonishing automata from the last two centuries. Meet a beautiful musician who has long outlived her creator and a magician who performs his hundred-year-old tricks.

Also happening…



Edinburgh on Film

Edinburgh on Film

Edinburgh Film | The Edinburgh Collection


Where Hollywood meets Holyrood.

Edinburgh is known for its festivals. Most notably, the Fringe Festival. Every year millions of people come to the city throughout the month of August to experience the 70-year-old event. However, the fringe is not the only festival that draws a crowd to the city. Also taking place is the Book Festival and Military Tattoo in August, The Jazz and Blues Festival in July and the International Film Festival in June.

Edinburgh has always been a city that can captivate the tourists who walk down its cobbled streets or peer up at the century-old architecture. The city has a feeling of magic, an air that makes you wonder about the past and gets you curious about the future. So, it does not come as a surprise to know that Edinburgh has been the inspiration for many stories both on the page and on the screen.

To get you ready for the Edinburgh Internation Film Festival, here is a list of the films that use Edinburgh’s unique landscape, buildings and streets.

Trainspotting and T2

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Perhaps the most famous film ‘series’ based and filmed in Edinburgh. The film holds a special place in the hearts of Edinburgh residents as an almost claim to fame. When watching the iconic original film and the recent sequel, look out for the following places; Arthurs Seat, Regent Bridge, Old Town, Scottish Parliment, Forth Bridge and St Stephens Stockbridge.

The DaVinci Code

Image result for da vinci code edinburgh

Based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. Robert Howard directs Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in this page-to-screen adaptions. The film does not heavily feature Edinburgh. However, it does feature the often overlooked Rosslyn Chapel. The Chapel has its mysteries outside of the movie. Beneath the floor of Rosslyn is a massive underground vault, of which was sealed in 1690 and has remained that way ever since. Of course, as you would expect, there has been a lot of speculation as to what, or who lies within the vault.

Cloud Atlas

Tom Hanks returns to Edinburgh in this mind-bending sci-fi film. This film is an ambitious one in which the story spans five centuries. It is a complicated film to explain, even after viewing you will find yourself confused, yet satisfied. However, if you watch it for just one reason and one reason only. Make said reason Edinburgh. The city is used as a beautiful backdrop to the 19th century period where one of the characters climbs the Scott Monument daily to clear his mind.

(Old Waverley Hotel is the building on the left on the image above)

Sunshine on Leith

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Known as ‘McMamma’ Mia, Sunshine on Leith is a musical comedy that uses the songs of The Proclaimers, of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ fame. This film is perhaps the most Scottish on this list. Scottish actors, accents, music, setting, clothing and spirit. It is about the characters Davy and Ally, who must relearn how to live in Edinburgh after serving in Afghanistan. It is a ‘Feel-Fabulous Film’ to which Edinburgh is the perfect location.

One Day

Image result for one day

Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess star in this love story about two people from different strokes of life. It is based on the famous novel of the same name, written by David Nicholls. Edinburgh provides a lovely backdrop for the film, and you could argue that it even acts as a supporting character to the characters of Hathaway and Sturgess.

The 39 Steps

Hitchcocks ‘The 39 Steps’ being filmed by Arthurs Seat

A few adaptions of John Buchan’s novel have been made and set in Edinburgh. Most famously, however, is the film ‘The 39 Steps’ by the great Alfred Hitchcock. It is a universally praised film and has been named the 21st greatest British movie ever made, and in 2011 ranked it the second-best book-to-film adaptation of all time.

Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire | Film Edinburgh | The Edinburgh Collection
Eric Liddel (Ian Charleson) talks to Sybil Gordon (Alice Krige) at the foot of famous Edinburgh landmark, Arthurs Seat

This Oscar-winning historical drama about Scottish Olympic athlete, Eric Liddel. The film was released in 1981, but Edinburgh looks almost identical today as it does in the movie. The film follows Eric Liddel, a devout Christian who runs for God and thus refuses to compete on a Sunday and  Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.

The Railway Man

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View from Calton Hill in the film ‘The Railway Man.’

Colin Firth stars in this dramatic war film depicting the life of an Edinburgh-born Railway enthusiast turned POW. Edinburgh isn’t the movie’s main backdrop, no, that honour goes to Thailand, and it’s Burma Railway Line, also known as ‘Bridge of Death’. When Edinburgh is shown, you see the gorgeous views from Calton Hill (as pictured above) and of course, Waverley Railway Station.

Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel Studios | Avengers Infinity War | The Edinburgh CollectionSet Phots! (Left: Royal Mile, Centre Top: Spiderman on the castle, Centre Bottom: Green screen in Waverley Station. Right: Canongate stunt tests)

Anyone who was in Edinburgh throughout March/April 2017. You may have noticed Edinburgh become a huge film set. This was of course for the new film production of Marvel Studios billion dollar blockbuster film Avengers: Infinity War. Eagle-eyed fans may have spotted stars, Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlett Witch) around the city.

One photo that seemed to catch the attention of a lot was that of Tom Hollands Spider-Man atop the Castle. Perhaps preparing for an epic web-sling over the historic Old Town.

Better yet, the film is not just being filmed in Edinburgh. It is going to be set there. The sets were littered with Scottish props and odes to Edinburgh. So, once the movie is released, it should see a huge boom in tourism to the city.

Honourable Mention

Harry Potter Franchise.

Image result for harry potter edinburgh

While JK Rowling’s globally recognised stories about the young wizard Harry Potter were no set in Edinburgh and the films were not shot in the city. You can see when walking through the city, where she got the inspiration for her Wizarding World.

5 Things To Do In Edinburgh in June 2017

5 Things To Do In Edinburgh in June 2017

Things To Do in Edinburgh June 2017


Our picks of must-do activities in Edinburgh this month

June welcomes the start of summer, the longest day of the year. However, more excitedly, it marks the start of the festival season in Edinburgh. Which means, of course, there is plenty to do in and around the city.

Edinburgh International Film Festival
(21 June – 2 July)

Disney Pixar Cars 3 | The Edinburgh Collection

The Edinburgh International Film Festival was established in 1947, and it is renowned around the world for discovering, promoting and showcasing the very best in international and independent cinema. Some stars come to the Scottish capital to promote their respective films. So, keep your eyes peeled as you may catch a glimpse of  Holywood’s elite strolling down the cobbled streets of Edinburgh.

This year, Disney Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’ will be making it’s UK Premiere at the festival.

Also, If you’re into film, don’t miss Film Fest In The City: Open Air Cinema (16 – 18 Jun).

Let’s Circus! in the Grassmarket
(17 – 18 Jun)

Lets Circus | The Edinburgh Collection | June 2017

The Greater Grassmarket and the highly respected travelling circus school and performance company ‘Let’s Circus‘ will be bringing their acrobatic circus show to the Grassmarket, for free.

The event promises to be great fun for both adults and children alike. From 11.30 am until 3.30pm, the public can take part in the free circus school, learning activities such as Tightwire, trapeze, unicycle and acrobatics, and enjoy the comfort of the Outdoor Circus Ring.

Castle Street Summer Fair
(5 – 11 Jun)

Castle Street Summer Fair | The Edinburgh Collection | June 2017

Castle Street Summer Fair is filled with vibrant stalls offering high-quality, hand-made products from skin care to fashion, homewares, glassware, ceramics, woodcraft, jewellery and accessories, etc.

Edinburgh Whisky Festival
(17 Jun)

Whiskey Festival | June 2017

Edinburgh Whisky Festival is, once again, to be held in one of Edinburgh’s most iconic Georgian venues, The Assembly Rooms. Usually it a site that deals with banquets, weddings, conferences and film showings. On June 17, it will play host to Scotland’s most famous drink – whisky.

Royal Highland Show
(22 – 25 Jun)

Royal Highland Show | The Edinburgh Collection

The Royal Highland Show is one of Scotland’s most iconic events. This year it will be celebrating its 177th year. The Royal Highland Show lays its primary focus on showcasing the very best of farming food and rural life.

It promises to be a great day out for everyone of all ages. You will be able to get up close to the country’s top quality livestock, taste exceptional food & drink and experience rural living at its most vibrant.

Of course, that isn’t all. A few other notable happenings include;

The Best Ice Cream in Edinburgh

The Best Ice Cream in Edinburgh

Ice Cream | The Edinburgh Collection


Our guide of where to go for ice cream in Scotland’s capital city.

Finally, the sun is out – but probably not for long. So, we have streamlined your search for a delicious, refreshing ice-cream so that you can enjoy as much time as possible in the Scottish sun. You’re welcome.


Mary's Milk Bar | Ice Cream

Mary’s Milk Bar is one of those hidden gems that once you find it, you tell everyone about it. It is a Milk Bar that is reminiscent of the 1920’s – 1960’s with its simple, retro interior. It is an ice cream parlour which serves homemade gelato made from fresh and local ingredients, and the flavours frequently change depending on what ingredients are available.

We recommend: Milk Chocolate and Lavender Sundae


Taste of Italy | Ice Crea,

Serving one of the best freshly made Gelatos outside of Italy, It is surprising how few people know this favourite Italian cafe sells ‘Crema Gelato.’ You can enjoy your ice cream in a wafer cone, and you can tailor it to your particular sugary need, decorate it with sweets and chocolate and enjoy it as you walk around Edinburgh. Or, alternatively, go inside and enjoy one of their sundaes – If there is space, of course, it is known to get very busy.

We recommend: Italian Gelato in a cone, with sprinkles


You can easily get your sweet tooth fix with their ’18 classic and funky flavours.’  Or, in true Willy Wonka style, you can indulge by mixing one of their fifty chocolate bar options into a milkshake, hot waffles or an ice-cream.

We recommend: Raspberry Snowball Sundae


Affogato is a single spot where you can enjoy 18 classic and creative flavours of ice cream made fresh on the premises, using the highest quality ingredients and sourced locally where possible. Affogato is dog-friendly and even has a unique dog-only gelato, so your dog won’t feel left out.

We recommend: Two Scoop Vanilla Nutmeg Gelato


Located in a cute, restored Police Box in Edinburgh’s Old Town is Over Langshaw Ice Cream. Make a visit to enjoy delicious ice cream made at their Over Langshaw Farm in the heart of the Scottish Borders with fresh, vibrant ingredients.

We recommend: Rocky Royal Mile


5 Things to do in Edinburgh in May 2017

5 Things to do in Edinburgh in May 2017

Edinburgh In May | The Edinburgh Collection

5 things to do in Edinburgh in May 2017

Our picks of family friendly activities to do in the capital this month

With flowers in bloom and the sun creeping out, it would be easy to just walk around Edinburgh without ever noticing all the other events taking place. While that would be great, you would miss out on quite a lot as May promises to be an exciting month in Edinburgh, packed with plenty of family-friendly events. From cunning foxes to LEGO bricks, we have narrowed the many May happenings into 5 must-dos.

Fantastic Mr Fox
(15th – 20th May   |   Kings Theatre)

Edinburgh In May | Fantastic Mr Fox

The Roald Dahl classic has been a family favourite ever since it was published in 1970 and the 2009 Wes Anderson film captured the essence of the book and was a worthy adaption of the novel. Now, the classic story of a smart and witty fox is being adapted for the stage. This show promises to be family friendly fun at it’s finest, After all, this is Roald Dahl. So can it be anything less than fantastic?


The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial
(31st March – 3rd September   |   National Museum of Scotland)

Edinburgh In May | Egyptian Burial

Ancient Egypt has always played host to some of the most fascinating history. The Tomb is no exception. It was built in around 1290BC and was reused for over 1000 years!

The Tomb was constructed shortly after the reign of Tutankhamun, in the great city of Thebes. It was built for the Chief of Police and his wife. As you can imagine, with it being an Egyptian tomb, It was looted and reused several times. However, left behind was a collection of beautiful objects from various eras spanning those 100 years of the tomb. These objects will be displayed alongside objects found in nearby tombs, giving a sense of how burial in ancient Egypt changed over time.

Objects from this tomb and nearby tombs will be on display at the exhibition to give a sense of how Egyptian burial changed over time. It is often that the words education and fun are thrown into the same sentence, but this exhibit does promise to be a fun and educational day out for not just children but adults alike.


EdinBrick: LEGO Model Show
(20th May   |   Summerhall)

Edinburgh In May | LEGO

An event that celebrates the joys of LEGO, both creators and collectors will showcase the models of which they are most proud. There will also be areas for people to play with and experiment with LEGO.  The best part about this is not the fun of playing with LEGO, or the chance to see some fantasbrick displays. No, the best part is that all the profits go to Fairy Bricks, a charity that is brightening the lives of sick children through LEGO.


Festival Of Museums
(19th – 21st May   |   Numerous Locations)

Edinburgh In May | Festival of Museums

The festival of museums is, well, just that. It is a series of events taking place during both day and night. Including workshops, exhibits and even fashion shows. The events are hosted in museums, not just in Edinburgh, but all over Scotland.

However, Edinburgh museums specifically have announced a couple of their themes. On Saturday 19th May the City Art Centre will plan a day of creative workshops around the theme of ‘The Enchanted Garden’, whilst on Sunday 20th May the Museum of Edinburgh will hold an afternoon celebrating the music, food and costume of the 18th century.


Fair Trade Fiesta
(13th May   |   Royal Mile and Princes Street Gardens)

Edinburgh in May | Fair Trade

Fair Trade Fiesta is not for just select people, it is for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. The fiestas reason for being is to raise more awareness of World Fair Trade Day and, also, Scotlands recent renewal of Fair Trade Nation status and of the  Fair Trade Movement. It supports and makes others aware of its cause through a delightfully vivid Carnival Parade and an entertaining (and free) five-hour Concert with the renowned Red Hot Chilli Pipers headlining the event and a further 200+ performers.



Whisky Month

Edinburgh in May | Whisky Month

Whisky is Scotland’s national drink, and we love it so much that each year we dedicate a whole month to it! May is officially Whisky Month, with World Whisky Day on 20th May.

Pop into one of our hotels for a wee dram of whisky.

Also, don’t forget the following events this May;

Imaginate Children’s Festival – 27 May – 4 June:

European Rugby Challenge Cup Final – 13 May, Murrayfield:

Edinburgh Marathon Festival – 27-28 May:

The Ingliston Revival Festival – 13-14 May:

Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival – 26-28 May:

5 Things to do in Edinburgh (for the remainder of) this April

5 Things to do in Edinburgh (for the remainder of) this April

The Edinburgh Collection | 5 Things To Do In Edinburgh


Well, what’s left of it anyway.

While April may be drawing to a close, there is still plenty to do in Edinburgh. Whether you’re in Edinburgh with a partner, family or even by yourself, this list of activities and events will be sure to give your something to do during your visit.

Trad Fest   |   26th April  – 7th May

The Edinburgh Collection | Trad Fest
(Image Source: FolkLore Thursday)

‘TradFest Dùn Èideann’ is a vibrant twelve-day showcase of Scotland’s thriving traditional arts. As 2017 is the year of World Heritage, there will be special events taking place.

Beltane Fire Festival   |   30th April

The Edinburgh Collection | Beltane Fire Festival
(Image Source: The List)

Celebrate the first signs of summer with this fiery reimagining of the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane. and

The Adams Family   |   20th – 29th April
(Festival Theatre)

The Edinburgh Collection | The Addams Family
(Image Source: EdTheatres)

Everyone’s favourite kooky family are now on stage in this spectacular musical comedy as it makes its UK premiere in Edinburgh.

Monkey Business   |   Until 23rd April
(National Museum of Scotland)

The Edinburgh Collection | Monkey Business
(Image Source: National Museum Scotland)

Get up close and personal with our tree-swinging ancestors and discover all there is to know about the primate world at this family friendly event.

Athens of the North   |   Everyday

The Edinburgh Collection | Athens of the North

April celebrates World Heritage Day. With World Heritage Status, discover how Edinburgh became the Athens of the North.

The Best Edinburgh Gardens

The Best Edinburgh Gardens

The Edinburgh Collection | Edinburgh GardensEDINBURGH GARDENS…

…where the grass is greener

Edinburgh is famous for its beauty. It is known around the world for its intricate architecture and unique buildings and streets. You just need to take on look at Edinburgh’s Old Town to figure out why tourists are attracted to the stunningly, well-kept buildings.

However, an often overlooked attribute to Edinburgh’s beauty, are its many gardens.

Princes Street Gardens

Best Edinburgh Gardens | Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens is located in the centre of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, tucked between New Town and Old Town. It is listed in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland and has geological and botanical scientific interest. However, it hasn’t always been a beautiful public garden. No, you see, it has a dark past from when it was known as Nor’ Loch.

Princes Street Gardens is right opposite Old Waverley Hotel

Dr. Neil’s Garden

Edinburgh Gardens | Dr Neils Garden

Dr Neils Garden, or, Edinburgh’s Secret Garden as it is often referred to, is one of the most stunning gardens in Scotland today. It lays next to the lovely Duddingston Kirk at the foot of Arthurs Seat. You will spend hours admiring the care, dedication and imagination that comes with this garden.

Dr Neils Garden is at the foot of Arthurs Seat, near to Holyrood ApartHotel

Royal Botanic Gardens

Edinburgh Gardens | Royal Botanic Gardens

Dunbars Close

Edinburgh Gardens | Dunbar Gardens

Dunbar’s Close on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town is a hidden gem. The garden has been laid out in the style and character of a 17th-century garden.

Dunbar’s Close is located just off the famous Royal Mile which is a few minutes away from Holyrood ApartHotel

Malleny Gardens

Edinburgh Gardens | Malleny Gardens

Malleny Gardens is a hidden delight on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It plays host to a luscious 3-acre walled garden set in a landscape of woodland, with colourful herbaceous borders and collections of old roses. You will be able to surround yourself with clipped yew trees planted in the 17th Century along with delightfully scented flowers.

Malleny Gardens is located on the outskirts of Edinburgh. So, if you wish to visit, you will need to arrange transport.

If you’re staying at one of our hotels, we’ll be happy to help arrange this for you.

Shackleton’s lost whisky

Shackleton’s lost whisky

The Edinburgh Collection | Shackleton's Lost Whisky


The story of the spirited explorers once lost hundred-year-old whisky

There is nothing quite like the feeling of finding something valuable that you had previously considered lost, is there? We have all panicked and turned our homes upside down in search for that family heirloom or, for that loose change that slipped out of your pocket.

But this story is not one of loose change or priceless heirlooms. This, for us Scots, is about something much, much more valuable. Whisky.

In the winter of 2007, a team from the New Zealand Antartic Heritage Trust were trying to restore Shackleton’s old hut in the Antarctic. While they were hard at work, in the harsh, unforgiving climate, they found something. Something that none of them would ever have expected to find. The team had accidentally discovered five cases of hundred-year-old McKinelay whisky, belonging to the famed adventurer Shackleton himself. The strange thing was, these cases of whisky were buried apart from the other food and drink rations. So, it is a popular belief that Shackleton was saving them for a celebration. But, why would he leave them behind? Again, it is assumed that in 1909, when Shackleton and his crew were attempting to reach the South Pole, a harsh storm interrupted their challenging, courageous quest. Forcing them to abandon their celebratory whisky, and like loose change, it was thought to be lost for good.

Shackletons Crew
Shackleton’s Crew -From left: Frank Wild, Ernest Shackleton, Dr Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams. (image source: Wikipedia)

To find the actual whisky of one of the most famous explorers and real man’s man is one thing, to taste it? A whole other experience. Luckily, and remarkably, this was made possible via extracting the whisky. Which, was no easy task. As inevitably, ice had got into the cases, leaving some bottles broken. There was worry that some of the corks could have come into contact with the alcohol, which would have caused it to degenerate. Whyte & MacKay, who bought the Mackinlay, managed to retrieve a sample of the whisky with a syringe and with that the hundred-year-old sample, they were able to find out the ingredients of Shackleton’s chosen whisky and, replicate it.

Unsurprisingly, Whyte & Mackay had a massive

wave of publicity as many Shackleton fans, and Whisky fans eagerly anticipated the release of the whisky. The master blender of the distillery described the find as “a gift from the heavens”.

Shackletons Whisky
Shackleton’s hundred-year-old whisky (image: NYT)

Only a few people got to taste the whisky as it was only re-released as a very-limited-edition. Which left many asking the question “What did it taste like?” Well, “Cold.” Yes, that was one of the official descriptions of the important, hundred-year-old spirit of a famed adventurer.

Did you know that Ernest Shackleton once lived in one of the townhouses that now makes up Channings Hotel? We have kept some of the original decors and have memorabilia around the hotel.

You can stay in his old townhouse by booking one of our Shackleton Suites

#WordPoetryDay – Scotlands Best Poets

#WordPoetryDay – Scotlands Best Poets



Scotland boasts some of the finest poets in the world, and we know it. Few countries celebrate their writers and poets in the way that Scotland does theirs. Sir Walter Scott has a massive Gothic-Esque monument in the centre of Edinburgh, and Robert Burns has ‘Burns Night’ – a night where not only Scotland but a significant portion of the world celebrate the Scottish poet and his culture.

Edinburgh Collection | Scott Monument
The Scott Monument towering over Princes Street

There are, as you might gather, a lot of great Scottish poets, and all of them are talented and influential in their own talented and creative way, so it is nearly impossible to rank them, at all. So, to compromise, we have listed our five favourites, based on who believe to be the most influential and time-honoured.

Sir Walter Scott

Edinburgh Poets | Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walker Scott (image source: Wikipedia)

Sir Walter Scott is well known for his ‘Waverley Novels’. These novels were, for nearly a century, among the most popular and most widely read books in all of Europe.

As well as being a prolific writer around the globe, he was also a prominent member of the ‘Tory’ establishment in Edinburgh. Sir Walter Scott, additionally, was a very active member of the Highland Society and served as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1820 – 1832.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” – Sir Walter Scott.


His monument is located right opposite the Old Waverley Hotel, book a room with a view

Robert Burns

Edinburgh Poets | Robert Burns
Robert Burns (image source: Wikipedia)

Robert Burns is one, of few poets to have a dedicated night named after him. On Burns Night or Burns Supper, people around the world indulge in Scottish produce and practice the culture. Bagpipes are played, kilts are worn, and poems are read.

Burns is commonly referred to as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. But ‘Rabbie’ wasn’t just any old poet, no, far from it. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement and even after his death, he continued to inspire. He is cited as being a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism.

Perhaps his most famous poem is one that many people don’t even know is penned by this Scottish icon. ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is the song that many adults drunkenly sing as the clock bells ring out, welcoming the New Year.

Suspense is worse than disappointment.” – Robert Burns.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Edinburgh Poets | Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson (image source: Wikipedia)

Robert Louis Stevenson is perhaps best known for his Shilling Shocker entitled ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ inspired by infamous Edinburgh resident, Deacon Brodie. Or his children’s book ‘Treasure Island’. But he also tried his hand, as most writers do, at poetry.

Robert Louis Stevenson was a literary celebrity during his lifetime, and he now ranks as the 26th most translated author in the world. His works were the objects of admiration by other literary greats such as fellow Edinburgh resident Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes and literary heavy-weight (in two senses of the word) Ernest Hemingway.

It was said that Stevenson “seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins.”

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


Stevenson’s house is located just a few streets away from The Howard hotel, book your stay in literary history.

Liz Lochhead

Edinburgh Poets | Liz Lochhead
Liz Lochhead (image source: Scottish Poetry Library)

Liz Lochhead was the Makar or National Poet of Scotland between the years 2011 and 2016. She is perhaps best known for her writing style, ‘Scots English’. She sometimes even writes in plain Scots.

She is one of few remaining authentic, traditional Scottish poets, and despite her time in Canada and New York, she remained proud of her heritage and didn’t change her voice or her message.

“If aw his hums and haws were hams and haggises, the country wad be weel fed!” – Liz Lochhead

Alison Cockburn

Edinburgh Poets | Alison Cockburn
Alison Cockburn (image source: Electric Scotland)

Alison Cockburn was more than just a famous poet. She was a socialite known for her sense of intelligent humour. During the 18th-century, during the enlightenment in Edinburgh, Cockburn collated an impressive circle of friends including two Scottish poets Walter Scott and Robert Burns and also, the prolific Scottish philosopher David Hume.

She was an indefatigable letter-writer and a composer of parodies, squibs, toasts and “character sketches”, which, back then, was a favourite form of composition.

I’ve seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling, I’ve felt all its favours and found its decay” – Alison Cockburn