If you’ve still got a free weekend this month and fancy a cultural staycation, hotfoot it up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Each year in August the Scottish capital plays host to thousands of performers from around the world, with celeb fans of the event including Keira Knightley, Charlize Theron and Jude Law. Whether you’re interested in music, theatre, dance, comedy, food or books, there are a whopping seven different festivals to choose from (tip: pack some flat shoes as you'll be scaling the city to catch them all).
In addition, this year is being marked with Homecoming, a series of events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. KT Tunstall, Johnny Borrell, Samantha Morton and Gillian Anderson, who all cut their teeth at the Fringe, are returning there this year in honour of the occasion.
There are thousands of shows to choose from, but we recommend Sarah Millican’s Typical Woman stand-up show at the Pleasance, the uber-cool dance troupe Avant Garde in Spectrum at C Venue and a modern version of Carmina Burana at St. Andrew's and St. George's Church. Also, if you can get a ticket, the Tattoo at the castle is a bagpipe spectacular, otherwise you can’t beat the buzz of the Royal Mile, which leads you down the hill through a throng of noisy actors and musicians performing snippets from their shows.
For accommodation, if you’re splashing out get a room at the Sheraton Hotel with a castle view, or at least pay a visit to it’s heavenly urban One Spa, which boasts an outdoor thermal pool – perfect for relaxing in after a day spent pottering around the city’s cobbled streets.
The Edinburgh Festival runs from 7 to 31 August
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For more information on visiting Edinburgh, see Visit Scotland or call the national booking and information line on 0845 22 55 121
By Lucy Pavia