25 Aug 16 / Edinburgh
Edinburgh – a city for all seasons
A city so beautiful…
Do you have a soft spot for Edinburgh? If so, you’re in very good company indeed. Scotland’s glamorous capital city is admired by millions of visitors from all over the world each year, as well as featuring in countless movies, novels, TV series, poems and songs.
And if you’ve never been to Edinburgh, then prepare for a city experience that is among the very best the UK has to offer. For an idea of what to expect when you get to know this unique metropolis, one of the most famous quotes about Edinburgh is perhaps also one of the most evocative:
"This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again."
These words belong to the acclaimed novelist Alexander McCall Smith, and so impressed were the city’s leaders that those same words are now carved in stone within the ultra-modern Atria business development not far from the city centre.
Edinburgh at any season
Each year, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Festival Fringe bring so many people to the city that its population is rumoured to double during the month of August. Whether or not it’s actually the case that Edinburgh’s population doubles, it certainly gets twice as busy during Festival time – and the atmosphere is really exciting, with creativity, fun and festive vibes filling the city’s picture-perfect streets.
But while the Festival rightly grabs a lot of media and press attention, don’t overlook the city outside of August. Edinburgh makes for an equally amazing city to visit no matter the time of year – and with a backdrop like this, the seasons never felt so good…
In winter, Edinburgh offers a whole lot to enjoy – the popular Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has grown over time to become arguably the UK’s best-regarded New Year event, offering a brilliant torchlight procession, a street party plus a programme of ceilidhs and concerts. The famous Concert in the Gardens takes place every December 31st in the dramatic space below an illuminated Edinburgh Castle and in the past has headlined with an incredible array of acts including Pet Shop Boys, Kasabian, Primal Scream, and Blondie. Get in early if you want tickets for the Concert in the Gardens, though – the event has been a sell-out more often than not over the past few years.
Edinburgh’s many beautiful parks, gardens and other green spaces give it an extra layer of attraction in springtime. And one of the most stunning is the Royal Botanic Garden. Situated within easy reach of the city centre and awash with colours of springtime, time spent in the Botanics is always time well spent and sure to capture your imagination. Spring is also when the Edinburgh International Science Festival takes place – offering a wide choice of sensational science events and talks for people of all ages. Rainy day? Check out the National Museum of Scotland whose exhibitions are extensive enough to absorb your attention for hours at a time.
In summer, options for things to do in Edinburgh seem virtually never-ending. Find a café in the shade somewhere around the historic Old Town and watch the world go by. Hire a bicycle and head over the Forth Bridge to the Kingdom of Fife. Or go to the beach – yes – just a few miles from the grandeur of Princes Street, Edinburgh suddenly becomes a seaside town, with its very own two-mile long sandy beach.
Come autumn, and Edinburgh’s in its element – yet again. It’s a breathtaking sight to see the different shades of golden brown leaves on the trees in Princes Street Gardens. And the Castle high above, nudging a blue September sky. Take a wander around town and see the city in the enchanting autumn light as the afternoon fades and city lights up like no other. Could there be a better time than autumn to stand on the Castle Esplanade and look out across this uniquely beautiful city, with it's shifting light, changing skies and sudden vistas?
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