While we’re never not dreaming about the likes of Bali and the Caribbean, far-flung getaways aren’t always possible. Maybe you have budget constraints, or time constraints (or, if you’re like me, both), but whatever your reason for looking into a staycation this summer, then Edinburgh is the place to go.
The Scottish capital is magical all year round, but during the summer months the city welcomes sunshine and world-famous festivals, and its rooftop bars, beer gardens, and expansive parks really come alive. Research conducted by Expedia found that last year, Edinburgh was the most visited destination for British travellers within the UK outside London, and this doesn’t surprise me one bit.
Edinburgh is the staycation to end all staycations, but if you still need convincing, here are five reasons to make a trip this summer.
1. The festivals are world class
Summer is a time for festivals, and Edinburgh is known for them. For starters, the city is home to the world’s biggest arts festival – the Fringe – which takes place every August. With thousands of performances spanning over more than 20 days, from comedy to plays to spoken word poetry, the Fringe needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.
But it’s not all about the Fringe, as the city welcomes other arts and culture festivals that should be on your radar. The Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place in June and is always packed with screenings, showcasing the best in film (past premieres have included Pulp Fiction and Back to the Future). Meanwhile, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival takes place in July and the book festival happens in August alongside the Fringe.
2. The rooftop bars and beer gardens are dreamy
Edinburgh has become increasingly known, loved and Instagrammed for its outdoor drinking spots. Check out the beer gardens at The Cumberland Bar and Sheep’s Heid, and enjoy an Aperol Spritz (or three) on the rooftop terraces of SKYbar and Cold Town House.
3. There’s so much green open space
The Meadows make the perfect place for a picnic on a warm day, and there’s always such a buzz in the air there, particularly on weekends. If you’re feeling less prosecco-in-the-sun and more active-and-ready-to-go, then explore the 650 acre Holyrood Park, which is also home to Arthur’s Seat and, on a sunny day, incredible panoramic views.
4. It’s easy to get to
Unlike some destinations, Edinburgh is super easy to get to and you can even go for just a short weekend if that’s all you have time for. You can get there from most places in the UK by train, and regular flights go from London, Cardiff and Bristol airports to name a few. Companies like Expedia can do the package of flights with great hotels or apartments too, which not only makes life easier when booking but also saves money in the process.
5. The beach is within easy reach
If you can’t decide between a city or seaside break, then Edinburgh has the best of both worlds. Once you’re there, you can take a 15-minute bus to Portobello, a seaside town which is fondly referred to as ‘Porty Beach’ among locals, complete with a long promenade. Ice cream is optional, but strongly recommended.
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