As festival fatigue sets in, we asked Visitor Assistant Sinead Leach for some recommendations for places to find some peace and quiet during Edinburgh’s busiest month.
Edinburgh in August, bustling in creativity, full of energy, and sometimes… Well sometimes it’s all a bit much. If you’ve found yourself craving a quiet place to relax, then look no further. Your Edinburgh oasis is just around the corner.
This list could never be complete without mentioning the Botanic gardens. This is easily my favourite place in the city, and is the perfect place to take stock and recover from your festival fatigue. With excellent views over the city, glasshouses to transport you to the tropics on a rainy day, and 70 acres to explore, the Botanics have it all. Plus, it’s free. Plus, this summer they’ve even got an exhibit on peatland. Turns out peat isn’t only good for creating those lovely smoky whiskies! All this is less than 30 minutes’ walk from the city centre. Did I mention that I love the Botanics?
Let’s face it, Edinburgh weather can be pretty unpredictable. Luckily, you can take shelter from both the weather and the crowds in the city’s excellent galleries. The National Gallery, on Princes Street, is super conveniently located. If you venture a little bit further, you can find your way to the Portrait Gallery or the Modern Art Galleries. If you’re a really passionate art lover, you can always hit all the galleries in one day, and hitch a lift on the Gallery bus. The cherry on the cake has to be the excellent cafes at each gallery (see what I did there?)
Hit the Hills
Head out to the Southern outskirts of Edinburgh and you’ll find the Pentland hills. With just a sturdy pair of shoes, a rain coat, and a packed lunch, the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh will soon be a thing of the past. Just add a hipflask, and you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect day out. Don’t worry about needing a car either, Edinburgh’s buses can easily rise to this challenge.
Edinburgh’s Other Castles
Don’t get me wrong, I love Edinburgh Castle, it’s an unmissable part of any visit to Edinburgh. But if you’re looking for a quieter spot, then you may want to consider one of Edinburgh’s other castles. Head to Lauriston Castle, perfectly preserved since it was given to the city in 1926 and with beautiful grounds. Alternatively, any history lover will appreciate the mediaeval ruins of Craigmillar Castle.
The Scotch Whisky Experience
Here at the Scotch Whisky Experience, we’re very fortunate to be situated right next door to Edinburgh Castle, and to be host to thousands of visitors every week. This may not seem the best recipe for a quiet morning, but if you’re looking to avoid queues and crowds, why not book onto a Morning Masterclass. The smaller group sizes, and extended time to quiz your expert guide, make this the most relaxed way to unleash your inner whisky geek.
…and finally, if all else fails, do as the locals do and seek refuge in the pub!
Photos courtesy of:
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
The Scotch Whisky Experience