The world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival kicks into action as of the 3 August, transforming the city in to a hub of artistic activity and filling the most unlikely of venues and spaces with anything that could be deemed as art. But, what if you’re there and you feel like you’ve had your fill of theatre? Well, here are 5 quick suggestions by Swide of what to do…
1) Malt Whisky tasting (drinking) –
Well, you are in Scotland after all and, when most people think of this country, the thought of Malt Whisky is never far from the mind. Now, we’re not suggesting an afternoon bender on the good stuff, no, but rather a more sophisticated approach in a sumptuous surrounding. We’re talking about number 28 Queen Street, a street famed for its views of the Firth and Forth waters, and this is where The Scotch Malt Whisky Society reside. Now, we usually like to point out the unknown here, on Swide, but this cannot be overlooked. During the Fringe Festival the SMWS host their Fringe Festival Bursts of Flavour Tastings, an event that invites those in Edinburgh during the month of August to drop on in for the opportunity to savour the flavour of two exclusive Society single cask malts, which are also paired with Scottish beer and food suggestions. Yeh, we thought that’d be your kind of thing.
2) The Royal Oak for old pub vibes and Scottish music
If the thought of the Malt Whisky is tempting but you want your surrounding to come with a bit more grit, then look no further than The Royal Oak pub. This waterhole made a name for itself over the years with its penchant for live music, entertaining the locals and inviting visitors in to the warm environment, too. They also join in on the Fringe activities and host the Free Fringe, letting the acts that they have onstage entertain the punters with folk-based musicians, setting the perfect mood to share a couple of beers and malts with friends and family. There is no denying that this pub is crammed with customers and getting a table requires a lot of patience but it is more than worth a visit. Check it out below.
3) Edinburgh’s Underground City tour
If you are in the city looking for a spot of drama, then you are in the right place. Edinburgh is known for its festivals and vibrancy as much as it is for it haunted corners, and none more so than the famous and terribly eerie underground city. There are many touring groups who take ghost hunters on a tour that they’ll never forget, one in particular is conducted by Black Hart Entertainment and their tour of the Underground City has caught the attention of critics, noting it as one of the best. They will take you into the legendary underground city, telling the tales of those that lived down there in misery and recalling stories of those that are believed to haunt the dank, dark corridors of this underworld. If you are looking for a thrill that doesn’t involve throwing yourself off waterfalls or risking it all for a laugh, then a tour of the underground city is a must do. Some here at Swide have done it before and said that it took them weeks to forget the stories they were told.
4) Dunbar’s Close Garden – Secret spots
Well, ok, it’s not actually that secret but it is easy to miss, and if you do miss it you’ll kick yourself. This little treasure is found in the heart of the city, just of the Royal Mile, down the road from Canongate and tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This 17 Century secret garden are the beautifully kept (after it was revived in the 1970s) and were the property of Sir Patrick Geddes, who lived on the Royal Mile at the time. The importance of the garden, for him, came through his research and the connection between health and the environment; he wanted to create a network of gardens across the city, with Dunbar Close being one. Yes, occasional tour groups pass through the grounds but they hang around for a few minutes. If you’re looking for a moment’s peace, then we suggest you arm yourself with a book and head on over to this little secret and while a few hours away from the buzz of the city.
It can be found off Canongate on Dunbars Close.
5) Cabaret Voltaire - Music venue extraordinaire
Ok, so this kind of defeats the object as it can be found on the Fringe Festival circuit, but Swide is writing about it due to how celebrated and favoured this venue is above many that Edinburgh has on offer. It’s basically a cave and a spot to go to when you’re in the mood to share space with unknowns and get chatting over a few drinks with whoever you find yourself sharing a table with. During the day the coffee crowd are found, discussing everybody’s business but their own (well, ok an exaggeration) and then the coffee is traded for cocktails as the evening hours roll on in. Supporting and revelling in home grown talent, Cab Vol is a great spot to catch some live music in a relaxed/energetic environment. A must go-to, when in the city.
For more about the actual Fringe Festival, click below:
Written by Ben Taylor