It’s absolutely no surprise that a significant number of tourists coming to Scotland choose Edinburgh as their primary destination and don’t venture outside the city boundary. However, some don’t realise the rest of the country has a great deal more to offer and it’s not all in other cities or the Highlands and Islands. There are places on Edinburgh’s doorstep where you can stroll on a beach, enjoy the breeze on a canal boat, walk through the ruins of a 15th century place, eat lobsters and chips on a quayside or explore the Scottish hills. Take your pick…
We love Edinburgh all year round but spring can be a fantastic time to see the city at its best. Here are some reasons why we think spring is the perfect time to visit Edinburgh…
It’s actually quite sunny!
March, April and May are some of the sunniest months in Edinburgh with the least rainfall. There may be a winter chill in the air but spring is definitely one of the best seasons to get out and explore the cities streets and parks.
The city is in full bloom
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Spring is one of the rare occasions to see Edinburgh’s beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Take a walk through the Meadows and enjoy a flurry of pink petals in the sunshine.
It’s not too busy
Spring is still well before the mega tourist influx August so you can enjoy the city’s best attractions without having to queue (as much).
There is plenty to do
The International Science Festival, the Hidden Door Festival and World Whisky Day all take place before the summer months arrive.
And lastly… you can see the spectacular Beltane Fire Festival
The Beltane Fire Festival event takes place every year on the 30th April and celebrates the beginning of the summer season. This ancient Gaelic pagan tradition involves dazzling fire displays and (probably quite cold) painted performers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle!
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New on our blog, our May Queen greets the community with a beautiful poem (link in bio), which depicts the goddess's fierce protectiveness over the earth at this year's Beltane Fire Festival. Photo by Vince Graham for @beltanefiresociety #beltanefirefestival #beltane2019 #fire #festival #firefestival #bonfire #edinburgh #igedinburgh #celtic #heritage #scotland #volunteers #summerfestival #mayday #theatre #poem #poetry
Picture by Laura Billings
Once you have decided to learn English or improve your existing skills, it can be difficult to choose where to study. Whilst the UK is the perfect place to learn, there are many cities to pick from, each with different qualities to offer. Here are just a few reasons why we think Edinburgh is the best choice:
1. You can practice your English with Edinburgh’s friendly native speakers.
The people of Scotland have a reputation for being friendly, and Edinburgh is no exception. If you learn English in Edinburgh, you will have plenty of opportunities to speak with many native speakers on a daily basis
2. It’s cheaper than London.
Cost of living index, Expatistan.com, estimates that the cost of living is currently around 30% cheaper in Edinburgh than in London (with housing 39% more expensive and transport 47% more)
3. There are excellent employment opportunities in Edinburgh.
It has the UK’s 2nd and Europe’s 6th largest financial sector and is home to a range of multinational companies across several industries. In fact, Edinburgh is the second highest-paying city to work in the UK, according to a recent survey carried out by MoneySupermarket.com
4. It has a rich cultural heritage
Because Edinburgh is such an interesting city, there is a higher incentive to go out and learn about it whilst practicing your English at the same time
5. It is a well-connected city
With easy access through road, rail, sea or air with many international and connecting flights arriving and departing every day from Edinburgh airport.
6. It’s easy to get around once you’re here.
In fact, you can travel almost anywhere in the centre of Edinburgh by walking. Otherwise, you can travel by bus through the city’s frequent and well-connected network or by bicycle on the city’s cycle paths which include traffic-free routes.
7. It has a large student community.
Once you are here, you will be able to meet many like-minded people and practice your English with new friends.
8. It’s Britain’s safest city.
According to a recent poll by YouGov, with 86% of those surveyed praising its “safe and secure” streets.
9. Edinburgh is a “City of Literature”
and was the first place in the world receive this title from UNESCO. Many classic and modern works have been set or written in Edinburgh, not to mention the Harry Potter Series, so you will have plenty of opportunities to visit the places you are reading about.
10. Edinburgh is a top choice for film fans.
As well as the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the city is home to some great independent cinemas such as the Cameo, Filmhouse and Dominion which show a wide variety of films from around the world. It’s also a coveted destination for filmmakers and some movies which have been filmed in and around Edinburgh include “Trainspotting”, “One Day”, “The Da Vinci Code”, “Chariots of Fire”, “The 39 Steps” and “One Day”. The feature-length animated film, “The Illusionist” was also set in Edinburgh
11. It has a great nightlife.
In Edinburgh’s city centre, you can find everything from traditional pubs serving local craft beers to glamorous cocktail bars and energetic nightclubs. When the festival comes in August, the nightlife in Edinburgh varies even more with the opening of open-air bars and temporary theatres but there are still plenty of opportunities for night-owls to go out and meet new people all year round
12. It is the top destination for visitors to Scotland
and Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most visited attraction. It is also very easy to access the rest of Scotland from Edinburgh by train or car, so it’s a great place to be if you are interested in exploring the rest of the country.
13. It is home to the largest arts festival in the world.
Every year in August, Edinburgh’s population doubles as it hosts thousands of performers and visitors during a number of festivals which take place during this time. At other times of the year, you can find many other festivals and events based around music, film, literature and dance.
14. Edinburgh is the happiest city in the UK.
According to a 2014 survey by the Office for National Statistics. It is believed that this is partly due to the high average salary and a below-average cost of living compared with the rest of the UK. Personally, we think it’s due to the friendly people, beautiful scenery and countless things to do!
15. Edinburgh is “the UK’s favourite city”
as voted for by readers of the British newspapers, The Guardian and The Observer. In fact, it has held this title for 13 consecutive years.
The face of Edinburgh changes with every season. In winter, you can rediscover the city in a whole new light. After last night’s snowfall, we were happy to wake up this morning to a blanket of snow, a big blue sky and bright sunshine.
Scottish winter is beautiful!
Here is a selection of 17 beautiful pictures of Edinburgh under the snow:
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Up the Hill. #Photo by Paul. #Edinburgh #thisisedinburgh #edinphoto #edinburghlife #igersoftheday #igersedinburgh #igersscotland #fujix #insta_scot #EdinburghSnow #Scotspirit #Scottish #Scotland #xpro2 #fujifilm #fujiholics #bnw_greatshots #fujifilmglobal @stockbridgeedinburgh Come and say hello at… w & blog: www.henni.photo fb: www.facebook.com/henni.photo
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Happy St Andrew's Day from frosty Edinburgh ❄️ Did you know, the tradition of celebrating Scotland's patron saint St Andrew on November 30th was actually started by a group of Scottish immigrants in South Carolina?! . . . #standrewsday #belikestandrew #scotland #edinburgh #edinburgholdtown #pentlands #pentlandhills #winter #edinburghsnow #coldedinburgh #snowcappedmountains #snowypentlands #winterwonderland #edinburghschristmas #thisisedinburgh #scotspirit #visitscotland #igersedin #igersedinburgh #discoveredinburgh #fcapartments #edinburghlife #lovescotland #edinburghbloggers #scottishbloggers
It’s a well-known fact that the City of Edinburgh offers an abundance of festivals all year long to its citizens and countless tourists and May is no exception. A couple of weeks ago, the Leith-situated Biscuit Factory welcomed the second annual Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival. And it delivered!
The London-based company is all about promoting and celebrating modern beer culture: with some 40 different breweries, around 3,500 visitors over three days, music, DJs and incredible street food, the key word of the weekend was: “discovery”. The organiser, Greg Wells, tells it himself in the preliminary note to this year’s magazine: “Please feel free to try everything on offer. You are a kid in a sweet shop”. … And try, we did!
With the sunny weather on our side, we entered the festival with smiles on our faces, received our wristbands, magazines and glasses, and boldly made our way into the amazing venue. Take a look at the pictures and videos below for a sneak peak of what was on.
For those who missed this year’s festival, do not despair; the Edinburgh Craft Beer festival WILL be back in June 2019! In the meantime, for the most impatient of you, you can still get tickets for this summer’s London Craft Beer Festival (3rd-5th August). Hurry up before they are all gone!
If there’s one thing Scotland does well… it’s road trips! Stunning coastal routes, scenic mountain drives, and open, endless landscapes that create an awe-inspiring atmosphere – the sights you’ll see are out of this world!
When touring Scotland by car, your route can be as long or a short as you like – it’s completely up to you. Follow a dedicated driving route, such as the North Coast 500, which takes miles-upon-miles of northerly coastal points, iconic locations and pretty Highland towns and villages. Or make it up as you go along and create your own route, stopping off to explore the landscapes whenever you please. Travel through various regions over a week or two, or a few small towns and villages over a weekend, both will leave you itching to come back for more.
In Scotland, we have 12 National Tourist Routes that are spread across the country taking in all the scenic sights you could hope for, from glittering lochs in Argyll and the sparkling coastline of Fife, to the rugged landscapes of the Highlands and the enchanted forests of Perthshire.