Beyond the lights and laughter - Edinburgh amongst the Fringe!
Image Credit: St. James Quarter

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is now hitting the halfway mark for this year and although limited it is still the place to be for any up and coming performer and production. However, it’s not just the shows that we are excited about, and if you’re looking for things to fill up the time between shows then look no further.

Nestled at the bottom of the Royal Mile sits Arthur’s Seat. Once an active volcano, the summit now lies extinct and visitors can walk up to the top of the trail in less than two hours to experience the panoramic views of the Scottish capital. Arthur’s Seat is also believed to be the site of Camelot - the famous castle and court of King Arthur and the knights of the round table.

At the heart of the Old Town is the Royal Mile, hosting a variety of shops, restaurants and history up and down the strip from Holyrood House and the Scottish Parliament building (in the east) to Edinburgh Castle (in the west). The Royal Mile is the hotspot for finding what show to see next or just to be surrounded by the Festival buzz. Be sure to keep your eye out for the occasional bagpiper and street performer near St. Giles' Cathedral.

It 's easy to get peckish when on the go but don’t worry, there is plenty of street food around the city. Stop off at Teviot by Potterrow for a delicious 'wild burger' at Screaming Peacocks or the Pleasance Courtyard for a traditional stone baked pizza at Fire & Dough. If they haven’t caught your attention, check out MultiStory where The Pitt Market is offering Mexican street food. Vegan and Vegetarian offers may differ.

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? With the newly opened St. James Quarter, you can pass the time and 'shop until you drop' until your next show. With over 50 stores, there is something for everyone from the Lego Shop to Calvin Klein to John Lewis - it is too easy to get lost inside the shopping mall. The Quarter is based at the top of Leith Walk but if you can’t find it don’t worry, just look out for what's become known as the massive golden turd in the sky.

Finally, no visit to Edinburgh is complete without a trip to Dean Village. This former hamlet is situated 10 minutes from Princess Street and was rightfully known as the 'Water of Leith Village' due to the Leith Water flowing through the centre of the village. The town was most notable for its grain mining for over 800 years but is now visited for its original architecture and stunning aesthetics that are a photographer's dream.

Edinburgh is truly a wee gem in Scotland. With a rich history and strong appeal to visitors all over the world, it is no wonder that the capital is the host of the biggest arts festival in the world. What are you waiting for? Come explore Edinburgh, watch a show (or two) and enjoy what Scotland’s capital has to offer.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now