Edinburgh Summer Activities

By Viator, May 2013

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Summer is festival season in Edinburgh and the city becomes a melting pot of visitors from all over the world, but with so many people and so much to do, it’s hard to know where to begin. To get you started, here are a few ideas for things to do in Edinburgh in summer.

1. Hit the Beach

Edinburgh’s surrounding Lothian coastline boasts a range of beaches that come alive in the summer months, as locals and tourists head out of the city to the nearby seaside resorts. Pack your swimmers and head to the Victorian beach resort of Portobello, with its cool waters and idyllic seafront promenade; catch some waves at the surf hotspot of Belhaven; tee up for a game of golf on one of the 2 courses at Gullane; or get a dramatic view over the Bass Rock and the mighty Firth of Forth from North Berwick beach.

2. Get festival fever

Summer in Edinburgh is dominated by festivals, the largest of which is the month long Edinburgh International Festival and its sister festival the Edinburgh Fringe Festival held throughout August. The world’s largest arts festival is an umbrella for a host of music, theater, comedy, dance and art festivals, workshops and events, drawing thousands of visitors from all around the world. Whether you’re looking to watch household name acts, discover upcoming talent or enjoy the many free events on offer, there’s truly something for everyone. If that’s not enough entertainment for you, there’s also the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the traditional Royal Highland Show in June, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, and the legendary Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a music and dance pageant held in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle.

3. Make the most of the sun

Edinburgh’s summers are notoriously temperamental, but when the sun does shine, locals waste no time in swarming to the city’s parks. Get a view from the peak of Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill, two of Edinburgh’s famous seven hills; relax in the terrace gardens of the Royal Botanical Gardens; join the sunbathers at the Meadows Park; or head to Edinburgh Zoo to watch the renowned Penguin Parade.

Contributed by Zoe Smith

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