Five on a Friday – Places to escape the crowds during the Edinburgh Festival.

Dunbar's Close Gardens

Dunbar’s Close Gardens – Edinburgh © Rhiannon Connelly 2009

Although, obviously not if you all go at once !

Edinburgh seemed to get busy and buzzy even earlier this year, with the Homecoming events at the end of  July. And apparently even the Fringe is kicking off earlier this year. Lovely as it is, sometimes you just want to escape the crowds for a little while.

Despite being a capital city, in Edinburgh you don’t need to look too  far to find a tranquil corner. Even on the Royal   Mile you can find quiet spots, my favourite of these is  Dunbar’s Close  Gardens – a place I have taken a lot of Polaroids during the last few years at different times of year.

Take a bus down hill from the New Town and you can reach the Botanic Gardens. There are ususally a few festival performances taking place here as well – but this is still a good place for a peaceful walk.

If you want a longer walk you could tackle part of the Water of Leith. ( If you really want to get away from the crowds you could walk the whole thing , from Balerno to Leith) – but a smaller section is also easy to do as there are many points where you can join the path.   If you’d like a little extra information about this route ( as well as many other great Edinburgh walks), then hot off the press is a “Historic Walking Guides – Edinburgh”  which launches this month but is currently available here.

If you’re looking for a bit of sea air as well , then head down to Portobello. A long promenade and sandy stretch with a couple of places for coffee. As well as lovely Turkish Baths.

And finally, right in the heart of the New Town, in Charlotte Square a  favourite spot of mine is the tea room in the National Trust for Scotland Headquarters – particularly right through to the back and into the little hidden courtyard. Even when the book festival is in full swing across the road this cafe can be a great little escape. Sadly this building is now for sale, so go here while you still can !


3 thoughts on “Five on a Friday – Places to escape the crowds during the Edinburgh Festival.

  1. oh and I’d add the cafe at the Book Festival in Charlotte Square… rather nice to sit with one of their cupcakes and coffees (v nice coffee from Green Mountain)

  2. I am really excited because I’ve just been looking at a Scottish National Trust mag(My mum passes them on) and there you are mentioned in the gallery news. ‘I know her’ I said, she bought one of my brooches.
    It was an old mag from ‘Spring 2009’ so I know its over now. I hope it was a great success.
    I had a look through your blog and saw you mentioned Thassos. I went to a village near Kavala years ago and always fancied going to Thassos. Do you recommend anywhere to stay not a concrete hotel but somewhere ‘Greek’?
    I hope you don’t mind me asking.

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