Just heard the news that Monday 1st of August is a bank holiday this year – excellent! I know the weather’s been temperamental and typically Scottish the last couple of weeks, but I’m going to just assume it’ll have sorted itself out come August and at least give us a little bit of heat for the Edinburgh Festival.
So, if you (or your parents) have Monday 1st off and you’re looking for the best way to spend it in or around Edinburgh, here’s a few suggestions to whet your appetitive.
1. Recreate Resident Evil. If you’re thinking of pitching this one to your folks, perhaps choose a better tagline than we have, but you cant deny there are creepy similarities between The Hive and this wee incongruous home in Fife. Now dubbed “Scotland’s Secret Bunker”, for 40 years this innocent looking farmhouse kept its secret well and truly hidden, until it recently announced that it in fact was the entrance to 24,000 square feet of secret tunnels, emergency bunkers and communications nerve centres. Brave enough to make your way through the solid steel doors and into a genuine Cold War relic?
2. Play skittles in Scotland’s oldest pub. You might not know The Sheep’s Heid, but you won’t forget it in a while once you do discover it. Head along through Holyrood Park towards Duddingston, then take a right and you’ll find this traditional looking pub tucked round a corner. The food’s pretty tasty so grab a menu, but the real treat is found behind the bar itself and through a garden, in the form of a genuine Victorian bowling alley. Pretty weird huh? Here you can spend the day with the whole family, chalking up disaster after near-miss on the score boards.
3. The festival itself won’t quite have started by 1st August, but the town will still be full of performers and tourist all planning their month ahead. So this is the best time to grab a copy of the festival programme, pack a picnic and head somewhere quite (and with a view) to decide what you’re going to see during August. Might we suggest Calton Hill? Of if you’re after a quieter spot, nip into one of the gardens and parks dotted around the New Town, like Scotland Street park.
4. Go see the end of Harry Potter at Edinburgh’s coolest filmhouse. Head to the Southside and up and over into Morningside. Tucked away on the left, just past a church, you’ll find The Dominion – absolutely Edinburgh’s best cinema. They have sofas and waiters – so you can literally sprawl out on a leather sofa all to yourself as some poor minion fetches you more popcorn. Perfect. Whilst you’re down there, ever heard the myth of the Wild West street hidden deep in Morningside? No? Well it’s there if you look for it.
5. Ready to rock? When it comes to climbing in Edinburgh, there really is only one place that offers everything – and that place is Ratho. It’s proper name is the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, but everyone just calls it Ratho regardless. Built by literally putting a roof on a disused quarry, this is as hi-tech, accessible and down to earth as climbing gets; and you absolutely don’t need to have any experience under your belt before showing up – newbies are encouraged!
So that’s just a few ideas for things to do in Edinburgh this August bank holiday, or of course you could pay us a visit.. Either way, have fun & enjoy the summer!