FEATURE – 10 things to do in Edinburgh (non-Fringe)

We understand that some Edinburgh residents will be less than enthralled at the prospect of the coming weeks with the madness and traffic jams that ensues.

Here is our guide to finding some peace in Edinburgh, away from Fringe performers demanding you accept their flyer for a show you have no intention of seeing.  All of our suggestions are linked to our previous articles and remember we’ve personally been everywhere we suggest!

Our things to do section is full of  ideas, but here are some of our personal favourites:

Explore the botanics

1.  Explore Dr Neil’s Garden in Duddingston and escape the mayhem in this peaceful hidden garden in Edinburgh.  Take a picnic and enjoy reading a book in the shade.  Another excellent garden in the north of the city is the Edinburgh-Kyoto Friendship Garden.

2.  Take a stroll along the Water of Leith and get the ‘country’ feel.   Walk one way and get the bus back to your starting point if you don’t wish to cover the same ground.  The Roseburn to Dean Village section is particularly stunning in the summer. Try and spot all six Anthony Gormley figures.

3.  It has been known to rain in August, so head to the excellent Camera Obscura and lose yourself within a world of illusions. There are great views from the top on a clear day, but this attraction is also a perfect wet-weather choice.

4.  Another wet weather activity is an underground adventure at Mary King’s Close (although you have to walk on the Royal Mile to get there, so avoiding Fringe people completely may not be possible).

5.  On beautiful sunny days, head with kids to Inverleith Park Playground or to the neighbouring botanical gardens for a stroll amongst the gorgeous grounds.  You can also take younger family members squirrel hunting there.

6.  Great views are to be found at the top of Nelson’s Monument on the top of Calton Hill.

View from the Scott Monument

7.  The Scott Monument affords 360 degree views of Edinburgh and you even get a certificate to say you climbed all 287 steps to the top!

8.  Pay a visit to Leith and see how the Royal family lived on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, which comes highly recommended from us.

9.  You could also head to Brunstfield Links and play some golf for free. This is the world’s oldest short hole golf course.

Jupiter Artland, West Lothian

10.  And if you really can’t stand to be in town during August, then head on one of our suggested day trips. Our favourite get-aways are Jupiter Artland and Vogrie Country Park.

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