What most people think of as The Edinburgh Festival is actually the Fringe. It’s the world’s largest arts festival, in which a few thousand performers hailing from dozens of countries perform everywhere and anywhere. From big names to unknowns, the Fringe has it all and is open to anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them. Last year’s programme included cricketer Freddie Flintoff riffing about the Ashes, two circus tents and a hard-hitting play about a woman’s prison.
For more information, go to: edfringe.com
8. Edinburgh International Festival (5th –29th August 2016)
Running alongside the Fringe is the Edinburgh International Festival, which showcases music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe and takes over the city’s six major theatres and concert halls. This year’s programme includes an acclaimed production of Bellini’s Norma starring mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli and a screening of Mark Cousin’s film Atomic with a live soundtrack from Mogwai. The full programme will be revealed on April 6th.
For more information, go to: eif.co.uk
9. Edinburgh International Book Festival (13th – 29th August 2016)
In a tented village in Charlotte Square Gardens, the book festival welcomes more than 800 authors, from rising stars of fiction to historians to graphic novelists to Nobel Prize-winners. There is also a great programme for children and young adults. This year’s events will be announced on 9th June.
For more information, go to: edbookfest.co.uk
10. Edinburgh Mela (27th – 28th August 2016)
Last but not least in August, there’s Scotland’s biggest festival of world music. From Ghanian drumming to Polish folk, Brazilian capoeira and elegant Argentine tango, to gritty Bangladeshi hip hop, the Mela brings together music, dance and performance from all over the world in one weekend.
For more information, go to: edinburgh-mela.co.uk
11. Scottish International Storytelling Festival (21st – 30th October 2016)
Stories aren’t just for children. Inspired by the Scottish ceilidh tradition, this festival is a 10-day celebration of live storytelling, bringing together Scottish and international storytellers and musicians.
For more information, go to: tracscotland.org
Hogamanay 2015; Edinburgh Castle lights up blue to support Unicef
12. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (30th December 2016 – 1st January 2017)
Edinburgh’s New Year celebrations are world-famous, and the city certainly goes the whole hog. The celebrations kick off on 30th when tens of thousands march through the city with torches. On New Year’s Eve, there’s a ceilidh in the Old Town, a concert in the Princes Street Garden and a giant street party in the city centre.
January 1st is welcomed with one of the world’s biggest fireworks displays, and last year there was an arts festival the following afternoon for those who could stumble out of bed. In 2015, over 145,000 revellers from over 80 countries partied the night away. Hopefully you’ll have recovered by March when the next festival comes round.
For more information, go to: edinburghshogmanay.com
For more information and to sign up for updates about Edinburgh’s festivals, go to: edinburghfestivalcity.com
Radio Times Travel offers
The Edinburgh Tattoo and York from £219pp
Enjoy the colour, pomp and pageantry of the Edinburgh Tattoo. Massed pipes and drums, dancers and display teams create a dazzling, unforgettable and totally magical spectacle, which ends with the lone piper on the battlements above Edinburgh Castle. Click here for more information and to book.
Edinburgh, York and two classic rail journeys from £279
Travel the newly re-opened Borders Railway on a stunning journey from Tweedbank to Edinburgh, and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the route from Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed. You’ll also have time to explore the beautiful cities of Durham, Edinburgh and York on this four-day break. Click here for more information and to book.
Click here to view all Edinburgh offers or call 0330 160 7919 for a free brochure