August Bank Weekend in Edinburgh

What to do on the long weekend in August? Cara, Cushla and I decided to headed upwards to the Athens of the North – Edinburgh! 

August is Festival Month in Edinburgh with both the Fringe and the Military Tattoo being held, so we had to buy our Tattoo tickets and book our accommodation back at the end of May, early June.
Cush and I took the sleeper bus up on the Thursday night, arriving super early Friday morning. We dropped off our stuff at the hostel and found the only place that was open for breakfast so early – Wetherspoons.
Mid morning we separated, Cushla going off to explore the Castle and I headed up the Scott Monument.
View of Old Town and Edinburgh Castle from the Scott Monument
Cara’s train got in just before lunchtime so after dropping her bag off the two of us headed to Viva Mexico on Cockburn Street. They had a great selection of gluten free food and had recycled their used tequila bottles for the house water.
At 1.45 we met up with Cushla on the Royal Mile for our free walking tour of Old Town. The tour took us to some interesting spots on the Mile and through Greyfriars Cemetery (for all the Harry Potter fans!).
After the two and a half hour walking tour there was enough time to fit in a ‘free’ comedy show (and an alcoholic beverage) before heading back to get ready for  dinner and the Tattoo.

The main reason I wanted to go to the Tattoo was because Mum really wants to go (I sent her lots of videos and snapchats!) but I really enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. There were military bands from all over the world! Each country brought a bit of home with them, from the New Zealanders we had the Haka – quite interesting to see it in military dress uniform! – The Jordanians showed off some impressive rifle twirling skills and the Americans brought a bit of Dolly Parton!

Everyone together

Each ‘routine’ was accompanied by an awesome light show that lit up the walls of the castle. The evening is rounded off with a fireworks display.

Fireworks over the Castle from Grassmarket
The Saturday saw us exploring the local pub scene with Cara’s aunty and uncle who had come down to meet us for lunch. (Helpful tip: don’t try and outdrink a Scotsman). We followed up our drinking session with a cheeky nap before heading out to find somewhere to eat and head to our first paid-for gig.
I had seen Rhys Nicholson on YouTube and thought he was hilarious, so got tickets to see him a couple of weeks before we headed up – lucky we did! Our show was sold out! The girls thought so too luckily!
It was still early after so we found the gig guide sheet and picked one that sounded good – Katie Brennan’s Quarter Life Crisis. This was billed as a comedy, but it has a few depressing factors – obviously the ‘crisis’ part and it also has elements of cabaret – Katie’s voice is amazing!
Sunday Cara wasn’t feeling well so Cushla and I left her in bed and went on a walk. We headed deep into Old Town and somehow we managed to do a loop around the back of the castle and end up in the New Town! That wasted a few hours and we met up with Cara at a fantastic little bistro on Cockburn St called La Locanda. We flicked through the Fringe guide and one name jumped out at me – Frenchy! We secured our tickets at the box office and then went on a hunt for some free shows, mainly comedy.
We watched the Comedy Ashes – Australia won of course! We tried to find another show which was advertised, but they had packed up earlier that morning for some reason and also tried to get into another, but just missed out. On advice from someone in the street we purchased tickets to Glenn Moore, an English comedian. I think I might enjoy the Australian smut a bit too much, because he was a bit too high brow for me. That, and I didn’t get some of his English references either, but he was still worth seeing.
We squeezed in dinner at Cafe Andaluz in New Town (service to start with was really good and quick, slowed down for dessert and was pretty much non existent when we tried to get the bill unfortunately – food was delicious though!) and headed back to the Mile for a quick hello to Cara’s cousins who were playing in the Forth Bridges Accordion Band.
We scrambled for a taxi and made it just in time for our last show of the weekend – Frenchy!
I can’t believe this guy used to be a teacher – I can believe his teaching licence (do you get a licence for teaching?) has been suspended though! Check out his Facebook for some of his vids. Anyone who has seen his World’s Worst Adult show will never watch Frozen the same way again!
He was the only act who did a meet and greet after and was keen to get photos with the audience.
Photo bombed!

We had an amazing time in Edinburgh, got to see some wonderful talent and the sun shone all weekend for us!



We stayed at the Castle Rock Hostel at the top of the Mile.
The Sleeper bus through Megabus was £25 one way.
My train ticket with Virgin East Coast was £28 with a Young Persons Railcard.
Tickets for the Tattoo range in price from £25 – £75.

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