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Epic Edinburgh in 48hrs – Tattoo, Festival and even time for a run

Posted Aug 16 2012 5:31am

My husband and I just returned from an epic 48 hours in Edinburgh, UK. We have always said that The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was something we wanted to tick off our bucket list, so when we moved to the UK 12 months ago we decided that we would book tickets as soon as they came out. Edinburgh in August, is such a fabulous time to travel north as so much is going on with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival , the Edinburgh International Festival and the Military Tattoo that you can’t help but get caught up in the fun and excitement. And although we only had 48 hours there we wanted to make the most of it!

Luckily, we had already been to Edinburgh last year and seen all the tourist attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, walked the Royal Mile and went on a ghost tour of the Edinburgh underground so we were able to relax and soak up the atmosphere. However, if you are want to fit all these sites in plus the fringe and tattoo, it can be down, but you will be exhausted by the end of the trip!

So our trip started like many others with a short flight north, and then a bus trip and short walk to get to our accommodation late Sunday night. A tip, if you are trying to save on money is to catch the Airport Link Bus. At only 3.50 pound one way or 6 pound return, it’s an easy way to get into the city! Up bright and early the next day, we walked around the corner from our accommodation and found this little gem of a cafe for breakfast. Loudons Cafe  is located on Fountainbridge which is not too far away from Grassmarket (which is full of vintage clothing stores and antique/second-hand bookstores). I was impressed by my warm spiced quinoa and coffee for breakfast, and although the place has a self-service type of set up with a small menu it does cater for those who are dairy and gluten intolerant! Later that day for lunch I had a haggis burger which may sound weird to you, but it tasted better than it looked, and I always like to try the local food wherever I am.

With our bellies full, we proceeded to the Royal Mile to check out what the fringe had on offer. A section of the road had been barricaded off to allow for street performers and any one else who felt like getting in the spirit and dressing up! With our fringe program in hand we then sat in a cafe, had a cup of tea and tried to figure out if there was anything we could see or do during our time in Edinburgh. The great thing about the Fringe is that there are many venue’s that offer free fringe shows or most shows are quiet low in cost anyway. In the end we hit up The Jazz Bar  on Chamber Street after the Tattoo for some late night jazz and Malawian Folk, and the next day we took in a free comedy show.

With all this action going on, we even managed to throw on some gym gear and take a run up Arthur’s Seat, which is next to Holyrood Palace and Park. Running/walking is my favourite way of discovering a city, particularly when I have first arrived. I always seem to discover more by doing this (maybe because we seem to get lost a bit) and although it can be a pain in the ass to fit gym clothes and shoes into an already packed carry on bag, this run in particular was well worth it for the views over Edinburgh!

But by far the highlight of our trip was the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The military bands played a wide range of music from the bagpipes, to Kylie Minogue, the Batman theme song and in commemoration of the Queen’s Jubilee, God Save the Queen. The formations the bands did, whilst playing musical instruments was incredible and set against the magical backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, it is a must see!

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