City Extras: Edinburgh

edinburgh cover

The Concise and Opinionated Guide to the City


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Explore the creepy underground vaults of Edinburgh – October 2019

    Our recommendations for Edinburgh in autumn would normally include music events or new restaurants, but our new series of “Bored In” travel books have inspired us to go in a spookier direction this year. Below is one of the scary things you can visit that will be included in the upcoming Bored in Edinburgh–Awesome Experiences for the Repeat Visitor:

     Below Edinburgh’s South Bridge area (one of the oldest sections of town) lies a series of disused underground vaults from the 1700’s. You can tour them at night when they’re at their spookiest and rub shoulders with the spirits that dwell there. With an informative guide from Mercat Tours, you’ll brave the dark passageways and hear historic tales in a way that only a true Scot can tell them. You’ll see excavated spaces, previous human habitation, and even a tavern  with wine vaults. This 75-minute walking tour of subterranean Edinburgh even offers a special Halloween tour of the vaults but you’ll need to book as soon as possible though their website here.

night walking tour in Edinburgh


It’s the start of the social season in Edinburgh – September 2019

    There’s a lot going on in the Scottish capital so if you’re planning to visit during the fall season, snag a ticket to something soon. We recommend the new play by David Greig, Solaris, which will be performed at the gorgeous Lyceum Theatre. As of this posting there are still tickets available.

  In addition, Edinburgh’s Doors Open Days takes place on the weekend of September 28th and 29th. You can see places you can’t normally get into, like the famous Assembly Rooms or the historic Drumsheugh Baths Club which dates from the late 1800’s. Booking for all visits and events started on September 2nd and the extensive list can be found at this website.  

baths club Edinburgh



How to stay afloat in Edinburgh – August 2019

     If you’re heading out to our favorite city in Scotland and haven’t made your hotel reservations yet, consider a stay aboard a ship permanently docked in the Firth of Forth! The Fingal, a stunning decommissioned ship (stationed very near to Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia) in the suburb of Leith might be just the kind of unusual experience you’ve been looking for. Consider staying there for a night or two, just to take it all in and make some very special memories. Then switch to another hotel in Edinburgh’s city center. We won’t tell.  “An exquisite five star, twenty-three cabin boutique hotel complete with ballroom and sweeping grand staircase.”   Just look at those pictures!



In Focus: the Tolbooth Tavern – July 2019

        The famously haunted Tolbooth Tavern is both a historic sight and a great place to grab an ale.  Built in 1591, it used to be part of the official tollbooth of the Canongate neighborhood’s administration and was at that time outside the gates of Edinburgh’s Old Town.  Located on what is now called “the Royal Mile” (the main boulevard of the Old Town) it is closer to Her Majesty’s Holyrood palace than it is to the city’s famous castle. Even so, it’s worth a stop and offers all the traditional pub food you could want. You might just make a new friend there, from this century or a previous.

tolbooth taverntolbooth tavern interior


In Focus: Edinburgh’s Peacocks – June 2019

     Peacocks in Edinburgh? You betcha.  They stroll around the lovely grounds at the Prestonfield Manor House, home of the exquisite restaurant Rhubarb.  This place has the best Afternoon Tea service in town to begin with, and as you bite into a just-baked scone, a peacock walks by outside the window. Amazing! (Rhubarb’s afternoon tea is offered everyday from noon to 7pm.)

Peacock at-PrestonfieldAnother Peacock at Prestonfield