OK, so this post has been a long time coming.
I feel like I say that a lot, but seriously. This is definitely the longest it has taken me to write about a trip. I went to Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August. Yes, that was nine months ago. I don’t know why it took me so long to do this post and video. The trip was brilliant, I had an amazing time. But for some reason, I kept getting distracted from completing the video.
But, it’s finally done! Ready for you to (hopefully) enjoy. The timing of this could be perfect however because if you were thinking of going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, then consider this a sign that you definitely should!
My trip to Edinburgh was the first trip I’ve ever taken to Scotland. I went with my friend Emma. Not the same Emma that I went to Venice and Burano with, a different Emma. Sidebar – I have so many friends with the same name. You should see my phone contacts, it’s a mess. Anyway, Emma went to college in Edinburgh so she was an amazing guide!
We arrived on the Friday and had Italian for dinner. It was perfect to catch up over a bottle of wine and some tasty pizza. Afterwards, we walked to this great bar called Panda & Sons. From the outside, it looks like a barbershop. But then you go downstairs, and it’s this great bar. I had one of the most unique cocktails I’ve ever had there. You got prosecco in a bottle, and then an artists palette which had paint brushes and three tubes of paint. Except it wasn’t paint in the tubes. It was flavoured gels. So you painted the inside of your glass with the flavours that you wanted, and then poured in the prosecco! Crazy!
Afterwards we headed to The Jazz Bar. It was a great spot with brilliant music and tasty White Russian drinks. Honestly, I could have gone back there every night. I love jazz bars! There’s something about the vibe of them, the music. It’s the perfect way to spend an evening.
The following day, I was dying to go to some comedy shows. It’s really overwhelming how many different shows are on. You will constantly have flyers handed to you, people telling you about their shows, posters are everywhere. It’s hard to narrow it down! We firstly went to see The Noise Next Door. They are an improv group which have been to Fringe nine times. I was very skeptical about this group. I’m not a big fan of audience participation, and we were sitting in the front row! However, they were incredible. I have no idea how they did it. They made up hilarious, brilliant songs on the spot, spun a story out of nothing, and had a roomful of people in stitches. I would definitely go to see them again!
Afterwards we headed to the BBC area, which is completely free. There are some free shows and activities at Fringe if you’re looking to do things cheaply. Generally we were paying between 8-15 pounds for tickets to different shows. The BBC area was great for families, judging by all the kids that were around. There was a brilliant orchestra and singers singing old classics. A really nice area to chill out in.
There are lots of different areas around the city where you can go for a drink, food and a show. They’re like little festival areas. When we went to one of them for a drink, the one with the giant purple cow, I spotted my name on a poster. Not just my first name, but my last name as well. Turns out, I have a name twin called Katie Brennan who is a comedian and singer! We had to go and see her obviously, and I can report she was lovely, chatty and very talented. The irony of her show being called “The Quarter Life Crisis” was not lost on me!
The night, we headed to Late n’ Live. This is one of the rowdiest, craziest, best shows you will go to. It starts at midnight, goes on until three in the morning, and you have no idea who the acts will be. There were several comedians performing on the night, but one of them in particular, tanked. I have never experienced that before, when a person is telling jokes and they just aren’t funny. Awkward doesn’t cover it! As you can imagine, being after midnight, the crowd is fairly… loose at this point. Let’s just say, they didn’t enjoy this particular comedian, and the comedian in turn, got a little agitated. Honestly, it was awkward, but also very funny and made me very happy that I am not doing stand up for a living! At 3am, when the comedy is over, a band comes on stage. It’s brilliant fun and I definitely recommend that you get tickets to a Late n’ Live show!
The next day we were pretty tired after all the Late n’ Live madness. We wandered around to some of the other festival areas and enjoyed the vibe of the city. We went to Mary’s Milk Bar which is a must if you are in Edinburgh, whatever the weather. It is super tasty ice cream and close to Edinburgh Castle, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
Afterwards, we went to Comedy in the Dark which is a unique experience to say the least! The room is pitch black, you can’t see your hand in front of your face, and there is someone on stage doing stand up. To be honest, it’s a bit gimmicky, and doesn’t really add to the comedy, but I suppose it depends what acts you see.
We also hiked up to Arthur’s Seat one of the days. I wore the worst shoes ever for that. Who goes hiking in espadrilles?! It’s a pretty tough walk, but well worth it for the view you get over Edinburgh. I would recommend carving out a few hours to do this and timing it so that you can sit down to lunch or dinner afterwards. I always find that being out in the fresh air for a long walk makes me really hungry!
I’m so glad I went to the Fringe Festival. It’s such a fun experience and you won’t be bored, that I can guarantee you! If you’re looking to go this year, I would start looking into accommodation sooner rather than later, as it gets very busy. It’s a great festival, set in a wonderful city. What more could you ask for?!