Happy New Year.
Edinburgh’s famous Hogmanay Party may be over for another year and its Christmas Market may have closed its doors but there remain plenty of good reasons to visit Scotland’s Capital, or Auld Reekie as it was once known, in 2017.
Of course, the Fringe Festival kicks off again in August when this cultural smorgasbord takes over the city’s streets, theatres, bars and anywhere else you can think of but Edinburgh is not just about the Festival. The city’s famous landscape is the backdrop to many events in 2017 only a few of which we pick out here.
In the early part of the year sport features high on the list with the 6 Nations Rugby Tournament which sees Scotland host 3 games against Ireland, Wales and then Italy between 4 February and 18 March. Later the Edinburgh ‘Marathon’ weekend on 27/28 May actually has different, shorter distances to suit families, teams, children and those for whom 26.2 miles is just a bit too energetic.
Jack Whitehall, Sean Lock, Jimmy Carr, Greg Davies and John Bishop all have shows scheduled this year to keep you laughing from January to November and there are regular shows at the Stand Comedy Club in the city centre. The Robbie Williams concert at Murrayfield on 9 June will be a big weekend in the city but other musicians such as The Pet Shop Boys and Elvis Costello are in town.
Edinburgh has plenty of other cultural opportunities with 5 theatres (Lyceum. Kings, Playhouse, Traverse and Festival) where many shows, plays and musicals will be running throughout 2017. Or while away the time as you visit the Scottish National Gallery on Princes Street or the Gallery of Modern Art at Ravelston.
Even if you are visiting on a weekend where there isn’t a big name or big game in town you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.
The view from Edinburgh’s Princes Street is something very few cities can match and a short walk up to George Street allows the casual visitor access to more shops cafes and bars as well as glimpse of Edinburgh’s north side and the Firth of Forth beyond. On a clear day you’ll get a view across to Fife. Venture to South Queensferry and there you will find the iconic Forth (Rail) Bridge and the soon to be opened Queensferry Crossing road bridge that sits beside the existing road bridge.
Edinburgh is a great base to explore other parts of Scotland too. Day trips around not only the city are in plentiful supply but you can visit Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond or the Western Highlands easily by renting a car or taking a bus tour.
If you just want to walk around and take in the fantastic and historic sights then Edinburgh itself won’t disappoint either. Let’s not forget Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat (a long extinct volcano in the Queens Park), Calton Hill, Edinburgh Zoo, Mary King’s Close and the ‘old town’ High Street.
Whether you choose to visit for a special family occasion, a romantic weekend away or a just spur of the moment getaway you will find plenty of great sightseeing, good food, entertainment and ‘banter’ in Edinburgh in 2017.