Epic Edinburgh

Choose your adventure

From A-list attracting movie premieres to hip jazz and blues gigs, Edinburgh is moving and shaking this summer. The only way it could be better if is it had a beach – wait a minute, it does! 


Don your finest tweeds (and wellies) for a stroll around the Royal Highland Show. Some 7,000 animals, including coos (cows in Scottish) will strut their stuff at this extravaganza of farming, food and country life. It regularly attracts around 200,000 visitors – and it’s a real foodie paradise too.

When is it? June 22-25.

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Spend summer nights watching movies beneath the stars. Edinburgh International Film Festival turns 70 this year, making it the world’s longest continually running film festival. Enjoy an open-air screening or go celeb-spotting for A-listers at the premiere of Disney Pixar’s Cars 3.

When is it? Outdoor screenings 16-18 June, Edinburgh International Film Festival 21 June-2 July.

Special offer: The festival is offering 2 for 1 on most screenings when you show a ticket for an Edinburgh-bound VTEC train that arrives in the city between 16 June and July 2. The offer is valid for a maximum of 2 tickets per screening/event and for a maximum of 6 tickets in total per Virgin Trains East Coast booking. You’ll need to present your train booking confirmation or ticket in person at the box office and the following special events aren’t covered: the opening and closing galas; Edge of the World/FloWave; Tom McGrath/Traverse readings, events and play screenings.

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The blues and jazz are indefinably cool types of music. Make like a hipster at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. Whether you’re into modern jazz or delta blues, or something more contemporary, there are over 170 gigs over 10 days. No wonder it’s one of the most respected jazz festivals in Europe.

When is it? July 14-23.

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Edinburgh and beaches? No way. Yes way. You can find golden sands a (relative) stone’s throw from the city centre. Portobello, known as Porty Beach, is a short bus ride away and has everything you’d expect from a seaside town – fish and chips, penny slots, and 2 miles of beach. For a quainter, fishing village vibe, head to Cramond. 

When is it? All summer long, baby.

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Say ‘so long’ to the city with an afternoon at one of Edinburgh’s ‘villages’. Bohemian Stockbridge is a highlight – a real favourite of writers, artists and dreamers, and home to the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh. Dean Village is another gem, rich in industrial history. See the remains of water mills and a bridge designed by Builder of Britain, Thomas Telford.

When is it? All summer long, baby.

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Delve into Edinburgh’s rich maritime history with a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia. Now berthed in the city, the ship served the Queen for more than 40 years, sailing 1 million miles. What’s more, it was recently named Scotland's Best Attraction by VisitScotland.

When is it? All summer long, baby.

Special offer: Kids go free if you quote ‘Virgin Trains East Coast Ref 6051’ when buying tickets at the visitor centre. 1 child goes free for every full-price adult or senior purchase, until December 31 2017.

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