Things to do in Edinburgh this August (that are not the Fringe).

July 26, 2019

This post is all about unique, fun things to do in Edinburgh over the summer. I am aware that August is around the corner and that is festival month - or if you are a local (crazy month). However, I will create another post about the top things to see during the festival. For now this post is all about alternative things to see and do away from the fringe. 



Russia, Royalty and the Romanov.



Situated within the Queen's Gallery at Holyrood Palace, this temporary exhibition highlights the Royal family connections from the late 1700's up to the last of the Tsar family of Imperial Russia. If you have recently watched the "True story of the Last Czars" on Netflix then this will be right up your street.

The exhibition has an extensive collection of gifts between the British Royal family and the Tsars. There is also correspondence between the two Kings and an impressive well kept collection of photographs from Queen Victoria's reign. The price of the ticket includes a free audio guide which really adds depth to the exhibit. 

A personal highlight for me was seeing their incredible collection of Faberge eggs, jewels and Nicholas II and Alexandria's wedding portrait. 



Daily from Friday, 21 Jun 2019 - Sunday, 3 November 2019.

Adult £7.50 + free audio guide.

Over 60's £6.80

Student £6.40

Under 17 / Disabled £3.80

Under 5 Free

Family (2 adults and 3 under 17s) £18.80If you are a disabled visitor we offer a free access companion ticket. To book please telephone +44 (0)303 123 7324 or e-mail



Edinburgh Distillery Tour


Holyrood Distillery is the first fully operational Single Malt Whisky Distillery in the heart of Edinburgh for over 100 years.

Opening it's doors on the 30th of July, the distillery will also produce a range of gins and gin liquers too. The distillery is situated in a 180 year old building which has been re-purposed from a Victorian railway building located next to Holyrood Park. They will offer daily tours from as little as £8.00 per person. Tours vary from Gin experiences, walking tours and tasting sessions and if you've sampled something you like there is also a gift shop on site. 


Details: Open Monday to Sunday until 6:30pm (late opening on Thursday) They will also offer extended opening hours during the Edinburgh Festival. 



Bright Bus Tours


A hop-on-hop off bus is a great idea to cover a large area of ground and it's something to do if it's raining in Edinburgh (it does happen on occasion). This new Bright bus started up this summer and it is the cheapest one on offer by far. 

I am all for supporting new business ventures, and as the saying goes don't knock it until you've tried it. 

The bright orange buses can be found on Waverley Bridge and they pass through the historic Old Town and along to some streets in the New Town. The route is based around the most popular sites in Edinburgh and the audio guide will help set the scene for you. The total journey time without hopping off lasts 1 hour, 15 minutes. 


Details: Tours run every 10 minutes, 7 days a week. The last tour leaves at 17:00. Tickets are valid for 24 hours and can be purchased online here or from the driver. 


Adult ticket £10

Concession: £9.00

Child: £6.00 - under 5's go for free.

Family ticket: 2 adults and up to 3 children £29



Invisible Cities Trainspotting Tour in Leith


Invisible Cities are a social enterprise that takes on and trains individuals who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. These people live and breath Edinburgh and can also offer their own personal insight into the city.


I have chosen the "History of Trainspotting Generation" tour. The tour lasts 1.5 hours and explores the northern area of Leith, a buzzing port area. Your guide, Paul will show you around the neighbourhood where he grew up and learn about the young people who were so badly affected by the area's heroin addiction issues. Paul will also explain the literature and film that focuses on the topic as well as stories about the colourful characters that reside in the neighbourhood. This is a unique experience whilst also helping a local social enterprise. 


Details: Tours will start from the Kirkgate (bottom of Leith Walk) every day at 11am.

Cost: £12 per person. 

Invisible cities also offer other tours in Edinburgh, Glasgow, York and Manchester.



Please comment below with your suggestions of things to do this summer in Edinburgh.

As always if you are interested in joining my Harry Potter Walking Tour in Edinburgh you can book here:







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