5 Quiet Havens during the Edinburgh Festival Madness
If you’re in Edinburgh you will most definitely have noticed that the annual Edinburgh Festival has taken over the city and sprinkled some festival madness all over the place. While this craziness is what attracts a lot of folk to Edinburgh and things sure won’t get boring it is sometimes nice to take a wee breather – especially since the Festival goes on for almost a full month! Here are five of our favourite calm oases amidst the chaos that will give you a bit of breathing space before the next show starts!
This is a hidden gem in the middle of the busiest Edinburgh right off Princes Street. It is a courtyard garden between General Register House and New Register House and is open during office hours and free to visit. The Archivist’s Garden is an interesting garden as all 57 plant species are somehow connected to Scotland, its people and its history. As the courtyard is so peacefully tucked in between buildings you don’t feel like you’re in the middle of Edinburgh. Bliss.
National Portrait Gallery
This gorgeous art museum on Queen Street is a stunner on the outside, but just wait until you get inside and see the entrance hall! The Scottish National Portrait Gallery was established in 1882 and holds the national collection of portraits as well as the national photography collection. It is a quiet space where you can take a seat and soak in the art and the beautiful building and forget about the busy outside world. If you fancy a cup of coffee and cake try out the cafeteria downstairs.
New Calton Burial Ground
You might be wondering why we want to send you to a graveyard, but that means you probably haven’t visited the beautiful and serene cemeteries of Edinburgh before. New Calton Burial Ground lies on a south-facing slope just off Regent Road with amazing views to Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament Building and Arthur’s Seat. Parts of the Old Calton Burial Ground on Waterloo Place not far away had to make way for the construction of Waterloo Place, resulting in the reinterment of the affected bodies in 1817-1820. Not too many tourists find their way here so it really is a quiet haven you can wander around in and forget about the Festival frenzy.
Scottish Poetry Library
Being the artistic hub that Edinburgh is, it makes total sense to have a library dedicated to Scottish poetry (you will find international poetry here too though). If you’re not into poetry you might not even know this place exists and you’d be surprised to find out that the library is actually located just off the eastern part of the bustling Royal Mile on 5 Crichton’s Close. The Scottish Poetry Library exists to bring people and poems together, so step inside, sit down and relax with a good poem or two. There’s a children’s corner with a good selection of books as well!
Dunbar’s Close Garden
This jewel of a garden is so quiet and peaceful yet it’s bang in the middle of the busy Old Town near the Old Tolbooth Clock just off Canongate. Dunbar’s Close Garden was created by Scots biologist Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) and laid out like a a Renaissance garden. Trees and topiary create a shady area at the entrance, opening out into a suntrap full of lovely flowers and unusual plants. Two small squares with classical stone benches provide quiet places to sit beside a shady wall and you’d never imagine you were in the very centre of Edinburgh. It’s worth stopping a while to enjoy the wonderful symmetry of the design and the spectacular views of Calton Hill beyond.
Find your own Edinburgh Haven at Dickins
Our properties all have something in common; they’re inviting, quiet, well presented and most importantly – they feel like home away from home. Your Dickins apartment is fully equipped and will be that nice place to return to after a long day of exploring the city, working or visiting friends and family.
This stunning flat on 10 Cumberland Street in the heart of the beautiful New Town area will make you want to move in for good!