Meet up with your fellow travellers and Tour Manager before we hit the road and head northwards. We travel through the stunning Northumberland National Park and cross the border into Scotland, pulling into the buzzing city of Edinburgh. Home to loads of music & comedy festivals, the Scottish capital serves up a fun mix of old and new. With the Fringe Festival and Military Tattoo running whilst you’re in the city, as well as the Book and Jazz festivals, this vibrant city will be humming with energy, creativity and plenty to do.
First up, get familiar with this cultural city as your Tour Manager fills you in on the core sites of the Old and New Towns. Check out the Robbie Burns statue, the National Gallery and the Grass Market to name a few. In your free time, decide how you want to shape your Edinburgh experience and jump into this living time-line. Explore the scene-stealing Edinburgh castle, perched high up above the city on an extinct volcano, where the Scottish crown jewels and Stone of Destiny are housed. Retrace Scottish royalty’s footsteps and walk the Royal Mile with its jumble of medieval houses and buildings or see the Holyrood Palace, former home to Mary Queen of Scots, infamously known as ‘Bloody Mary’. At lunch, go local and order some traditional fish’n’chips and a deep fried chocolate bar if you’re adventurous! For a relaxed afternoon, head to Edinburgh’s famous Botanical Gardens and explore 72 acres of grounds, exotic plants and stunning glass houses. Later this evening, experience the pomp and prestige of the Military Tattoo. With Edinburgh Castle serving as a stunning backdrop, take in the spectacle of pipe bands, battle re-enactments, drills, highland dancers and amazing fireworks.
Today use your free time to explore the Edinburgh Fringe festival – a true arts extravaganza. With around 1500 performances a day, 12 000 participants from across the globe gather in the city. With a massive selection of comedy acts, theatre performances, music, concerts and dance to choose from, there is something for everyone. For a one-stop shopping spot, make the most of Princes Street. From kilts and tartans to modern labels and cashmere, this street has it all. Make sure you visit the oldest department store in the world, Jenners, and its amazing food hall. Tonight, there’s a chance to experience a hearty Scottish meal, complete with haggis and a bag piper. After dinner, round up some friends and head out into the city’s pumping nightlife. There are heaps of options to choose from and your Tour Manager knows what you’re after – so ask for some tips on Edinburgh’s cosy pubs, basement bars and happening clubs.
After breakfast, say goodbye to Edinburgh before we cruise back to London, where the tour ends.