The Edinburgh Fringe is one of the largest festivals of it's type and actually sits alongside a further 9 festivals held in Edinburgh during the month of August. So to say that Edinburgh gets a bit busy is something of an understatement!
This is our third trip in the last decade so are fairly experienced in terms of the best ways of approaching it all. First off is to pre-book your travel and accommodation and in the case of Edinburgh during August, you really mustn't leave everything to the last minute. If you do, all that will be left will be hotels with exorbitant prices - you may be lucky and get into Edinburgh University accommodation but if you're looking for something a bit more comfortable and less crowded, then we've found hiring a holiday apartment well in advance, is the way to go.
|The spacious living room|
We booked our gorgeous West End Condo around 6-8 weeks before we planned our trip and really fell on our feet. This was still a bit late to book bargain train tickets (think well in excess of £100 return from London this far in advance per person) so we decided to drive which takes around 7 and a half hours from North London to the centre of Edinburgh.
We stayed not too far from Murrayfield Stadium and just in from Edinburgh Zoo - in fact around the corner from the Museum of Modern Art' which was a fair walk in (I reckon about half a hour to the Royal Mile at a good pace) but is on bus routes and costs around £7-8 by taxi. I cannot write enough superlatives about this particular holiday rental. It's been beautifully decorated and fantastically well equipped with everything you would need. Even a torch in the DVD storage cupboard so you can really see what's there!
The kitchen was better than my one at home (always galling when that happens) and there are two bathrooms in this two double bedroom-ed flat, one with an enormous bath and one with a walk-in shower. There is even a spare single bed up in the loft room so it does sleep five adults easily.
There's a large and comfortable sitting room complete with a huge flat-screen TV with Sky. The folder supplied by the owners really does cover everything from the best places to visit in Edinburgh to when to put out the various bits and pieces of recycling and rubbish. Beds were large, very comfortable and with gorgeous cotton bedlinen - even the furniture was fine quality and solid.
We booked this short break in the UK through Holidaylettings.com and our three night stay for 4 adults cost from £92 per night (outside of festival) which for a flat in Edinburgh of this high standard during festival season was an absolute bargain - we will definitely be back!
Other places to stay if a hotel is more your thing (I haven't tested these but they come up time and again)
Perfect for foodies this multi award winning restaurant has 4 beautiful bedrooms with lounge areas to relax over the two upper levels of the house. You can even have restaurant quality breakfast in bed. 3 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB 0131 523 1030
This is truly amazing - architecturally brilliant and based in the centre there are 65 guestrooms and a two acre roof garden with spectacular views. The Glasshouse, EH1 3AA 0131 535 8200
This is a Sheraton with a rooftop pool and spa and all rooms have mood lighting, media hubs and amazing beds (the Sheraton is known for it's Sweet Sleeper Bed). Ask for a room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. 1 Festival Square, EH3 9SR. 0131 229 9131
The Caledonian (Waldorf Astoria)
A luxury £24 million renovation and investment programme means that this is one of THE places to stay. Formerly a Victorian railway hotel in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle this is a beautiful place to stay and has the largest bathrooms of any in Edinburgh (apparently). Princes Street, EH1 2AB. 0131 222 8888.