Fringe and Tattoo

Edinburgh Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
Scott Monument

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is always full of happenings but in August, the place is jam packed with actions and more actions. Not only does the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo take place in August, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe also happens at the same time. And tourists from all over the world seem to cumulate here!

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is Scotland's biggest, best-selling spectacle, the most popular annual event on the Scottish calendar, attracting an international audience each year of some 217,000 people. Televised in 30 countries, an annual television audience of 100 million watches the coverage worldwide.

Hearing so many raves about it, it was certainly not a show to be missed while in Scotland. I chose the final show on the evening of the last performance to coincide with the visit of some friends to Scotland and because it was so popular, most of the good seats were already sold out.

Looking through the Scott Monument
But at least the weather was fine and it did not rain, although the mid summer night was rather cold at about 8 deg C. I was told by friends who went for earlier performances on other days that it poured during the Tattoo performance. The show went on however despite the rain and the cold. That was the real spirit of the Military Tattoo bands! As for the poor audiences, they either had to sit through the rain as the use of umbrellas was not allowed or leave.

Against the spectacular backdrop of the Edinburgh Castle, the 2011 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo featured a nautical theme with performances from four continents – the Commonwealth, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

There were exciting lights displays and music from the Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, the Brazilian Marine Corps Band, the German Mountain Army Band, the Dutch Mounted Bicycle Band and the Tattoo Highland Dancers from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

View of the Edinburgh Castle from the Scott Monument
The performance from the Dutch Mounted Bicycle Band was the most hilarious of all.

The highlight of the Tattoo was the stirring music of the world-famous Massed Pipes and Drums at the beginning of the show and the contrasting performance by the Lone Piper performing from the Castle’s high ramparts almost at the end of the show. It was followed by a spectacular display of fireworks and with the illuminated Castle in the background, it was a fantastic sight. The show ended with everyone including the audience joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city. It is a celebration of arts and entertainment and every year thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste.

View of the Edinburgh city
From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, music, exhibitions and events.

In addition to the many free performances on the streets throughout the city, there were over 2,500 shows spread over 250 venues across the city during the three weeks of Fringe Festival. It was just overwhelming walking through the city, especially through High Street leading to the Castle. Not only were there many performers, there were also many people distributing flyers and promoting the various performances. So many choices …. so little time!

A visit to the Scott Monument on Princess Street on a fine day is highly recommended.

View of the Edinburgh city
With 287 steps and no elevator, this monument is 61.1m high and one gets a fantastic view of the entire city from the top.

The Monument has four levels, each narrower at the base than the previous one. The higher one goes, the more breathtaking the views are. And the higher one goes, the narrower the staircase becomes. The staircase is so narrow that at some points, that one had to either wait for the one way traffic of human to finish or try to breath in and stay as slim as possible so that the other person could squeeze past. During my visit, it was so crowded that the traffic had to be monitored and people were allowed into the monument when some others exited. Still, it was so busy at the top that it was nearly impossible to move around the viewing gallery.

Arthur's Seat and Holyrood Park as seen from Scott Monument
Everyone was like packed sardines on the top trying to get past each other to get a different view of the city. But the fantastic view compensated for this inconvenience.

The Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park was revisited. It was an easy walk up the slopes on the trail but it was so windy up on the top that morning that parents were holding on really tight to some kids for the fear that they got blown away. Well, such weather is typical of Scotland!

-

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Scott Monument
Scott Monument
Looking through the Scott Monument
Looking through the Scott Monument
View of the Edinburgh Castle from …
View of the Edinburgh Castle from…
View of the Edinburgh city
View of the Edinburgh city
View of the Edinburgh city
View of the Edinburgh city
Arthurs Seat and Holyrood Park as…
Arthur's Seat and Holyrood Park a…
People everywhere
People everywhere
Looking down from the Scott Monume…
Looking down from the Scott Monum…
The Scott Monument dominating the …
The Scott Monument dominating the…
Mighty Edinburgh Castle
Mighty Edinburgh Castle
The Fringe Festival
The Fringe Festival
One of the many street performers …
One of the many street performers…
One of the many street performers …
One of the many street performers…
That is certainly a huge brass ins…
That is certainly a huge brass in…
The drummer looks cute, doesnt he…
The drummer looks cute, doesn't h…
Bagpiper and drummer
Bagpiper and drummer
St Giles Cathedral
St Giles' Cathedral
On the Royal Mile
On the Royal Mile
Silhouette of the city
Silhouette of the city
Silhouette of the city
Silhouette of the city
Edinburgh Castle during the Tattoo
Edinburgh Castle during the Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Lot of traffic going up to Arthur…
Lot of traffic going up to Arthur…
View on the way up to the Arthurs…
View on the way up to the Arthur'…
Looking down at the city from Arth…
Looking down at the city from Art…
Edinburgh
photo by: vances