Wowcher’s Guide to Edinburgh Fringe


I do love wee Edinburgh me. The food, the people, the landscape – it’s just fabulous. And what better time to visit the capital of Scotland than when the infamous Fringe Festival rolls back into town? From the 4th-28th August 2017, wee Scottish lads and lasses and folk from all over roam the streets, theatres and bars of Edinburgh, giving you a lorra lorra laughs and, most importantly, entertain you.

With so much to see and do in Edinburgh – let alone at the Fringe itself – you really need some sort of guide to enjoy the festival at its very best. Thankfully, you have us here to help. From where to stay, what to see and where to eat, we’ve got you covered. It is a massive festival, after all, so take our trusty tips and you’ll be well prepared for the wee Fringe. (And yes, we will be using the word ‘wee’ in many parts of this article.)

Where to stay

August is the month that sees Edinburgh doubling in population. So that means one thing… you need to get organising, darlings! Booking early really is essential for the Fringe, but where does one stay in the Scottish capital? The official festival website gives you a heap of suggestions.

As expected, prices go way high. A cheaper alternative to the usual hotel or AirBnb is to rent student accommodation. The University of Edinburgh offers en-suite Halls of Residence twin rooms and flats. Check or call 0131 651 2007 for more info.

What to see

Sh!t Theatre ‘Dollywould’, Summerhall, 9.15pm

Summerhall Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1PL

“Working 9 to 5” is something only a select few can sing. Sh!t Theatre share their love for Dolly Parton, and there’s always a lot of love for Dolly Parton. The show is held by the company who were behind one of the funniest shows from last year, ‘Letters to Windsor House’, which was about the emotional, psychological and social effects of the housing crisis.

Imitating the dog’s ‘Nocturnes’, Zoo, 5pm

140 The Pleasance, EH8 9RR,

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, how about you? No not that zoo, love. Shows held at the Zoo are something worth keeping an eye on at the Fringe. The new stand-out is imitating the dog’s latest offering, ‘Nocturnes’. It is a Cold War spy thriller in which three performers voice a film that’s being projected onto a screen above them. It is part of the 2017 British Council Showcase and is one to watch out for.

Locker Room Talk, Traverse Theatre, times vary

10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED

Always wondered what the other sex says about you behind closed doors? This show was made in response to Donald Trump’s lady-area-grabbing comments during the election campaign in the US. Gary McNair is a Glasgow-based theatre maker and he has created one of the most interesting shows this year at the Traverse theatre.

The thing I love about the Fringe is that there is entertainment everywhere. And I mean everywhere. In the streets, you’ll find a play performance here and there, you’ll find a singer down a random street belting out tunes and a comedian in a local pub. There is something to see at all times during the Fringe and a lot of it is free. So keep on saving those pennies, lads and lasses, and put your money towards some delicious Scottish grub.

What to eat

You’ve seen some theatre shows, now you need to eat. What do you eat in Scotland? Haggis, of course! There are other things to eat in Scotland, we do realise, so if that flagship Scottish delicacy isn’t your bag then here’s a wee list of places to choose from.

The Royal McGregor

154 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS

Opening times:
Mon-Thurs: 10.30am-11pm
Fri: 10.30am-12pm
Sat: 9.30am-12pm
Sun: 9.30am-11pm

You can’t mention Edinburgh without talk of the Royal Mile. The area from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle are crowded with Scottish shops and restaurants galore. The Royal McGregor stands out as a friendly, comfortable place for a wee meal and, more importantly, a good haggis dish. We’re talking haggis fritters with sweet chilli and honey dressing and a Highland burger with haggis. Nom.

The Elephant Castle

21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN

Opening times:
Tues-Thurs: 8am-10pm
Fri: 8am-11pm
Sat: 9am-11pm
Sun: 9am-10pm

Ever heard of Harry Potter? (Said no one, ever.) The legend that is JK Rowling used to write Harry Potter in The Elephant Castle. Looking out of the window you can just see Hogwarts. The café itself isn’t spectacular in interior, but boo hoo to fancy hipster chairs and coffee tables. Who needs that when you’re in the exact place Harry Potter was created? Have a look in the toilets for more Harry Potter magic (there is indeed a surprise there – I’m not encouraging people to walk around the loos for fun) and order some elephant shortbread. A real place to get inspired.

The Ox Edinburgh

49-51 London St, Edinburgh EH3 6LX

Opening times:
Everyday: 12pm-1am

At the bottom of Broughton Street, you’ll find The Ox. It is a lively and vibrant place which serves seasonal and local produce specialising in Ox related food goodies. Expect Ox cheek, Oxtail soups and more. Their Sunday roasts and trimmings go down a treat too.

The Fringe – it’s only once a year. Take the summer month of August to travel to Edinburgh, do as Robbie once said, and let (it) entertain you. Scotland’s wonderful any time of the year, but the Fringe Festival is just something else!