CITY OF FESTIVALS
Edinburgh is known as the City of Festivals and for the first time, in a long time, it finally feels like things might be returning to normal.
Conifox Easter Festival (2nd-24th April, Conifox Adventure Park, from £14.50)
Looking for something fun to do with your little ones during the Easter holidays? Conifox Adventure Park is hosting an Easter Festival which promises a fun-packed family day out. The immersive, theatrical experience is suitable for all ages and will introduce Baxter Bunny, The Easter Bunny, The Big Bad Wolf, Professor Eggbert and their friends!
Edinburgh Harp Festival (8th-11th April, George Watson’s College)
The Edinburgh International Harp Festival is the UK’s premier harping event. The annual celebration is in its 41st year and will be welcoming musical talents from the global harp community. Be sure to check out their line-up for concerts, courses, workshops and more!
Edinburgh Science Festival (9th–24th April, various locations)
The Edinburgh Science Festival is a hugely popular festival run by the Edinburgh Science Foundation. The festival is the world’s first public celebration of science and technology within a festival format and is still one of Europe’s largest. Each year the festival embraces a new theme and for its 75th anniversary, they’ve chosen the theme of ‘Revolutions’, inspired by James Lovelock’s revolutionary Gaia theory. The family hub at City Art Centre will return as well as two major new interactive exhibitions, DataSphere and Consumed, alongside a vibrant and varied programme of other events for audiences of all ages.
Terminal V Festival (16th & 17th April, Royal Highlands Centre, from £22.50)
Terminal V Festival will take place over two days and will host over 80 international acts and a handful of weekend residents playing across both days. This year’s festival will have 5 main indoor stages, as well as a new large additional outside area with 2 further enclosed stages and more attractions.
Big Big Gin Festival (23rd & 24th April, Corn Exchange. £21)
The Big Big Gin Festival is back and promises an immersive experience into the world of gin. Gin lovers can sip samples from leading makers and craft distilleries, and watch expert mixologists create delightful cocktails. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or completely new to the spirit, there’s something for everyone.
The Beltane Fire Festival (30th April, Calton Hill)
April will be brought to an exciting close with the return of The Beltane Fire Festival. Join the May Queen and Green Man to welcome the coming of summer and longer days with fire, drums and wild performances.
EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Whether you’re attending an outdoor cinema, visiting the dinosaurs at Edinburgh Zoo, or attending a show – there’s never a dull moment in the city. Here are just a few events and exhibitions taking place this month to keep in mind.
SEASONAL EVENTS IN MARCH
There are a host of ways to celebrate both the arrival of spring and Easter this month and here are just a few:
Dr Neil’s Garden has recently reopened and is a must-visit! The secluded garden lies in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat and is known as one of the most remarkable gardens in Scotland.
After two years of virtual shows, Caley’s annual Spring Bulb Show will return to Saughton Park & Gardens. As well as the beautiful display of spring blooms, there will also be plenty of fun activities for children.
Make the most of the (hopefully) lovely weather by heading along to the Botanics for their Spring Trail which will guide you around the Garden to find all the clues to the new season.
Newhailes Estate has arranged several Easter-themed events, one of them being, an Easter afternoon tea. You’ll enjoy an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and a selection of cakes in their Glasshouse.
Head along to one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile for a weekend full of historical activities and food tastings. There will be discounted tickets to the property with entry anytime between 10am and 2.30pm.
Two of Edinburgh’s exclusive private gardens are throwing their gates open for one day this month. Here’s your chance to peek into Moray Place and Bank Gardens while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and some home baking.
LITERARY EVENTS IN MARCH
Edinburgh is known for its rich literary history with many well-known authors calling the city home for a period of time. Both new and second-hand independent bookshops are an integral part of the city and several host regular literary events, here is a selection:
Edinburgh’s largest independent bookshop, Topping & Company has organised a dozen literary events this April. The month will begin with a Climate Fiction Reading Group (4th) and end with Tessa Hadley discussing her new novel ‘Free Love’ (28th) with a host of wonderful authors in between.
Lighthouse Bookshop is hosting six literary events this month including Alex Mullarky with her new novel ‘The Sky Beneath the Stone’ (1st), an evening with Grace Lavery discussing ‘Please Miss’ and ‘Bodies of Work’ with Alice Hattrick and Melissa Febos (26th).
Blackwell’s Bookshop will begin the month with their monthly book quiz (4th) and go on to host JL Williams for the launch of her latest collection of poetry ‘Origin’ (7th) and Lynn Cassells who will chat about her new book ‘Our Wild Farming Life: Adventures on a Scottish Highland Croft’ (14th).
After pausing events for a few months, Typewronger Books is back with a great lineup for April. Tom Hodges, the owner of Typewronger, will start the month off with a talk on ‘Bookselling in a time of Corona’ (7th, Quaker Meeting House). Then the store will host the Cunning Folks book club to discuss their next book “Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women” by Silvia Federici (20th) and ‘TypeCast!’, a play reading group, will return (29th).
Lastly, Portobello Bookshop is hosting half a dozen literary events this April including An Evening with Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers (13th, Nicolson Square), Helen Mort with her new book ‘A Line Above the Sky’(14th), and Ali Smith with her new novel ‘Companion piece’ (25th).
MARKETS IN MARCH
Edinburgh is fortunate to have a variety of weekly neighbourhood markets to visit plus a few one-off or speciality markets.
A weekly market offering freshly baked goods, seasonal produce, and local craftwork.
Sitting beside the Shore, Leith’s weekly market hosts predominantly food stalls as well as a few local makers.
Stockbridge is one of Edinburgh’s busiest markets selling a range of street food and lifestyle products.
Drop by Edinburgh Farmers’ Market to browse seasonal produce such as fruit, vegetables, locally sourced game, and more.
This hugely popular street food market is back and will be hosting a range of street food traders with live music.
Sunday Clothes Swaps is a monthly clothes swap market where you can browse and exchange clothes and accessories. The café will also be open for hot drinks and delicious vegan baked goods!
Support The Makers is a platform that shines a light on local makers through features, Makers Markets, creative workshops and more. They have recently organised pop-up shops, one of which will take place in the St James Quarter.
WORKSHOPS IN MARCH
Edinburgh has a fantastic creative community who hosts regular workshops to teach their craft. So, whether you’re looking to discover a new hobby or cultivate an existing talent, here are a few options:
Join The Edinburgh Craft Club as they host a Rattan Mirror Workshop at Anthropologie. The workshop will guide you through bending and shaping cane to create a professional mirror with a boho, retro twist.
Join local artist and sculptor Lucy Wayman to create a bespoke macramé wall hanging! The workshop is designed for all levels of experience and will start with the basic principles and techniques of macramé, before moving on to designing and creating your bespoke wall hanging.
Head along to Cramond to learn all about the wild greens covering riversides in spring. Discover two local species of wild garlic, learn how to distinguish them from toxic look-alikes and how to use them in the kitchen.
Last, but not least, there’s always a host of businesses opening their doors for the first time in Edinburgh. Here are a few which have opened in February and will be opening in March. Why not pop along and welcome them!