Inside the Fringe: Festival Season in Edinburgh - Atlas Obscura Trips
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Inside the Fringe: Festival Season in Edinburgh

from $2,125 USD per person for 5 days, 4 nights
See Dates
  • 12 People Maximum
  • Easy Activity Level
  • Urban Exploration
See Dates
Trip Overview
Overview

Home to a rich and checkered cultural history, Edinburgh hosts the world’s premiere performing arts festival: the Fringe. Each August, the city swells with activity and nearly every street corner and square transforms into a stage. In an environment in which you might find yourself walking into a live performance at any given moment, the Fringe demands a kind of comfort with chaos. Over the course of five days, we’ll revel in the unexpected and embrace the spectacle of it all, considering creative freedom, the interaction between history and the contemporary, and the cycles of borrowing from the past in performance. Alongside a local expert, we’ll take in avant-garde performances in acclaimed venues, experience the zaniness along the Royal Mile, and go behind the scenes with the people making the magic happen. We’ll witness stand-up, performance art, drag, post-dramatic theater, and styles you likely haven't even heard of yet—with open hearts, curious minds, and an insider’s access to it all.

Highlights
  • Live performances
  • Behind-the-scenes experiences
  • Craft sessions with writers, performers, and directors
  • Conversations in cozy pubs

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Trip Leader

Patty Gaughan
Patty is a performer, director, art critic, curator, and teacher. Their favorite pastime is talking about art and performance, preferably in pubs. Patty loves all types of performance, from opera to the avant garde, from drag to kitchen sink dramas. After writing about international performance and video art for the past six years for publications such as Hyperallergic, HowlRound, and The Believer, Patty now has an encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary performance. They’ve performed and screened their own work at the Queens Museum, Dixon Place, Smack Mellon, Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, and were a 2017 Mass MOCA Assets for Artists Fellow. Patty has taught courses on performance and art appreciation for Hunter College, Western New England University, New York Times Student Journeys, and many others.

Additional Info

Pricing

The total cost of this trip is $2,125 (or $2,345 if taking the Highlands extension). 

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with a welcome dinner and whiskey tasting on Day 1. We recommend you arrive in Edinburgh by 2 p.m. on Day 1 so you can settle into your accommodations before meeting the group in time for dinner. Our trip concludes on the morning of Day 5. If leaving Edinburgh directly after our trip, we recommend departing any time on this day. If taking the Highlands extension, you should plan to depart Edinburgh any time on Day 6. If you’d like to extend your trip, we’d be more than happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in the city.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking two to four miles over the course of each day, climbing stairs, and remaining on their feet for long periods of time. Keep in mind that Edinburgh is a bustling and crowded place, especially during Fringe season.

Accommodations

There are a variety of wonderful hotel and Airbnb options available in Edinburgh. Accommodations are not included in the cost of your trip, but we recommend staying in the Old Town or Fountainbridge neighborhoods, which will serve as a central location for the trip. We strongly recommend reserving accommodations as soon as the trip is confirmed, as hotels will be in high demand during festival season. If you’d like accommodation recommendations, please contact us.

Included
  • All meals described in the itinerary.
  • Transportation throughout the trip. Travel in Edinburgh will be by foot and bus.
  • An experienced local guide to accompany you for the duration of the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers, excited to explore all that Edinburgh has to offer!
Excluded
  • Transportation to and from Edinburgh.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Accommodations in Edinburgh.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Applying for a passport or visa, if applicable.
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Trip FAQ

August is the most beautiful month to visit Edinburgh. Daytime temperatures reach up to around 70°F, dropping to the low 50s in the evenings. Plan on light jacket weather most days, and also lovely long evenings due to Scotland’s high latitude. You can expect some amount of rain during the week.

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Upcoming Departures

  • Aug 13–Aug 17, 2020
    from $2,125 per person
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