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Edinburgh August 2018

We are considering taking a RS tour to Scotland in August of next year. We would like to go when we can see the military tattoo and one of the festivals. Is there a best time to attend during the month?

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Any time in August that the Edinburgh Festival or Festival Fringe are going on are equally good, unless you find there's a specific performance going on, on a certain date, that you don't want to miss.

For the Tattoo once you have a date in mind, make your reservations. You can pick up your tickets after you get to Edinburgh. The performance is outside and is held rain or shine, so if it looks like it might rain that evening, come prepared.

A quick guide to it all:

The Fringe, which is the biggest of the festivals, runs for 3-4 weeks through most of August. The dates for THIS year are roughly 3rd - 28th August, so it'll be similar next year. For an idea of what the Fringe is all about, go to and browse this year's brochure. Comedy is the biggest section but there's also a lot of drama and some music, cabaret, dance etc. Next year's brochure won't be out till June 2018 but it'll be similar stuff. A lot of the shows are cheap or free and very little needs pre-booking. Venues are scattered ALL OVER the city so you don't "visit" it, you're surrounded by it! Street performers, people trying to give you flyers, filling the streets & the restaurants - it's a full-on experience.

The Edinburgh International Festival runs more or less concurrently with the Fringe - it was the original festival but the Fringe has outgrown it. The International Festival is generally highbrow classical music, dance, drama etc. Tickets are pricier and will need pre-booking.

Also on is the Book Festival. This tends to last for a couple of weeks during the other Festivals. It has one site, in a square in New Town. Tickets will probably need pre-booking and I must say that I find it a bit pricey to hear an author talk about their books. But it's all very civilised and many people love it.

The Tattoo seems to be the thing most foreign tourists are aware of. Again, it goes on through most of August. You'll need to pre-buy your tickets. You can probably find bits of previous Tattoos on YouTube - see if it takes your fancy. Some people seem to expect it to be all bagpipes and Scottish stuff, but it isn't. It'll be military-style bands from around the world.

Also: Edinburgh is a fantastic city, brilliant at any time, but an amazing experience in August.