I am thinking about booking a RS tour in August and would like to spend a couple of extra days in Edinburgh prior to the start of the tour but with all the festivals in August I am concerned about being able to secure the additional nights lodging. Any recommendations?
Are you able to contact the hotel that the RS tour is staying in? I have always been able to go in to the same hotel a couple days early - but have not been on the RS Scotland tour.
Perhaps the tour desk at the RS office can help you out.
If you have trouble finding traditional lodgings, you can try Edinburgh University, which opens up its dorms in the summer. The rooms are large and clean, but a little ways away from the Old Town. However, we had a nice room last August that overlooked Arthur's Seat. I think we booked a few months in advance; definitely don't leave it very late.
Cindy, I doubt that you'll have any trouble "securing lodging" in August if you book well in advance, however the main issue will be the price. I've found that during the Festival and Tattoo in August, hotel prices increase sharply (especially on or near the Royal Mile). While it would be nice to stay in the tour hotel, you may find that it's less expensive to book a hotel slightly outside the city centre to get better prices. It's not really too difficult to move to the tour hotel when the tour starts. One hotel that I'd recommend is Ceilidh Donia, which is just off Dalkeith Road, about a 10 minute Bus ride from the main part of town. Rick took the Scotland tour himself this year, so I'm sure you'll really enjoy it (he did, according to his Blog). Happy travels!
If you book far enough in advance you won't have a problem. What happens at Festival time is that the hotels expect you to be staying longer than one night on the weekends. So, I would recommend that you book at the same hotel that you're staying in with the tour or if its over the weekend you'll probably need two nights. Do tell the folks at ETBD what you want to do. They can probably help to some extent. You might also want to think about spending some time in Glasgow. I don't believe that the RS tour spends anytime there, whereas they will take you all over Edinburgh. And your trip ends in Edinburgh as well. Glasgow has a great cathedral wonderful museums and a great music scene in the west end. If you do stay in Edinburgh most of the RS Tour is Old Town, so you might want to explore New Town or go to the art museums. Or there are the great day trips that you can find out about at the TI that would take you to the Borders--another area that the RS tour doesn't go. Pam
We did exactly what others suggest here when we took a RS tour of Scotland in August of 2012. We arrived two days early and stayed at the tour hotel The Bonham which was happy to let us get the room we were going to be assigned to once the group arrived. The Bonham is a lovely hotel in New Town (in fact, by far the nicest hotel of the tour, even figuring in the fact that we were visiting small towns from there on...). We also were in Edinburgh in August 2009, on our own, and didn't have trouble getting a room.