Niki is digital content producer for Time Out Edinburgh and Glasgow. He insists he's had a beard since before it was cool. Follow him on Twitter at @boyleniki
The 16 best afternoon teas in Edinburgh
Where better to indulge in afternoon tea than a city as regal as Edinburgh? With Edinburgh Castle towering majestically over the city and the grand architecture of Holyrood Palace, we can’t blame you for craving a taste of high society. Thankfully, Auld Reekie boasts a myriad of cafes, hotels and moving vehicles (we’ll explain later) offering a posh selection of sarnies, scones and all the rest in luxurious settings. And, off course, there are more homely, down-to-earth options too. Whether you want your fancy finger food to be accompanied by premium herbal teas, a cheeky glass of bubbly or inventive cocktails, the Scottish capital caters to every taste. Here’s where you can find the most excellent afternoon teas in Edinburgh. RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to the best restaurants in Edinburgh.
The 12 best museums in Edinburgh
There’s a reason Edinburgh is so well-loved, all over the world (and a reason its Airbnb prices can occasionally make your eyes water). This city is bursting with culture and great things to do, but the one thing you absolutely have to do while you’re there is the museums. For the serious folk, you’ll find plenty of science, nature and geography stuff to learn about, but if you’re looking for something a bit different, why not check out the famous Museum of Childhood, or a museum dedicated to harpsichords? Whatever you’re after, here are the best museums in Edinburgh right now. RECOMMENDED:🖼️ The best art galleries in Edinburgh📍 The best things to do in Edinburgh🏰 The best attractions in Edinburgh🏖️ The best beaches near Edinburgh This piece was updated by Arusa Qureshi, a writer based in Edinburgh. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.
The 9 best Airbnbs in Edinburgh
Airbnb has rapidly become the method of choice when it comes to finding somewhere to crash while you’re away. And you know what? Some of these Airbnbs in Edinburgh prove exactly why – they’re incredible. And we know that you might not be travelling anytime soon but whether you’re eyeing up somewhere for a future trip or you just fancy having a little nose around someone else’s house, these Edinburgh Airbnbs are definitely worth checking out. And remember, there are a lot of incredible things to do in Edinburgh so when you’re visiting, make sure you check this incredible part of the world out properly. And once you’ve done that? Head out into the stunning Scottish countryside, before retiring to your Edinburgh Airbnb for a well-earned rest. Happy travels. RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in the UK This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 12 best beer gardens in Edinburgh
Despite what many assume about Scotland, we do have the occasional warm, sunny day and when that happens, you best believe everyone will be making the most of it. Whether you’re a beach-goer or a keen outdoor enthusiast, one place most people will enjoy on a scorching afternoon is a classic local establishment with a beer garden. And luckily, Edinburgh has plenty to choose from, and many are popular come rain or shine. If you’ve already read up on the best pubs and bars to visit in Edinburgh, here’s a list of places that will let you take your pint outside. So whether you’re meeting friends for a drink in the open air or just looking to enjoy your own company in the sunshine, check out one or more of these brilliant beer gardens in Edinburgh.
The best things to do with kids in Edinburgh
If the kids are flagging after a long-ish dawdle around some of the best museums and galleries in Edinburgh, we’ve got you some ideas. Whether it’s attactions that go ‘moo’ and ‘grrr’ or interactive exhibits that’ll make little ones go ‘woo’, there’s all manner of excellent things to do with kids in Edinburgh – so much so, the trouble is knowing where to start in this exceedingly family-friendly city. From a 360-degree cinema to a museum of optical illusions, here are six brilliant ways to keep the kids entertained on your next day out. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Edinburgh
The best kids' things to do in Glasgow
From scaling a climbing wall to discovering a world of historic cars and trains, there's plenty to keep kids occupied in and around Glasgow. Plan a family day out to one of the city's best museums or escape for some fresh air while admiring a lovely Clydesdale horse or - and this one we're quite in favour of - find them the perfect activity while you simply chill out with a coffee. Done. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here. RECOMMENDED: Time Out's guide to half-term in Glasgow for kids
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015: comedy reviews
It can be difficult navigating the mass of shows and reviews at the Edinburgh Festivals - here, you can be sure of reading critiques from Time Out's trusted comedy review team. Check out our theatre and comedy previews for more Edinburgh Festivals recommendations.
Edinburgh Festivals 2015: theatre reviews
It can be difficult navigating the mass of shows and reviews at the Edinburgh Festivals - here, you can be sure of reading critiques from Time Out's trusted theatre review team. Check out our theatre and comedy previews for more Edinburgh Festivals recommendations.
The 7 best restaurants in Aberdeen right now
From low-level street scran catering to students to high-end restaurants for oil execs looking to splash their hard-earned, you’ll find a pleasingly diverse mix of eating establishments in Aberdeen. Sure, there are plenty of popular chains here – your Topolabambas, your Wagamamas – and while we’ve nothing against those (sometimes you have a craving that only ginger chicken teppanyaki can satisfy), we’re generally more inclined to shine a light on the independent, locally-minded restaurants going it more-or-less alone in a crowded food scene. So if you’re exhausted (and hungry) after a day out exploring this north-eastern city’s array of marvellous attractions and things to do, we recommend hotfooting it to one of the best restaurants in Aberdeen right now – these are our absolute faves. Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList.
Six great days out from Glasgow
Some small towns and villages near Glasgow don’t have to work too hard to attract visitors since their stretch of countryside is an iconic destination in its own right. Others conjure up annual festivals or visceral adventures. Alternatively you could opt for a day in Edinburgh, or a jaunt on a paddle steamer round the sea lochs of Argyll. Fancy a whisky-themed trip? Check out these nearby distilleries.
Glasgow distilleries: Five whisky-heavy destinations near town
If you're looking for a whisky-heavy activity that doesn't involve the usual pubs, restaurants and bars that you frequent, look no further than these Glasgow distilleries. From destinations that are hardly out of town to those nestled in the countryside—and another on an island in the Firth of Clyde!—Glasgow has all kinds of options when it comes to day trips focusing on Scotland’s national drink. You can hop on a bus from the city and get to Glengoyne—a distillery that offers a whole range of tours—in less than an hour; or opt for Tullibardine, a bit farther but offering a 20-year-old that is hard to find elsewhere. Whichever destination you opt for, get ready for an out-of-body, memorable (and alcohol-infused) experience. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Glasgow
Listings and reviews (1)
This Will End Badly
This review is from 'This Will End Badly's run atthe 2014 Edinburgh Fringe. The cast has not changed ‘Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve Fucked’. It’s an attention grabbing title, isn’t it? Rob Hayes’s bestial tragicomedy didn’t beat about the bush when it debuted at the Fringe last year – the show really did comprise a series of post-coital chats with some of man’s best friends-with-benefits. Hayes’s 2015 Fringe follow-up, ‘This Will End Badly’, is a bit more demure in title, but the core themes remain the same. Three unnamed young men, each exhibiting some form of mental or physical imbalance, bare their souls in the wake of a failed relationship. There’s the predatory pick-up artist, a master manipulator and steely strategist who’s always on the verge of simmering rage. There’s the OCD neurotic, who’s worryingly well-versed in suicide statistics. And there’s the guy who hasn’t shat once in the 11 days since his break-up, who won’t go to the doctor in case this new form of extreme constipation gets named after him. Hayes’s fondness for pairing pathos with profanity is still alive and well. Performer Ben Whybrow takes on all three roles with unflinching intensity – instead of fluidly transitioning from one to another, he cuts abruptly between characters, often mid-sentence. It’s a magnetic performance, though the regional accents that differentiate each character – one Scottish and one each from northern and southern England – sometimes lack distinction. Hayes’s stories
A beginner’s guide to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Taking place all through the Festival on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a sound-and-vision spectacular that attracts sell-out audiences year after year. Here’s a guide for the uninitiated. Just what on earth is it? It’s a large-scale, outdoor, music-and-marching performance held in front of Edinburgh Castle every night from 5–27 August. It features military bands predominantly from Scotland and the UK, with additional international guests. There’s also choreographed dance performances and a visual element as well, usually in the form of son et lumiere light projections and fireworks. Why the ‘Tattoo’? Are they all inked up or something? Nope – the name comes from the Dutch ‘doe den tap toe’, which roughly translates as ‘last orders’. Back in the 18th century, British regimental bands start playing when it was time for troops to quit the local saloons and head back to the barracks. From there it developed into a sort of late night ceremonial sign-off – a song before bedtime, so to speak. Steeped in military tradition, then – doesn’t necessarily sound like a natural fit with the world’s biggest liberal arts festival. We’d consider it more as a counterbalance: while the Fringe is all freewheeling artistic chaos and experimental risk-taking, the Tattoo prides itself on tightly orchestrated, precision-drilled professionalism. The Fringe welcomes all comers, regardless of talent or ability, so audience members are often taking a punt on somet
In pictures: Frankenstein's new German-themed bier keller
Following the launch of a new Bavarian-style beer hall in Glasgow this month, Edinburgh theme bar Frankenstein's has transformed its basement space into a likeminded beer cellar (or bier keller if you want to be all German about it). We went along to the grand opening to see what it was like, and perhaps enjoy a (Franken)stein or two of quality German lager while we were at it. For starters, the beers are huge. Those are two-pint steins in the picture above, filled with genuine German goodness: the one on the left is a crisp Radeberger lagerbier, while the cloudy fellow on the right is a sweet'n'wheaty Erdinger Weissbier. (The beautifully decorated tankard to the rear is just for cutlery.) There's also a Frankenstein house lager and a selection of bottled beers from Germany and Belgium, including Furstenberg, Vedett and Duvel. It's not exactly cheap - a stein of Radeberger will set you back £10.30, for example - but you have to remember that (a) it's two pints, (b) it's really good quality German beer, and (c) you're really paying for the atmosphere, of which there is plenty. A good dose of that atmosphere is provided by the in-house oompah bad, who play every Friday and Saturday night. Between traditional German drinking songs and brassed up versions of pop hits (think Beyonce), they lead the crowd in sing-alongs (lyric sheets are provided), call-and-response chants ('oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumper') and frequent Oktoberfest-style toasts. Surprisingly, thi
In pictures: Glasgow's new German-themed bar, Bavaria Brauhaus
Glasgow's newest bar, Bavaria Brauhaus, had its official launch last night, prior to the public opening at noon today. We had a look round the venue, which is inspired by the large, convivial beer halls of Munich, Germany. Here's what we noticed - and apologies in advance for some blurriness, we may have sampled a beer or two. It's a decent size The beer halls of southern Germany are typically massive affairs, and while Bavaria Brauhaus isn't quite on the same scale as those behemoths, it's a far cry from your local bar and lounge. Formerly the Madness Theatre of Fun on the corner of Bothwell Street and Wellington Street (handily located for Central Station), the venue's high ceilings comfortably both house a bustling floor area and upper balcony area - and, if you've never had the pleasure of crossing a bridge within a bar, we can highly recommend it. Talking of the ceilings... The frescos are beautiful It's unlikely you'll want to spend your entire evening craning your neck up at the roof (though you'll probably see it through the bottom of a glass more than once), but you should take a minute to admire the work that's gone into it. In addition to traditional designs like fluttering Bavarian flags and harvest emblems, artist Nichol Wheatley has included a few Scottish flourishes - including one of Glasgow's favourite sons... Alasdair Gray's there The above portrait is one of those nifty perspective drawings that's depicted across several surfaces and only makes sense if
Prince confirms TWO Glasgow Royal Concert Hall gigs on Friday November 27
Remember yesterday how we said Prince was maybe, hopefully, please God make it so playing an intimate gig in Glasgow? Well, he just confirmed it. The only difference is he's doing it twice. The Purple one will be sitting down to his piano at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at both 5pm and 9pm on Friday November 27, with tickets on sale from 10am on Friday November 13 (unlucky for some). We know the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall isn't exactly Nicen'n'Sleazy when it comes to intimate venues (side note: oh my God, how amazing would that be?), but considering his last gig round these parts was at the Hydro, we'll let him away with it. Here's the video for 'Kiss' for you to freak out to. Prince, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Friday November 27, 5pm & 9pm. Tickets on sale from Friday November 13.
How to brew your own beer at Stewart Brewing's Craft Beer Kitchen
Based in Loanhead on the southern outskirts of Edinburgh, Stewart Brewing is one of the leading lights of Scotland's craft brewing scene. Founded in 2004 by Steve and Jo Stewart, the brewery has grown from a husband-and-wife cottage industry to staffing 25 employees and operating a large custom-built facility, which includes an 18 tap Growler Fill Station (allowing customers to take home beers straight from the keg) and the UK’s first experimental brew-it-yourself Craft Beer Kitchen. If you're anything like us, you'll have pricked up your ears at the phrase 'brew-it-yourself', which is why we were thrilled when Stewart's very kindly invited us along to try it out. The barley and hops that make up various beers in the Stewart repertoire The day began promisingly with some beer-drinking in the Growler Fill Station. This wasn't just an attempt to stage the mythical piss-up in a brewery - we were sampling various beers in an effort to find some inspiration for how we wanted ours to taste. If you're a craft beer aficionado, you may already have some points of reference or even a preferred recipe ahead of time - indeed, some local microbrewers, such as Natural Selection Brewing, team up with Stewart's to make their own beers for retail. If you consider yourself more of a novice though, the best practise is to taste a few beers, pick out a couple of favourites and say, 'I'd like it to taste a bit like that'. Sampling duly completed, we headed through to the Kitchen with our p
In pictures: Edinburgh looking gorgeous and mysterious in the fog
It's a bit of an unfair cliché that smaller cities (say, Edinburgh) will adopt today what a larger metropolis (say, London) was doing yesterday. That said, after Monday's newsfeeds being flooded with pictures of foggy London town, it's now Edinburgh's turn to get the hazy and mysterious treatment. ☁️ there is a castle on a cloud ☁️ #edinburgh #edinburghcastle #fog #cloud #scotland #winter #pretty #lesmis #greyday A photo posted by Charlotte Keeys (@charlottekeeys) on Nov 2, 2015 at 4:29pm PST The walk to the bus this morning #haar #fog #misty #edinburgh #foggy #autumnlight #seamist #granton A photo posted by @anneleenphoto on Nov 3, 2015 at 1:55am PST #morning #mist #foggy #sunrise #leithlinks #Edinburgh #spooky A photo posted by Julia Hiiri (@nahjulia) on Nov 3, 2015 at 2:27am PST If nothing else, this morning's weather confirmed something we probably could've guessed anyway: Edinburgh's fog-loving Instagram community is predominantly located near the Meadows. Morning fog #morning #foggy day #Edinburgh A photo posted by 张梦奇 (@menzie_zhang) on Nov 3, 2015 at 2:35am PST #Autumn in the meadows #Edinburgh #goodmorning #fog A photo posted by Steph Read (@stephread_2) on Nov 3, 2015 at 2:12am PST The Foggy Meadow #Meadow #Edinburgh #fog A photo posted by Ali Akbar (@aliakbars) on Nov 3, 2015 at 1:48am PST Creepy this morning #meadows #fog #730am #edinburgh #winter A photo posted by @minkkkk on Nov 3, 2015 at 1:34am PST
In pictures: BrewDog's new DogHouse bar, restaurant and bottle shop
BrewDog, the craft brewers with the self-proclaimed 'punk' ethos, have unveiled a new venue in Glasgow's Merchant City: DogHouse, a 'triple-threat' (in that it's a bar, restaurant and bottle shop rolled into one). If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, here's a taste of what you can expect. Beer Well, duh. As one of Scotland's leading craft breweries, there's obviously gonna be a focus on beer at any of BrewDog's ventures, though as the above menu shows, they're not sticking exclusively to their own brand. (In case you're wondering, their home-made IPAs etc were on another board.) Bottles BrewDog's third UK off-licence (following BottleDog outlets in both London and Edinburgh), this well-stocked bottle shop is one of those perfect 'exit through the gift shop' opportunities for when you're done at the bar but fancy a little something for when you get home. Again, BrewDog's own selection is available but it's by no means the only choice. BBQ We're not quite persuaded by the argument that barbequed meat is the only thing that goes with craft beer (and we know a fair few vegetarian beer fans who'd agree with us), but there's no denying the DogHouse BBQ pit is a carnivore's heaven. Board games Because it's craft beer, yeah? So you're not meant to chuck it back in pints but instead take your time over it, relax, make it more sociable. Not that we can picture folk grabbing a booth and settling down to a full-length Monopoly or Risk campaign - those things take hour
In Edinburgh for Hogmanay? Here are those Auld Lang Syne lyrics you'll be needing
If you're spending New Year in Edinburgh, or any Scottish city, or in fact any city, anywhere, that's ever had a Scottish person affiliated with it, then chances are you'll hear a rousing chorus of 'Auld Lang Syne' break out at some point. The song is inextricably linked with Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, though it's a common misconception that he actually composed it - instead he's largely credited with 'collecting' the song from traditional oral folk singers, and probably adding/amending a few lines himself when it came to writing it down. Regardless of its authorship, 'Auld Lang Syne' (which roughly translates as 'times long past') remains a byword for celebrating long-lasting friendship and community - an ideal that's pretty heavily underlined when you're linking arms with several thousand fellow revellers on Princes Street. Unless you're attending the most traditional of Scottish Hogmanay parties, you probably won't be required to know all five verses, but it's worthwhile having a stab at remembering the first couple (and the chorus of course). We've included the full thing below, just in case: Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and never brought to mind?Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and auld lang syne? CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my jo,for auld lang syne,we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,for auld lang syne. And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!and surely I’ll be mine!And we’ll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,for auld lang syne. CHORUS We twa hae run about the br
Maximo Park, Craig Charles and more for Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2015/16
The full programme for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was unveiled today, adding several bands and events to an already impressive roster. In addition to the all-Scottish line-up of Biffy Clyro, Idlewild and Honeyblood at the (now sold out) Concert in the Gardens, indie types Maximo Park, Slaves and hotly-tipped Glaswegian five-piece White will play the Street Party’s Waverley Stage, while funk and soul DJ (and sometime ‘Coronation Street’/‘Red Dwarf’ star) Craig Charles will headline the party-centric Frederick Stage alongside Edinburgh’s own Four Corners resident Simon Hodge, with visuals from Buttercup and Pixels. Elsewhere at the Street Party, the trad-focused Castle Stage will feature performances from Rura, Peatbog Faeries and Shooglenifty (celebrating their 25th anniversary), while the Mound Stage will host a cabaret line-up presided over by Fringe regulars Guilty Pleasures. The annual Hogmanay Keilidh, usually held on the Mound precinct, has been shifted up to the Royal Mile and rechristened The Old Town Ceilidh, where revellers are invited to dash their white sergeants to music from the Cask Strength Ceilidh Band, Whisky Kiss, Ceilidhdonia and Sporran Again, before participating in a Guinness World Record attempt at the world’s longest 'Strip the Willow'. (As veterans of the Scottish country dancing scene, we have to interject at this point to recommend protective clothing – ceilidh dancing is a full-contact sport.) As ever, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay isn’t just about New Year’s Eve
Five of the best Epic Rap Battles of History
Hitting that same comedy/education sweet spot as 'Drunk History', YouTube series 'Epic Rap Battles of History' is a mega-successful YouTube channel that pits some of history's biggest rivals against each other (along with the odd fictional character). They're currently on a live tour which stops at Stereo on Friday September 25 (and pops up in Edinburgh the night after) - if you're unfamiliar, here's a quick run-through of their best bits. George Washington vs William Wallace Filled with hoary clichés (golf, haggis, no knickers under kilt) and delivered with a questionable Scottish accent, the Wallace v Washington ERB is nonetheless a winner, especially with its relevance to these shores. Washington scores a beauty with ‘I got my face on the quarter / you were drawn and quartered’, but Wallace gets triple-bonus points for issuing a macho Gaelic slam with the US Marines-aping ‘Alba gu brath / hoo-rah!’Best line: ‘Don’t tee off with me laddie / If you held my balls, you couldn’t be my caddy’.Who won: Wallace. Yay for Scotland! Sir Isaac Newton vs Bill Nye the Science Guy Some would question what business American children’s entertainer Bill Nye has in squaring off against the father of physics, but that’s by the by – this vid gives special guest (and master of the comedy song format) Weird Al Yankovic the opportunity to spit brutal flow in a powdered wig, while hip hop legend Chali 2na (Jurassic Five) makes a cameo appearance as another US pop science figurehead, Neil deGrass
Glasgow University is hosting an outdoor screening of Stand By Me
'Stand By Me' - probably one of the best depictions of teenage male bonding in cinema history - is to be screened under the stars in the Glasgow University quad this Friday. The film stars River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell as four friends who undertake a long hike in the hope of finding a dead body. With a supporting cast that includes John Cusack, Kiefer Sutherland and Richard Dreyfuss, it's a showcase of stellar acting talent, especially from Phoenix as the righteous but troubled Chris. The movie was adapted from a novella by Stephen King, and was originally included in his 'Different Seasons' collection of non-horror fiction. The same collection also contained 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' and 'Apt Pupil' - a wee tidbit there for any pub quiz/movie trivia fans. We're not sure why 'Stand By Me' struck the organisers as a good fit for the Glasgow Uni quad - the venue screams 'Harry Potter' to us - but we're happy for any public airing of this coming-of-age masterpiece. You can grab tickets for £10 from the Grosvenor Cinema website. Stand By Me, Glasgow University, Friday September 18, 7.30pm. See more film on Time Out Edinburgh.
Markets, family parties and dog day afternoons – it’s Stockfest 2015
Stockfest, the annual community festival of Stockbridge, is returning from Saturday September 12-Sunday September 20, celebrating everything that makes the well-heeled suburb one of Edinburgh’s most pleasant neighbourhoods. Here are some of the programme highlights. StockdishVarious venues, until Fri Sep 18Stockbridge is blessed with more than its fair share of great bars, restaurants and cafes. Stockdish aims to celebrate that foodie-centric culture, with eight local eateries competing to create Stockfest’s best signature dish. Head along to get a taste of what’s cooking at The Antiquary, Bon Vivant Stockbridge, Hamilton’s, Purslane, the Raeburn Hotel, The Scran & Scallie, Rollo and the St Vincent Bar, then turn up at the Stockfest Family Luau (see below) for the final prize-giving. Stockfest Super SaturdayVarious venues, Sat Sep 12, all dayPerhaps the most nakedly commercial of the Stockfest events, Super Saturday is a single-day sales extravaganza for local businesses. While it’s easy to be cynical about such endeavours, it’s worth remembering that (a) the festival’s profitability allows it to keep returning year after year, and (b) Stockbridge has some really nice shops, so why not take advantage of the fact many of them are offering discounts? There’ll be music, activities and special attractions throughout the day as well, to take that capitalist edge off. Stockflea Vintage & Craft MarketJubilee Gardens, Sat Sep 12, 11am-4pmYep, it’s just a more focused version of the m