The days are starting to get longer and summer is fast approaching. From nearly deserted tourist attractions to incredible fire festivals, there are some amazing reasons to visit Edinburgh in spring. We explore some of the reasons spring might be the best time to travel to the Scottish capital.
Springtime offers the perfect balance between short winter days and almost never-ending summer ones. Sunset happens at roughly 7 pm in March and closer to 10 pm at the end of May. So, you can still catch stunning sunsets without having to stay up till the crack of dawn.
While Edinburgh’s main attractions swell with tourists during our peak season, things are still relatively quiet during spring. Visiting in early spring practically guarantees that you’ll be able to explore Edinburgh Castle without bumping elbows with other tourists. You’ll also be able to easily get a reservation in almost any restaurant and we still have plenty of fantastic holiday apartments available. Without the crowds, you can explore Edinburgh at your leisure and a last minute getaway to our gorgeous city won’t be a problem.
Scotland has a strong agricultural culture; especially further north. You can sample Scottish produce at local farmers’ markets. While our farmers’ markets operate year-round, Spring is a particularly lovely time to shop for local goods and taste fresh fruit and veg. Our favourite farmers’ market happens every Saturday in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle on Castle Terrace. The Sunday farmers’ market in Stockbridge is also worth a visit.
We have many excellent apartments within walking distance of both farmers markets. And picking up local produce is a fantastic way to make the most of your self-catering Edinburgh stay.
Springtime brings pleasant weather with low temperatures and sunshine (sometimes). Hiking Arthur’s Seat is a fantastic activity for these days. You won’t need to worry about being too hot or the midges and on a clear day, the view from the top will take your breath away. The top of Arthur’s Seat is also a great place to watch the sunset or sunrise.
After a rainy winter, Edinburgh bursts into Spring in style. Across the city, you’ll find tulips and snowdrops in full bloom. Princes Street Gardens are a particularly good place to admire the flowers as cherry trees and Rhodesians line the paths.
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Comely Bank are also a fantastic place to admire Edinburgh’s spring flowers. It’s relatively easy to get here, only 20 minutes by bus from the city centre and wandering these stunning gardens doesn’t cost a penny. You could spend the whole day here with the many garden walks and coffee opportunities.
Okay, so Scotland may have a reputation for rain. But, Springtime, especially May, sees some of the regions best weather. It’s not unheard of for temperatures to reach the high 20s in May. May can even, sometimes, have better weather than the summer months and most Scots use this to their advantage to plan weddings, camping trips and other outdoor activities. Now, you’re in on the secret you can book a holiday in May and have the best chance of enjoying sunny Scottish days (a true rarity!).
Held on the last day of April, the Beltane Fire Festival is an exceptional event. Locals gather on Carlton Hill to celebrate the first sign of summer with a fire festival. It’s a wild mixture of fire shows, drumming, dancing and acrobatics that channels ancient Celtic traditions. You’ll watch in amazement as the May Queen awakens to lead the audience through an unforgettable show. This all-night party and celebrations is a fantastic way to welcome the coming summer and new life.
Winter is officially over and we have high hopes for summer weather and sunny days. Scottish people take Spring very seriously. When the first rays of sunshine appear, you’ll see local people picnicking in Princes Gardens, dining on Edinburgh’s stunning terraces and drinking in public squares. Spring is a great time to visit the Scottish capital as everyone celebrates the end of winter and has a pep in their step.
Some of our favourite places for enjoying Springtime weather include the Grassmarket (not far from our popular West Bow apartment) and the Meadows. We also have apartments with private and shared gardens, perfect for enjoying the spring sunshine.
Exploring Edinburgh on a bicycle is a delightful experience. Edinburgh has many off-road cycle paths, which will take you to some of the cities’ best locations and even further afield. One of our favourite cycles is Route 1 to South Queensferry. It takes little under an hour and there’s lots of nice coffee shops as well as a stunning view at the end. Plus, you can get the train back if you’re not up for a return journey. You can rent a bike via the Just Eat Cycle Scheme or from one of the city’s cycle shops.
If you’re travelling with kids, they’ll love meeting the new baby animals at Gorgie City Farm, Edinburgh Zoo, or Craigie’s Farm. At Gorgie City Farm and Craigie’s, your little one can pet the baby animals and meet chicks, lambs and much more. Edinburgh Zoo offers something a bit more exotic with the chance to meet newborn animals from around the world. Kids are guaranteed to love spending the day with Edinburgh’s newest arrivals.
As most know, whisky is a large part of Scottish heritage. So, it only makes sense that we have a whole month to celebrate our national drink. May is World Whisky Month and Edinburgh has many fantastic events on. Classic spots to celebrate whisky include the Scotch Whisky Experience or Balmoral’s Whisky Bar. You can also join a day tour to visit Scotland’s Highlands and whisky distilleries with Rabbie’s Trail Burners.
We have many excellent self-catering holiday apartments for your Springtime holiday. Stay in one of our holiday flats with roof terraces or balconies to enjoy the spring sunshine or book holiday accommodation with a BBQ for some early summer celebrations. Check out our fantastic collection of holiday homes today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
Written by Karen
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