Scotland in August?

Old Aug 9th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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Scotland in August?

We are planning to go to Scotland next August, 2011. It will be my husband, me and our 3 kids ages 19, 16 & 11. If our past trips to Ireland and England are an indicator, we'll be doing a mix of city and country - the kids tend to prefer the country while we adults enjoy city life.

There are a lot of festivals happening in Scotland (especially Edinburgh) in August, it seems, but we would not be traveling with the intention of going to them. Does anyone have an opinion about whether festival time makes Scotland more fun or more of a hassle? If the festivals make travel to Scotland generally more of a hassle, I might consider doing the trip in July instead, but if it affects only Edinburgh and adds to the fun, I'd probably stick with August.

Thanks.

Kelly
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Old Aug 9th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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I have no way of knowing whether you'd consider the Edinburgh Festival a hassle or fun. Check the dates and maybe arrive several days prior to the festival, then depart a day or two after.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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There's a simple flaw in your logic. You say the adults (guessing that doesn't include the eldest foal) like city life. Edinburgh is the best city to visit in Scotland (just check the forums -- you won't see paeans to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee [no offense Shiela] or Inverness). So you'd go to Scotland and miss its greatest city because of the festivals?

All may enjoy the festivals greatly -- look them up, discuss with the offspring. Edinburgh swells to three times its size every August (from 450K people to about 1.3+ million) so there is certainly demand. But if you visit Edinburgh in August, book your accommodations early, as well as any vehicle reservations you get from Edinburgh to go driving about the countryside.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Does anyone have an opinion about whether festival time makes Scotland more fun or more of a hassle?

Both.

The festivals are wonderful, there is something for everyone in each of them. I wouldn't miss a chance to see the military tattoo or the fringe (the largest arts festival in the world) or some of the others. Do a little research and get EXCITED about it - http://www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk/

Also weather in Scotland is at it's best in August (sunny and in the low 70's)

It does make Edinburgh in August more expensive (just hotels and flights - everything else is the same price) and some restaurants will have waits. But that should not make you change your plans. Imagine someone who wants to visit Alaska but thinks they should go in winter because the hotel rates are lower and there are no crowds - your thinking is not that extreme but it follows the same flawed logic. August is the PERFECT time to visit Scotland - that's why it's more crowded and more expensive then.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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I loved being in Edinburgh during the festival. But you have to actually be interested in the festival to feel that way, obviously. I attended several performances as I really like theatre and other performing arts.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Your really should see Edinburgh - and absolutely AMAZING city.

If the festivals/Tattoo put you off (and they do double the population, raise the prices, and increase the hassle factor - but once you've attended the Tattoo, you'll forget about all that) - then stay elsewhere like Stirling or Dunkeld, or Linlithgow, or ?? and do a day trip into Edinburgh by train to see the major sites.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 11:27 PM
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>>

It's nice today (so far) but there was rain yesterday & there have been days with low grey cloud.

As Rich Hall said last year - Edinburgh, what's with the weather, it's the only place where you can get sunstroke & trenchfoot in the same day
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 11:28 PM
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BTW Scotland is generally best in either June or September
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Old Aug 11th, 2010, 02:28 AM
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"Also weather in Scotland is at it's best in August (sunny and in the low 70's"

Not that I've noticed for the last 10 years...I dream of the low 70s

"you won't see paeans to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee [no offense Shiela] or Inverness"

You will actually......

If you aren't interested in the Festivals in Edinburgh then it's hell in August. It is a lovely city, but there are several other lovely cities...and Glasgow (the dear Green Place) is just a great place to visit.
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Old Aug 11th, 2010, 03:58 AM
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It's raining again in Edinburgh
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the responses. For those who thought I was suggesting skipping Edinburgh, I did mention that we'd go at a different time than August if the festivals made it too crazy - it seems like a city we'd really want to see. However, we have a 10yo son who's an awfully good sport but isn't likely to adore going to events at either the Edinburgh Festival or the Fringe. The Military Tattoo sounds right up his alley, though. We'll probably shoot for visiting Edinburgh at the start of the Tattoo and work the rest of our trip around that. Thanks.
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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"We'll probably shoot for visiting Edinburgh at the start of the Tattoo and work the rest of our trip around that."

That's a great plan. Two things -- 1) watch the Tattoo website and as soon as tickets go on sale (usually early in the year) nail down your seats. They sell out early - especially if you want specific dates.

2) Book you Edinburgh accommodations as soon as your dates are firm.Not necessarily as early as tattoo tickets - but well in advance.

For other areas in Scotland, you can book much closer to the date - or even wing it in places.
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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They generally go on sale at the start of December
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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Edinburgh is to me one of the very most gorgeous unique cities in the world - not just in Britain but the world. Do not miss it or give it short shrift - kids may like the docks area where i believe some huge old QE2 or Queen Mary is permanently docked?
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 11:04 PM
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It's the former Royal Yacht you can't get a decent sized liner into Leith

http://www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk/
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Old Aug 13th, 2010, 05:59 AM
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Thanks again for the tips. We're all so excited to go that the family are already asking me if I've booked the trip yet!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2010, 04:18 AM
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I agree with the prior advice and would only add that the rest of the country barely notices the Edinburgh Festival is on, so out of town you will have no hassle at all.

I do agree with Alan that June or September are superior for just about anything, but August is nae bad. This August has been positively good.

Other places with Festivals will be fun. Keep watching the web to see what's on where.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2010, 05:50 AM
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If you look at the Fringe website you will see that most of the events are not highbrow. There is plenty to fascinate an 11 year old.

Also it would be a shame for everyone else to miss out on the fun.

Since you have plenty of time to plan, why don't you ask every one to pick on place where they would like to visit.

My eleven year old son loved birding on the Isle of May, going to the airplane museum near Edinburgh, and even to my surprise the botanical garden.
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