Edinburgh Vacations

Edinburgh Vacations

EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PUB CRAWL

Oscar Wilde once said that “nothing worth knowing can be taught. For a real Edinburgh education, pick up a thing or two on the Let’s Go pub crawl.

Q Live folk music at Sandy Bell’s will prime you for the evening ahead. (25 Forrest Rd. Open daily llam-lam.)

Q Greyfriars Bobby is a student favorite. (34 Candlemaker Row. Open daily llam-lam.)

Q Beluga Bar is the spot for the stylish scholar set. (30a Chambers St. Open daily 9am-lam.)

g] Oxygen Bar cuts a cool profile with a smart decor. (3-5 Infirmary St. Open M-Sa 10am-lam, Su llam-lam.)

g Catch a little sun at Pear Tree House’s beer garden. (38 W. Nicolson St. Open daily 1 lam-midnight, F-Sa until lam.)

g Laid-back Negociants serves great food until 2:15am. (45-47 Lothian St. Open M-Sa 9am-3am, Su 10am-3am.)

FESTIVALS

Edinburgh has special events year-round, but the real show is in August when the city is the place to be in Europe. What’s commonly referred to as the Festival actually encompasses a number of independently organized events. For more info on all the festivals, check out www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk. The Edinburgh International Festival (Aug. 15-Sept. 4 in 2004), the largest of them all, features a kaleidoscopic program of music, drama, dance, and art. Most tickets (£7-57, 50% discount for students) are sold beginning in April, but you can usually get tickets at the door; look for half-price tickets starting at 9am on performance days at The HUB, Edinburgh’s Festival Centre, Castlehill. (473 2000. Open M-Sa.)

Around the established festival has grown a less formal EiFringe Festival (Aug. 8-30 in 2004), which now includes over 600 amateur and professional companies presenting theater, comedy, children’s shows, folk and classical music, poetry, dance, and opera events that budget travelers may find more suitable for their wallets (usually free-SlO). Contact the Fringe Festival Office, 180 High St. ( 226 0000; www.edfringe.com. Open June-Aug. daily.) Another August festival is the Military Tattoo (Aug. 6-28 in 2004), a spectacle of military bands, bagpipes, and drums. For tickets (£9-31), contact the Tattoo Ticket Sale Office, 33-34 Market St. (225 1188; www.edin-tattoo.co.uk). The excellent Edinburgh International Film Festival is also in August at The Filmhouse ( 229 2550; tickets on sale starting late July), while the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is from July 23 to August 1 in 2004 ( 467 5200; tickets on sale in June). The fun doesn’t stop for the long, dark winter: Hogmanay, Edinburgh’s traditional New Year’s Eve festival, is a serious street party with a week of associated events (www. edinburghshogmanay. org).

DAYTRIP FROM EDINBURGH

ST. ANDREWS. Golf overruns the small city of St. Andrews, where the rules of the sport were formally established. The Old Course frequently hosts the British Open. ( (01334) 466 666 for reservations or enter a same-day lottery for starting times. Apr.-Oct. £90 per round; Nov.-Mar. £56.) The budget option, still lovely, is the nine-hole Balgove Course for £7-10. If you’re more interested in watching than playing, visit the British Golf Museum, next to the Old Course, which details the ancient origins of the game. ( (01334) 460 046. Hours change seasonally; call for info. £4, students £3.) St. Andrews Cathedral was the center of

THE INSIDER’S CITY

Scottish religion before and during the Middle Ages. The nearby St. Andrews Castle hides secret tunnels and bottle-shaped dungeons. (Cathedral and castle open Apr.-Sept. daily 9:30am-6:30pm; Oct.-Mar. 9:30am-4:30prn. Joint ticket £4.)

Trains ((08457) 484 590) stop 11km away in Leuchars (lhr. every hr. £8.10), where buses #94 and 96 (£1.60) depart for St. Andrews. Buses ( (01383) 621 249) pull in from Edinburgh (bus #X59 or X60; 2hr.; M-Sa 1-2 per hr. until 6:45pm, fewer on Su; £5.70) and Glasgow (#X24, change at Glenrothes to #X59; 2%hr. M-Sa every hr. £5.50). To get from the bus station to the tourist office, 70 Market St. turn right on City Rd. and take the first left. ( (01334) 472 021; www.standrews.com. Open Apr.-June M-Sa 9:30am-5:30pm, Su llam-4pm; July-Aug. M-Sa 9:30am-7pm, Su 10:30am-5pm; Sept. M-Sa 9:30am-6pm, Su llam-4pm; Oct.-Mar. M-Sa 9:30am-5pm.) Internet access is across the street at Costa Coffee, 83 Market St. (£1 per 20min. Open M-Sa 8am-6pm, Su 10am-5:30pm.) B&Bs line Murray Place and Murray Park near the bus station. St. Andrews Tourist Hostel , St. Maiy’s PI. has a great location and has sparkling facilities. ( (01334) 479 911. Dorms £12; family room £40-48.)

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