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10 Reasons to Visit Edinburgh in 2014

As the year of ‘Homecoming Scotland’, 2014 is a particularly special time to visit Edinburgh. Whether Scottish by blood, or simply Scottish in spirit, there’s never been a better time to celebrate the beauty, history and culture of this majestic country. In addition to our holiday deals, here are 10 brilliant reasons to visit Edinburgh 2014:

10) Celebrate Mardi Gras in the Grassmarket

The Edinburgh Jazz Festival is a non-stop party throughout the city. For jazz fans, there’s no better way to experience Edinburgh’s funky side. The highlight of the festival is the Grassmarket Mardi Gras, when the bustling spirit of New Orleans comes to the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Join in the parade of live music, as jazz musicians serenade crowds with rhythmic drum beats and soulful brass melodies.

July 2014 |

> Exclusive ‘live like a local’ offer: mention ‘Mardi Gras’ in our online enquiry form and get 10% off the cost of your stay.

9) Visit the Giant Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo



Say hello to Tian Tian and Yang Guang on a family visit to the Edinburgh Zoo. The Giant Pandas have called Edinburgh home since December 2011, and have quickly become the most buzzed about animals in the Zoo. Panda fans from far and wide have been waiting to hear if the female, Tian Tian, is ‘with-cub’. Whilst she’s not pregnant yet, you never know how long it will be until there’s a miniature Giant Panda in our midst.

Anytime/All seasons |

> Read our guide on visiting Edinburgh Zoo

> Book a family holiday with us and get complimentary Zoo tickets

8) Enjoy the best of rugby rivalries at the Calcutta Cup

The oldest rugby international is also one of the most fiercely fought. Although Scotland haven’t held the trophy since 2008, home advantage could play a major role in potentially securing a Scottish victory over England this year. This iconic sporting event, held just west of the city centre at Murrayfield, will be witnessed live by a sell-out crowd of spirited rugby supporters from both sides.

8 February 2014 |

> Read our local tips on visiting Edinburgh for the 6 Nations

> Get our 6 Nations accommodation offer

7) Raise a dram in honour of World Whisky Day


Scotland’s historic tradition of distilling whisky, which dates as far back as 1494, has earned it the reputation as one of the best producers of whisky in the world. Regulated carefully to ensure the highest quality, scotch whisky is often characterised by its robust, smoky flavour. On World Whisky Day, a number of Edinburgh’s whisky bars and shops will host tastings and feature special offers. There’s no better place to get into the ‘spirit’ of World Whisky Day than Edinburgh.

17 May 2014 |

> Read our guide to whisky tasting and distillery tours near Edinburgh

> Exclusive ‘live like a local’ offer: mention ‘World Whisky Day’ in our online enquiry form and get a complimentary bottle of locally distilled whisky to enjoy during your stay.

6) Discover your roots at Scottish heritage events

To honour the ‘Year of Homecoming Scotland’, Edinburgh will play host to a range of festivals and events that celebrate Scottish heritage. The city will also serve as ideal base for visitors wanting to explore Glasgow, the Borders and the Highlands.

Heritage events in Edinburgh include:

  • Wha’s Like Us? A Nation Of Dreams And Ideas: This exhibition at the National Library showcases an A to Z list of achievements and inventions Scotland has offered the world.

13 December 2013 – 18 May 2014 |

  • Riding of the Marches Reenactment: This annual event is particularly relevant during the ‘Year of Homecoming Scotland’, as it celebrates the Scottish tradition of ‘Common Riding’ during the 13th and 14th centuries. Honouring the men that once protected their common lands from invasion and theft, the reenactment will begin south of the city and end with a mounted cavalcade up the Royal Mile.

7 September 2014 |

  • Edinburgh Mela 2014: Celebrating the cultures and customs of those who’ve chosen to call Scotland home, the Edinburgh Mela is Scotland’s largest showcase of world music and dance. This year marks the event’s 20th anniversary.

 August/September 2014 |

> Exclusive ‘live like a local’ offer: mention ‘Scotland Homecoming’ in our online enquiry form and get 10% off the cost of your stay.

5) Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Forth Road Bridge


Edinburgh’s iconic bridges are celebrating a major anniversary in 2014: the Forth Road Bridge is turning 50. As part of the 10-day long celebrations in September, there will be boat trips, fireworks and a torchlight procession, all set against the dramatic backdrop of the region’s two key arteries – the Forth Estuary, and the bridges that span them.

4 – 13 September 2014 |

> Exclusive ‘live like a local’ offer: mention ‘Forth Bridges Festival’ in our online enquiry form and get a free ‘Real Edinburgh‘ print to take home as a souvenir. 

4) Witness golfing history at the 2014 Ryder Cup

Just over an hour’s drive north of Edinburgh, Gleneagles will host the Ryder Cup in September 2014. The annual golf tournament, which pits the pros of Europe against America’s top golfers, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. With Europe winning the past two Ryder Cups, it’s up to the US Team to stop them from securing the third victory in a row.

The Ryder Cup is also a brilliant excuse to plan a golfing holiday in Scotland. After watching the pros, those who fancy a round or two on the country’s most iconic courses can head to St. Andrews to tackle the famous Old Course, or take-on the challenging links courses of East Lothian.

26 – 28 September 2014 |

> Read our guide on golf courses near Edinburgh or find out more about our 2014 Ryder Cup accommodation in Edinburgh

> Exclusive ‘live like a local’ offer: mention ‘Ryder Cup’ in our online enquiry form and get free city centre parking during your stay.

3) Race to the finish line in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival


Edinburgh’s biggest and best running event is back for 2014, with thousands hoping to secure their personal best on Britain’s fastest marathon course. The route takes runners from the city centre out to the shores of neighboring town Portobello, weaving into East Lothian before turning back to finish in Musselburgh. The Festival also includes a 10K, Half Marathon, junior races and a team relay race.

24 – 25 May 2014 |

> Read our 2014 Edinburgh Marathon Guide

> Get our Edinburgh Marathon accommodation special offer

2) Watch the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

One of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow brings together the very best athletes from 71 British overseas territories and Crown dependencies. An exhilarating showcase of top-tier athleticism and fierce competition, this quadrennial event never disappoints.

Whilst hosted in Glasgow, the 2014 Commonwealth Games are also a brilliant excuse for visiting Edinburgh – just over an hour’s train journey away. This is particularly true as finding accommodation in Glasgow for the big event becomes increasingly difficult!

23 July – 3 August 2014 |

> Find out more about Commonwealth Games accommodation in Edinburgh

> Exclusive ‘live like a local’ offer: mention ‘Commonwealth Games’ in our online enquiry form and get 10% off the cost of your stay.

1) Laugh ‘til your stomach hurts at the Fringe Festival


Our number one reason to visit Edinburgh in 2014? It has to be the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It’s the biggest. The most fun. The kookiest. The most talked about. The funniest. The most entertaining. The coolest. The most exciting festival of the year. Simply put: it’s the best.

Featuring over 2,000 acts, the Fringe transforms the city into a giant arts venue. From theatre to music, dance to spoken word and – most notably – comedy, the sheer volume of entertainment available during the Fringe ensures there’s never a dull moment in Edinburgh every August. This year’s Fringe Festival programme will launch in Spring 2014.

1 – 25 August 2014 |

> Find out more about our Edinburgh Fringe accommodation

These are just some of the many reasons why 2014 is the year to visit Edinburgh. Don’t just take our word for it – Scotland was recently ranked third in Lonely Planet’s list of places to visit this year, and Edinburgh was voted the 2nd favourite UK city in the Guardian’s 2013 Travel Awards. For the third year in a row, Edinburgh Castle was awarded the title of Top UK Heritage Attraction at the British Travel Awards 2013.

To book your 2014 Edinburgh holiday, check availability and book online, or give us a call at 0131 225 2728.


Written by Margaret Kay

Originally hailing from Seattle, Margaret has called Edinburgh home for just over four years. A freelance writer, she spends her time hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop – enjoying every angle of this stunning city along the way.

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