Edinburgh & East Lothian festivals

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Aside from East Lothian's stunning coastline and historic castles, the region also offers an opportunity to enjoy many festivals.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performers on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade (© Visit Scotland)
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performers on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade
© Visit Scotland

From comedy and drama to world-class musical performances, both East Lothian and the capital city, Edinburgh, provide events to delight visitors.

Fringe performer on Edinburgh's Royal Mile (© Visit Scotland)
Fringe performer on Edinburgh's Royal Mile
© Visit Scotland

With its glitzy premieres and cutting-edge independent films, the Film Festival brings a touch of Hollywood glamour to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh and East Lothian festivals

Discover world-famous festivals on your self-catering break

Many people will have heard of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe, but events in fact take place throughout the year for the whole family.

When you book a Lettings of Distinction East Lothian holiday let you are never far from the action, with properties in the region and all a day trip distance from Edinburgh.

Edinburgh festival season

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Edinburgh festival season officially kicks off with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Almost a thousand musicians, pipers, drummers, singers and dancers from around the globe perform on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

This unforgettable spectacle is brought to a close each evening with an impressive fireworks display.

Edinburgh Art Festival

The Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK’s largest annual celebration of visual art and attracts over 250,000 art lovers to the capital’s internationally renowned galleries, museums and artist-run spaces.

Admire specially commissioned public artworks created by both established and emerging artists.

You can also take your pick from an innovative programme of events including late openings, live music, film screenings, guided tours and family-friendly events.

Edinburgh International Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival, founded in 1947, is the official centrepiece of Edinburgh’s festivals.

Running for four weeks, this performing arts festival has world-class displays of theatre, dance and music.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival runs alongside the International Festival and, as Edinburgh's top comedy event, is the world’s largest art festival, with over 2,500 different shows last year.

As well as comedy and drama, the Edinburgh Fringe also features more unusual acts such as puppetry and circus performers.

For those who want their money to go a little further, there are also hundreds of free Fringe events.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Another August festival is the Edinburgh International Book Festival, staged in the elegant surroundings of the Edinburgh College of Art.

The event regularly attracts a top selection of authors, with previous appearances from Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling and Ian Rankin amongst many others.

With around 700 events each year, including free evening and online events, you’re sure to find the right genre to suit your literary tastes.

Food festivals

Culinary tastes are also catered for during Edinburgh's festival season with the many top eateries and pop up foodie events across the city.

Discover everything from traditional Scottish dishes to high-quality seafood.


We have various North Berwick holiday lets within walking distance of the train station, allowing easy travel for a day out in Edinburgh.

Lofty Links, located in the heart of the town, is a pet-friendly property sleeping up to 8 guests.

Beach Cottage is a 1-bedroom apartment boasting a stunning seafront location and is ideal for a relaxing seaside break.


Other top Edinburgh festivals

Edinburgh Science Festival

The fortnight-long Edinburgh Science Festival is held across the Easter holiday.

With hands-on experiments, fascinating talks and many more family-friendly events and activities, this vibrant celebration of science and technology invites people of all ages and walks of life to delve into the mysteries of the world that surrounds them.

Imaginate Festival, Scotland

May sees the return of the Imaginate Festival, Scotland’s international festival of performing arts for children and young people.

Bringing the very best in children’s theatre from around Scotland and the world to Edinburgh, the Imaginate Festival always delivers a programme to delight both the young and young-at-heart.

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The Edinburgh International Film Festival is held in June and shows a vast range of new films from around the world.

With its glitzy premieres and cutting-edge independent films, the Film Festival brings a touch of Hollywood glamour to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival in July opens with a Mardi Gras in the Grassmarket.

This lively two-week festival brings some of the very best names in jazz and blues to venues across the city.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival in October is Scotland’s annual celebration of traditional and contemporary storytelling.

The festival joins together artists and audiences in entertaining and inspiring live storytelling performances, thought-provoking talks, workshops and discussions and fun family activities.

Celebrate Hogmanay in Edinburgh

Nowhere else in the world throws a New Year’s Eve party quite like Edinburgh.

Celebrate the start of the New Year with three days of spectacular events held throughout the capital as part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

The city's celebrations boast a programme of must-see events including the UK’s largest outdoor New Year ceilidh, a Candlelit Concert in St Giles' Cathedral, and the Concert in the Gardens, hailed by the Discovery Channel as one of the ‘Top 25 World Travel Experiences'.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party is set against the dramatic backdrop of Castle Rock and attracts tens of thousands of revellers from around the world.

Join in the fun as live bands and DJs transform the city centre into one big party.

Watch as the inky black sky becomes ablaze with a spectacular fireworks display on the stroke of midnight from Edinburgh Castle and carry on making merry into the wee hours.

East Lothian festivals

The fun doesn't stop with Edinburgh's world-class festivals.

In the summer, the East Lothian boasts festivals such as Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick which has welcomed top artists over the years, including Texas and Sister Sledge.

Over the autumn and winter months, East Lothian also hosts festivals the Lammermuir Festival which celebrates classical music in the region's stunning landscape.

In addition you will find Highland games, local fairs and festivals throughout the summer in many of the towns and villages.


Lettings of Distinction offers self-catering holiday rentals across East Lothian and all are great options for enjoying the region's festivals.

Located in Gullane, Waverley North Penthouse is a spacious 3-bedroom apartment and has a designated parking space.

Further down the coast, in Dunbar, Greco's Close is a second-floor apartment featuring sea views and is well connected to Edinburgh via public transport.


North Berwick Highland Games (© Visit Scotland)
North Berwick Highland Games
© Visit Scotland

Whether you are looking to learn something new at the Edinburgh Science Festival or relax to music at the Lammermuir Festival, our region has something to enjoy throughout the year.

Book your next East Lothian self-catering break with Lettings of Distinction and be inspired by the many festivals on offer.

Nearby luxury self-catering in North Berwick & East Lothian

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