The Edinburgh Festival is underway in Scotland’s capital, for a month of fun and festivities. But what if you’re in London instead?
Not everyone has left for bonnie wee Scotland, yet there’s still plenty of theatre, comedy and arts to experience in London. Some hotels even offer packages and special events for the cultured among us.
If you’re sad about missing out on Edinburgh, here are some great places to go for the arts in London instead…
Ham Yard Hotel
The Fringe Festival is probably most popular for its comedy shows. Every year, many comedians put on a show every day for the month of August and return home thousands of pounds poorer than when they left. But if you aren’t on your way to Edinburgh, there will still be some comedians staying behind.
The Ham Yard Hotel is the perfect place to stay if you want to visit the legendary Comedy Store.
There are still plenty of people to see in August, including the Comedy Store Players, with Paul Merton and Josie Lawrence on the 9th. Ham Yard also hosts its own comedy nights in partnership with Laughing Boy Comedy in the Ham Yard Theatre. Join their mailing list to find out about the latest listings.
Hilton London Angel Islington
There’s plenty of theatre in Edinburgh, at both festivals. You don’t need to go to Scotland to see a show though.
If you prefer your theatre more fringe than refined, the Hen & Chickens pub is well-known for both its theatre and comedy. There are plenty of actors and comedians who got their start at the venue. Hen & Chickens will be hosting several events as part of the Camden Fringe.
Stay at the Hilton London Angel Islington for easy access to the pub.
Eat and drink at the Axis bar and restaurant before you leave for a night out. There are plenty of other boutiques, pubs, markets, theatres and venues in the area for you to explore too.
There’s opera in Edinburgh too, but you can also find it in London. The new season at the Royal Opera House starts in September, but you can still catch the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Its central location means there are lots of excellent hotels to choose from, but The Milestone is well-known for its high standards of service.
The Proms continue until September 12th, which is the same day you can head to Hyde Park for Proms in the Park.
Hotel Café Royal
August in Edinburgh is also great for children’s entertainment. London has a lot to offer for kids this summer too. And children’s theatre is perfect for a rainy day, which we’re having quite a lot of at the moment. Fans of The Gruffalo should head to the Lyric Theatre in Soho to see a stage version of the much-loved book by Julia Donaldson.
For a special family treat, try the Hamleys Family Time package at the 5-star Hotel Café Royal.
When you’re not at the theatre, you’ll have exclusive access to Hamleys. You’ll get a tour and the kids will get a goody bag to take away too. Back at the hotel, you’ll get two rooms (interconnecting or near each other), a complimentary movie ticket and popcorn to enjoy in-room, breakfast in the Ten Room restaurant and late checkout.
There’s babysitting available too if parents want to escape for a few hours!
London is overflowing with arts and culture in the summer and great places to stay: if you’re not off to Edinburgh, you’ll have just as much fun right here!
Photo credits: zoetnet, Ham Yard Hotel, Hilton London Angel Islington, The Milestone, Hotel Café Royal.