Edinburgh Book Festival Accommodation

If you are planning on spending a lot of time at the Book Festival, why not save a fortune on taxis and choose accommodation that is close by. You couldn’t pick a nicer part of town than the UNESCO World heritage site of the New Town to stay in!

The West End district of Edinburgh is part of what was always known as the New Town development. Much of the architecture and layout of the roads is Georgian and has happily been left to stand undisturbed. Accommodation in this area of town is often plentiful in supply and comes in all shapes and sizes to suit a wide range of pockets. Whether you prefer self catering to Bed and Breakfast, accommodation here is always hugely popular (especially during festival season!).

Edinburgh’s West End is a location that affords variety as much as it possesses stylish architecture. It is within this location that there are bags of really nice places to eat and drink as well as tourist attractions. Within this New Town district is George Street, packed with exclusive designer shops and trendy bars. When the rumbles warn you of the dining hour, you will find yourself spoilt for choice. Decide between a host of tempting international cuisines in atmospheric restaurants all within a stone’s throw of your accommodation near to the Book Festival.

A popular venue throughout the Edinburgh Festival is that of the pillar clad Assembly Rooms in George Street. Built in 1787 for upmarket performances, something of the atmosphere still remains. It is quite an eerie venue, despite its grandeur and lively atmosphere! While settling into your seat in the Assembly Rooms ballroom, you can almost see the ladies and gentlemen of yesteryear dancing around as you await your Fringe show to take the stage.

There is a nice coffee shop at the Book Festival as well as places to grab a snack, but you don’t need to venture too far for a coffee outside of Charlotte Square. One thing Edinburgh is not short of, is coffee shops and cafes! One of my favourite is found inside the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street, a short walk behind the Book Festival. Try not to rush off afterwards, as built in the style of Venetian-Gothic in 1885, this is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings.

Visitors to Charlotte Square tend to adore the Georgian House at number 7 Charlotte Street. Offering an insight into wealthy Georgian lifestyles, the house is open for visitors every day except Sunday morning.

For tourist attractions of a more literary kind, you will need to venture into the city centre. A mile or so away from the city centre, travelling from the West End involves a steady walk or a bus or taxi ride. As you turn into Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare, you will see the vast Princes Street Gardens which offer welcome escape from the crowds and offers amazing views of the castle towering above you. While you’re enjoying a peaceful stroll through the gardens, you will observe the Scott Memorial, the shrilly-shriek of the bagpipes (an acquired taste I have yet to acquire) and the Botanical Clock!

The Royal Mile is where to find the Writers’ Museum built in 1622 as well as the relatively new Storytelling Centre. The former is a good place to enjoy permanent exhibitions on Burns, Scott and Stevenson, while the latter brings to life the story through a variety of delightful mediums including theatre and exhibitions.

While enjoying the Book Festival, there are many additional ways to immerse yourself into the ‘City of Literature’. There is the Storytelling Network, the numerous tours such as the Edinburgh Booklovers Tour and the Literary Pub Crawl, the National Library of Scotland, of course (situated on George IV Bridge) and the many fantastic bookshops that are scattered about the city. Top book haunts include Pickering’s Books (Buccleuch Street), Oxfam Books (Morningside Road, Raeburn Place and Nicolson Street) and the Hospice Bookshop (Morningside Place).