A few corners of Edinburgh are Festival-free zones
BASS ROCK ‘
BIRDS’ EYE VIEW
Life on the open wing - _
Swap the crowds on the Royal Mile for a much wilder kind of gathering. such as this incredible gannet colony on Bass Rock. The waterways that surround and run through Edinburgh are a haven for all kinds of aquatic, airborne and animal life and make a welcome change from the insistent flyer distributors and crazy performers that swarm the streets.
I See our watery nit iis.‘ for the best ways to seek out lt‘e beyond :77»; Festival.
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City of the Dead tour-master JAN-ANDREW HENDERSON is all too familiar with the pressures of the Festival. such as keeping his tour-groups scared witless. Here he gives his tips on breaking free from the ghostly crowds.
Bike it I love cycling along the Water of Leith — yOu can follow it all the way from the sea to the Outskirts of Edinburgh. Nobody really knows it's; there. so even during the Festival you can go for miles in the city and not see anybody. Water of Leith ViS/tor Centre. 24 Lanark Road, 45:3 7387. For the kids I've got a two-year—old son. so over the summer I'm geing to take him to all the places that would usually be packed with people. like Deep Sea World. Deep Sea World, Battery Quarry. l‘iorth Queensferry. 07383 47 7880. 70am—6pm. £38.25 75‘6—F6507; 527 family ticket.
Beside the seaside Kids love Portobello beach. It's got that great old- fashioned seaSIde atmosphere that yOu don't really get any more. Well. as long as the Sun's shining it does. Lothian Buses 75 ’75A 8 26 from Princes Street to Portobe/lo. 555 6363. €24,250 (£27
Spooky spots At night we take Our tours to the haunted Covenanter's Prison by Greytriars Church. But during the day the graveyard is a lovely. quiet place to rest in because it's protected by huge walls. Grey/friars Kirlr. (Venue 737i. Grettriars Place. 226 0000.
I City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour. from Outside St Giles Cathederal. 225 9044. Times vary. 27 iii.
86 THE LIST FESTIVAL MAGAZINE 12—19 Aug 200.:
Seek out one of these relaxing watery spots for a break from the city grind.
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I Boat trips Known as the ‘Iona of the East'. lnchcolm island Sits in the Firth of Forth. near to the Fife coastline. A daily boat trip includes time to explore the abbey and abundant Wildlife. The Maid of the Forth sails daily from South Oueensferry pier (trains go from Waverly Stat/om. 337 4857. E77 50 (f4.5(H‘.9.:50). I Hidden thoroughfare the Union Canal is a little-seen waterway that runs through the city. Discover a new perspective by hiring a rowing boat or taking a launch trip courtesy of the Edinburgh Canal Society. Edinburgh Canal Socrety Boat House. Harrison Park, 700 Ashley Terrace. 556 4503. Sun
7 lam—4pm, £3.50.
I Beach life Only 40 minutes by train is the harbour town of North BerWick. with its sandy beaches and golf courses. Play on the shore or take a ride out to Bass Rock to watch the bird life. Boat trips organised by the Scottish Seabird Centre. 07 620 890 202. f 79. Trains run hour/y from Waverley to North Berwrck, 0845 748 4950.
I The alternative Leith Walk It‘s easy to find a peaceful spot along Water of Leith walkway that stretches from Balerno to the sea at Leith. The most picturesque section runs from Stockbridge to Murrayfield. passing under the Dean Bridge and along through woodland paths. You can also stop off at the Gallery of Modern Art. Water of Leith Visitor Centre. 24 Lanark Road, 455 7367.
I The Scottish Boat Show Now in its second year. the Scottish Boat Show is a great source of inspiration about boating life. Based at the Falkirk Wheel. the event includes exhibits. kids' entertainment and live music. The Scottish Boat Show at the Fa/kirk Wheel, 73—75 Aug. 07 324 679888, 70am-6pm, £2.50, free.