out against Frankfurt in the NFL European League. Further info from www.claymores.co.uk; ticket hotlinc 0500 353535.
Cafe Philosophique Thu 18 May, 7—9pm. lnstitut Francais d’Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent, 225 5366. Your chance to pour forth opinions on a variety of subjects at these lively debates. This week’s topic is Religion And Philosophy — prepare for disagreements of biblical proportions.
George Wylie Tue 16 May, 1pm. £3. Festival Theatre, 13—29 Nicolson Street, 529 6000. The well-loved artist, and man behind the enormous safety pin in Glasgow’s Trongate a few years back, talks about his passion for art which strays beyond the gallery space. Engineering For A Quiet Life Wed 17 May, 5.30pm. Free. Hugh Nisbet Building, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, 451 3444. Professor Robert J.M. Craik gives a talk as part of the University’s lnaugural Lecture Series. Event takes place in Lecture Theatre 4.
Geology Walks Sun 14 May, 3pm. £5.50 (£2.50—£4.50). Holyrood Palace Car Park, 555 5488. Discover the secrets of Edinburgh’s landscape, from the volcanoes and glaciers that have shaped the land to the people who have used it, in this informative walk around Arthur’s Seat. Accompanied children go free in May.
Lookin' Through The Window Thu 18—Fri 19 May, 10am—noon & 2—4pm. Free. Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South, 336 2060. Advance booking essential on 529 3963. Glass painting workshop for adults.
Brass Rubbing Centre
Chalmers Close, Royal Mile, 556 4364. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free, but there is a charge for making a rubbing. Situated in the apse of a Gothic church dating back to 1460, the centre houses a selection of church brasses and ancient Pictish replicas — as well as lots of crayons so you can get rubbing.
Holyrood Road, 550 7800. Daily lOam—6pm. £5.95 (£3.50—£4.40); family ticket £16.50. With volcanoes erupting beneath your feet, a tropical rainstorm pouring down, earthquakes and tidal waves at every turn. the history of the earth has never been more interesting. Edinburgh’s latest visitor attraction uses stunning new developments in interactive technology to piece together the history of the planet, creating a thoroughly modern way to step back in time.
life to the heart of the city, this working farm houses a host of farmyard animals, including ponies, pigs and goats. Other facilities include a children’s play area, cafe and workshop, wildlife garden, farm tractors and an interpretation centre, plus a full programme of supervised activities for children and adults.
Museum Of Childhood
42 High Street, 529 4142. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Founded in 1955, the museum has five public galleries with all manner of archive material and old toys relating to childhood through the ages. From antique dolls to 19805 computer games, there’s plenty here to send you off on a trip down memory lane.
Museum Of Scotland
Chambers Street, 247 4219. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon-5pm; Tue 10am—8pm. £3 (£1.50); children under 18 free. Devoted solely to the history and heritage of Scotland, the building contains five thematically-arranged exhibitions, moving from pre-history, through the Industrial Revolution, to the present day.
National War Museum Of Scotland Edinburgh Castle, 225 7534. Daily 9.45am—5.30pm. £7 (£2—£5). Housed within Edinburgh Castle, the former Scottish United Services Museum re- opens this year after major refurbishment. Six new galleries have been added to the national collections, exploring military influence in the last 400 years of Scottish history and presenting the experience of the individual Scot in war and peace. Admission to the Museum is included in the admission price to the Castle.
Palace Of Holyroodhouse
Royal Mile, 556 1096. Daily 9.30am—6pm (last admission 5.15pm). £5.50 (£2.70—£4); family ticket £13.50. Starting life as a 13th century abbey, the palace has evolved into a sumptuous regal residence crammed full of paintings and artefacts dating back primarily to the 17th century. The tower apartments housed a sad and lonely Mary, Queen of Scots for a time, but with a spectacular view of Arthur’s Seat, and magnificent gardens to look at, it’s hard to feel too sorry for her.
Royal Botanic Garden
lnverleith Row, 552 7171. Daily 9.30am-7pm. Free. A sea of tranquillity in the hubbub of the city, the Botanic Garden is home to a wealth of flora and fauna from all over the world. The glasshouses give you the opportunity to check out tropical plants as well. The site also hosts art exhibitions, horticultural courses and various countryside events.
Castlehill, 225 9846. Daily 9.30am—6pm (last admission 5.15pm). £7 (£2—£5). Although much of the castle’s medieval character was lost when it was converted into barracks in the 19th century, continuing excavations aim to redress this. Other attractions include James IV’s famous cannon, Mons Meg, the One O’Clock Gun with it’s own exhibition, lots of military silverware and, of course, The Stone Of Destiny, used to crown Scottish kings since time began.
7 Charlotte Square, 225 2160. Mon—Sat lOam-Spm; Sun 2—5pm (last admission 4.30pm). £4.40 (£2.90). Experience a period Georgian house, giving a taste of life in Edinburgh when the New Town was built. Special offer throughout 2000 — up to three children under eighteen go free when accompanied by a paying adult.
2 Chambers Street, 247 4219. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—5pm; Tue lOam—8pm. £3 (£1.50); children under 18 free. A 19th century museum housing international collections of natural history, geology, science, technology and the decorative arts, plus two permanent exhibitions: Art & Industry and The Ivy Wu Gallery.
Royal Yacht Britannia
Ocean Drive, Leith, 555 5566. Daily 10.30am—6pm (last entry 4.30pm). £7.50 (£3.75—£5.75); family ticket £20. The former royal yacht has opened its doors to members of the public after a £25 million refit. The on-shore visitor centre contains historical information on the boat and its furnishings while, on the yacht itself, members of the public can have a good nosy round the royals’ former quarters.
Gorgie City Farm 51 Gorgie Road, 337 4202. Daily 9.30am—4.30pm. Free. Bringing country
Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre 354 Castlehill, Thefoyal Mile, 220 0441. Daily 10am— pm (last admission
4.15pm). £5.50 (£2.75—£3.85); family ticket £13.50. Take a romp through the traditions and history of yer national drink at this fully interactive attraction. Highlights include a lesson from a ghost master-blender, a barrel-car ride through whisky history and a well-stocked bar in which to test your newly-acquired expertise.
Shaping A Nation
Fountainpark, Dundee Street, 229 1706. Mon-Sat 10am—5pm; Sun 11am—5pm. £5.50 (£4); family ticket £16. The newest addition to the Fountainpark complex provides a fresh look at Scotland’s heritage. Interactive displays and computers give a ‘hands-on’ feel to the attraction, exploring the inventors and innovators who have made Scotland great. The finishing touch is a themed journey on the Turbo Ride.
Lady Stair’s House, Lady Stair’s Close, 529 4901. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. A treasure-house of items relating to three
listings EDINBURGH lIFE
of Scotland’s most famous writers: Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.
OUTSIDE THE CITIES
Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship Sat 13—Sun 14 May, Sat 11.30am—5pm; Sun 9am—5pm. £8—£20 (£4—£10). Knockhill Racing Circuit, Knockhill, Dunfermline, 01383 723337. Major British saloon car championship as seen on Grandstand, featuring many top racing drivers and guest participant Fred MacAulay.
Real Ale Festival Fri 19—Sat 20 May, Fri 5—11pm; Sat 11am—1 1pm. £2.50. Town Hall, Marshill, Alloa, 01259 213131. Scotland’s longest running real ale festival in association with CAMRA, featuring over 40 real ales, scrumpy and wine.
All The King's Men Sun 21 May, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm. Newark Castle, Port Glasgow, 668 8800. Go back in time with this historic battle re-enactment set in the time of King James IV.
ON YOUR DOORSTEP
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If you’re suffering from pent-up tension, have a long-standing ambition to behave like an action movie hero, orjust fancy doing something different, then try Quasar. If unacquainted with this laser game phenomenon then the basics are as follows: round up a group of friends, strap on some glow-in-the-dark armour, get yourself a laser gun and prepare for combat. There are two different games available — two teams can battle against each other or else you can opt for the 'every man for himself’ option. In either case, the object is to shoot as many people as possible, avoid getting hit yourself, build up an impressive number of points and win the game. If this all sounds a big barbaric, don’t worry, it’s all good
Playing in teams is probably the best option for beginners. Each team is allocated a base to defend and you’ve got fifteen action—packed minutes to duck and dive through the maze, taking no prisoners. The playing area itself is dimly lit with fluorescent paint to help stop you walking into walls (although if your eyesight’s not 100% it’s no guarantee), and you'll discover skills you never knew you had as you weave in and out of the darkness. It's a revelatory experience if you go with work colleagues; that person you thought was your friend is suddenly shooting you in the back; the quiet, unassuming characters become crack commandos, and as for getting the chance to take a shot at your boss, well, for many it‘s a case of dreams becoming reality. Whatever you do, don’t wear a woolly sweater as within minutes of the buzzer sounding the heat is on in more ways than one.
When the time comes to hang up your gun and smile a triumphant smile, don’t be too quick to start boasting, for outside you’ll be greeted with a print-out of scores. This detailed account lets you know who you’ve hit most, who hit you and, most gut-wrenching, what your ranking was within the team. Feel your triumph fade to incredulity as you take in the statistics, ’22% accuracy — don’t give up your day job’. Never mind, there's always next time. (Louisa Pearson)
Fun factor 5/5
Informative 0/5 (it’s not that kind of attraction)
Value for money 4/5
How do you get there Head out to the west of the city on Slateford Road, buses
no 4 and 44 will get you there.
How much it costs Mon—Fri £2.50 for one game/£4 for a double game; Sat—Sun
£3.50 for one game/£5 for a double game.
When it‘s open Daily 1 1am—9pm.
i Quasar, 746 S/ateford Road, 455 7587.
11—25 May 2000 THE LIST 97