After the unbelievable cold spells and wintery weather we saw in March, here’s to hoping for some decent weather now. While we can’t control the weather, we can control what we do, and Edinburgh is not shy of places to go. So, we’ve gathered up a list of the most exciting things to do in Edinburgh this April.
1. Sail away on a gin-tasting cruise along the Union Canal
We adore boats and gin, and the two combined make for the perfect day out we’ve been dreaming about. Summerhall Drinks Lab is starting its open-air Gin Cruises from April 1, beginning at Fountainbridge. Visitors will be able to enjoy a two-hour gin-tasting experience gliding away on the colourful Lochrin Belle canal boat. Gin lovers will be able to sample five Scottish gins both on their own and in mixed drinks and cocktails. What is more, gin connoisseurs will also be onboard, guiding guests through each gin, telling the stories behind each gin and walking them through the combination of all the flavours.
2. Witness a Candlelight concert dedicated to ABBA
You can lay all your love on this Candlelight concert dedicated to the iconic hits of ABBA on April 13, in a cosily dimmed historic venue of The Caves. The merging of the beloved Swedish band’s songs, the whispers of golden candle hues and architecture that was lost for years is sure to make a lasting impression. You can book your tickets on Fever.
3. Get transported into the magical world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical
Edinburgh Playhouse is hosting another smash-hit musical this week, and this time it’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Gareth Snook plays Willy Wonka. The tour will stay until after Easter, between Wednesday, March 29 and Saturday, April 15. The musical shows the diabolically sweet tale of a young golden ticket winner Charlie Bucket and the mysterious misunderstood character Willy Wonka, transporting spectators into his magic world of wonder. Plus, you don’t have to be a child to enjoy it, the show is for everyone, where both grown ups and the little ones will laugh out loud.
4. Go cherry blossom spotting around the city
Towards mid to the end of April, we will start noticing the gorgeous cherry blossoms emerging around Edinburgh, delighting passers by with their yearly majestic displays. Of course, we always love to see all the blossoms around Princes Street, with picture perfect photo ops of a fairy-tale background that is Edinburgh Castle. Once you’ve passed Princes Street, head to St Andrew Square, where more beautiful trees will await you. The Meadows also boasts an impressive amount of the Japanese trees, where visitors and locals alike can not only marvel at their beauty, but also update their profile pictures. Stockbridge is another central hotspot for cherry blossoms, with plenty of random trees planted around the neighbourhood. My personal favourite is sitting atop the hill overlooking the pond in Inverleith Park, where the view of the city is complimented by cherry blossoms.
5. Have brunch with a sea view in Edinburgh’s best neighbourhood to live
The Sunday Times listed Portobello as the best place to live in Edinburgh within their ‘Best Places To Live In The UK 2023’ list on March 24. So, why not treat yourself with a brunch with a view at The Beach House Cafe after a wee stroll on the prom. The café also offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, and the cinnamon sugar and chocolate sauce waffles are worth a try. What is more, The Beach House Cafe has its own garden where they grow herbs, salads, spinach and flowers that are used every day. So, just sit back and marvel at the view of Edinburgh and its surrounding areas that can be admired either from inside the café or from the outdoor seating with blankets.
6. Play out your Lord Of The Rings fantasies by staying at these tiny hobbit houses an hour away from Edinburgh
While this is not exactly in Edinburgh, a serene getaway from the busy city life never hurts. Especially, when the said getaway is in quirky houses surrounded by nature and animals. Guests can now make their Lord of the Rings fantasies come true by staying in tiny Hobbit-like houses in Dunblane. Craighead Howf is a place where guests can relax in a unique setting, be it in the land of Hobbits, an actual tree house or the small cute cottages from a fairy-tale that were hand-built by the owners themselves.
7. See a light-hearted yet emotional comedy show about bipolar disorder
Rich Hardisty is coming to The Stand in Edinburgh with a hilariously light-hearted comedy show about bipolar disorder, Silly Boy on April 19. Silly Boy explores themes such as bipolar disorder, anorexia, borderline personality disorder, self-harm and heroin abuse. While judging by the themes it may seem the show is on the serious side and heavy, it actually brings out a light-hearted take on the topics, offering a celebration of the loveliness and silliness of it all, affirming that the stigma surrounding mental health issues is not necessary.
Silly Boy has been acclaimed not only by audiences, but also by mental health professionals: Dr Mark Salter, who is Consultant in Adult General Psychiatry saying: “it was the most accurate portrayal of mental illness and bipolar disorder etc he has ever seen”. You can book your tickets on The Stand’s website.
8. Check out amazing waterfalls in and around Edinburgh
One thing is clear: Scotland is abundant with picturesque views and bodies of water. Nature’s calling, and it’s right on our doorstep. When it comes to nature walks, the adventures become even more alluring when it involves chasing waterfalls. From Crammond Falls to Loup of Fintry, there are plenty of days out to be had whether it’s closer to home, or an hour’s drive away. Check out our guide to the best waterfalls around Edinburgh.
9. Check out Edinburgh Seafood Festival
St James Quarter is bringing tasty seafood culinary masterpieces from the Quarter and beyond from Friday, March 31 and Sunday, April 2. The festival will showcase a selection of locally sourced seafood as well as talks with some gastronomic experts. Visitors looking to brush up on their culinary skills can also enjoy a range of workshops and demonstrations, hosted by the experts on the Seafood Stage, located on Level 1, on Saturday and Sunday. What is more, there will be The Seafood and Street Food Market on Register Square, where food lovers will get the chance to dive into a world of flavour and try some tasty street food. You can check out the full programme on the St James Quarter website.
10. Embark on a journey to Conifox Adventure Park’s Easter festival
From April 1, guests at the family run Conifox Adventure Park can meet the mischievous Easter Bunny, journey to Hoppity Hollow and visit the magical maze, hop to it in the Bouncy Burrow’s 14 inflatables or take part in the Easter-lympics. The organisers claim “there is a cracking programme for everyone”, including a session for children with additional support needs. The park is located at Kirkliston on the outskirts of Edinburgh, and the Easter Festival will run until April 10. What is more, there are morning and afternoon sessions for the whole family no matter the age. All tickets will also include access to the Adventure Park during the chosen session.
11. Check out any of the five Michelin Star restaurants in Edinburgh
2023 has proven a spectacular year for Edinburgh when it comes to Michelin Star restaurants: two new restaurants were officially added to the list. Five Edinburgh restaurants were listed by the Michelin Guide on March 27, with two new names: The Heron in Leith and Timberyard. The rest three Michelin Stars were retained by The Kitchin led by Chef Tom Kitchin, Condita with Chef Conor Toomey at its forefront and Martin Wishart named after the Chef himself. While visiting a Michelin Star restaurant is not for every week, treat yourself to a lunch in one of the spots to celebrate this years stars.
12. Dance at ceilidhs and celebrate traditional music and storytelling at Edinburgh TradFest
Out of all the things to do this April, this one’s the most cultured. Edinburgh Tradfest is coming to celebrate traditional live music, storytelling and dance, with workshops, talks, ceilidhs, and special events taking place at various venues across the city. Supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and the William Grant Foundation, the festival will take place between April 28 and May 8. Over the 11 days of the Festival, hundreds of artists and musicians will be putting on shows, including American folk singer, two-time winner, and six-time Grammy nominee Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, who will kick off the festival at the Assembly Rooms on Friday, April 28.
13. Attend a body butter making workshop at a boutique lounge
To celebrate Earth Day, boutique lounge Counter at Native Edinburgh is hosting a body butter making workshop on April 23 at 2pm. The event will be led by ethical vegan skincare brand PERF, who will run guests through the ins and outs of making your own body butter. The Scottish social enterprise works with charities across Scotland and Uganda to empower and support women so they can gain economic freedom. During the workshop, guests will receive a celebratory glass of fizz, as well as leave with their own personalised body butter and newfound knowledge that will be passed on by Perf United founder, Sophie Amono.