A true festival city, the city is abuzz with several grand events in the summer. From 19 to 30 June, the festival season kicks off with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, followed by the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (12 to 21 July) and The Edinburgh Art Festival (25 July – 25 August).
Later in the summer months is the annual Edinburgh International Festival. Running from 2 to 26 August, one of the world’s most beautiful cities is transformed with the gathering of the finest creators and performers in theatre, music, opera and dance from all over the world.
Running alongside the Edinburgh International Festival is The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – an annual series of public military events with its roots in Scottish tradition – as well as the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Stay: The Fraser Collection is in the heart of it all. Take your pick from Fraser Suites Edinburgh or Hotel du Vin Edinburgh. Prefer returning to a sea view? Relax the night away by the waterfront at Malmaison Edinburgh.
A UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow hosts around 130 music events each week in venues ranging from the multi-purpose indoor arena SSE Hydro to the iconic Barrowland Ballroom.
Not sure where to start? There’s no better way to be introduced to the city’s music than the famed Scottish bagpipes. Begin your exploration with The World Pipe Band Championships. A two-day affair on Glasgow Green, the annual competition showcases the extraordinary ability of 8,000 pipers and drummers every August.
Can’t get enough of the bagpipes? They can also be heard at more venues across the city for Piping Live! from 10 to 18 August. This week-long piping event makes Glasgow the centre of the world stage for piping with events happening throughout the day.
Stay: Fraser Suites Glasgow & Malmaison Glasgow are within walking distance of the championship – can you already hear the bagpipes?
In the summer, the English capital has more than enough to keep one busy. If you prefer the outdoors, London has plenty of green spaces abuzz with activity in the hotter months. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre summer season runs from 16 May to 21 September, and Shakespeare’s Globe‘s season runs until mid-October with standing tickets available for every show at just £5. For more outdoor drama, Opera Holland Park has performances from 4 June to 9 August.
It’s also hard to miss the Wimbledon Tennis Championships that are on from 1 to 14 July. Across the city, you’ll hear the sound of tennis racquets hitting balls, both on big screens and inspired kids in the parks.
While the Queen is away, take the chance to visit her residence during the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening from 20 July to 29 September. For ten weeks, the public may view the State Rooms, Throne Room, Ballroom and more as well as a special exhibition about Queen Victoria in commemoration the 200th anniversary of her birth.
Tip: Hang on to your entry ticket! It doubles up as an annual pass so you can return as often as you like throughout the season, as well as for the next summer.
To complete your experience of London, stay for the iconic Notting Hill Carnival, happening over the bank holiday weekend of 24 to 26 August. The carnival is Europe’s biggest street party, attracting nearly one million people annually. Expect a multi-sensory experience, with floats and Caribbean music pulsating through west London well into the evening.
Stay: Fraser Suites Queens Gate, Park International Hotel and Hotel du Vin Wimbledon are perfectly located to experience all that London has to offer.
If you’re holidaying in France this summer, don’t miss Bastille Day on 14 July. Traditionally considered to be a symbol of the French Revolution, the French National Day is packed with activities and events annually.
Start your morning by viewing the military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Often described as ‘the world’s most beautiful avenue’, the parade continues east to Place de la Concorde, a major public square in the city. There’s also a fantastic military flypast during the parade. In the evening, it’s party time with firemen’s balls held in a number of fire stations all over the Paris region.
The day’s celebrations come to an end with a spectacular 30-minute firework display at 11pm. The pyrotechnics are set off from the Eiffel Tower and the gardens of Trocadéro. Grab the best seats at the Parc du Champ de Mars.
Stay: Book a suite at Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées overlooking the Champs-Elysées and watch the military parade from the comfort of your own home.