IT was the event which set social media abuzz with all things Edinburgh.
Thousands took to Twitter this week to answer the question “How would you spend the ultimate 24 hours in Edinburgh?” with the debate trending across the country.
Marketing chiefs had urged people to share their “unmissable moments” throughout every hour of the day using the hashtag #ThisisEdinburgh24.
The submissions included images and videos of hidden gems and favourite spots in a “massive social media quest” to showcase the very best of the Capital.
Those following the fun online enjoyed events from late-night comedy at the Stand and midnight tours of the Vaults to beer bottling at Barney’s Brewery in Summerhall and outdoor rooftop swims at OneSpa.
The idea was part of a digital rallying call to encourage more people to explore the city’s many leisure offerings and is part of a major campaign to draw people into the city centre.
The action-packed “digital takeover”, which kicked off at 6am on Wednesday and ran right through the night, was intended to put the city firmly on the map as an “amazing place to live, work and visit”.
It featured a 24-hour digital programme of videos and broadcasts giving a lively snapshot of city life. The campaign will continue throughout the summer months.
So what is the best Edinburgh hour and how do locals spend it? With a little help from 24 friends, we set about finding out...
Kieran Wood, 29, performance team leader at the Edinburgh Dungeon.
“Wandering around the old streets of Edinburgh when they are quiet, you can imagine Burke and Hare coming back from dropping off a body, murderers and villains stalking their prey. Ghosts like the Green Lady come out to play – you can almost see them haunting the city with eerie shadows and old lamps giving an ominous glow to the streets. No better time to find inspiration for new tales to be told in the Dungeon.”
Adam Morris, head of media at the Scottish Conservatives.
“Anyone battling addiction to the game Football Manager will be familiar with this hour. It’s a critical juncture in the career of a virtual soccer boss. Lose, and you must stay up until you win a game or get the sack. Win, and you’re scared to switch off lest the good times stop tomorrow.”
Lynne McCrossan, brand guardian at DC Dalgleish.
“This is the perfect time for disco dancing. Everyone is relaxed and in good spirits and then when your tune comes on...!”
Jonathon Howells, 24, bartender at Treacle Bar & Kitchen.
“I spend most of my evenings working and my days catching up on sleep, so I find I’m at my most creative late at night. Once we’ve closed up, the Treacle bartenders get experimenting with different bitters and syrups. Whether it’s creating new cocktails or just getting ready for one of our cocktail competitions, there’s always some fresh inspiration.”
Jack Williams 23, Southside, is a PhD Computer Science student at Edinburgh University.
“As a night owl I often find myself working through into the later hours of the evening, and I’ve found that the hour between 4am and 5am offers a rare moment of tranquility. It can be hard to escape the constant hubbub of social media, but at this magic hour the streams and feeds fall quiet. Edinburgh also becomes peaceful – the late-night party-goers have staggered home and the early risers are still tucked up in bed. For a brief hour, all distractions are gone.”
Ian Swanson, political editor at the Evening News.
“I used to cover the 5am newsdesk shift at the paper. It didn’t seem that attractive at the time, but when our deadlines changed and the shift disappeared, I missed the early morning walk through deserted streets, feeling you had the city to yourself. There was a sense of getting a good start to the day, especially if it was a bright summer morning.”
Jane Meagher, the city council leader’s business manager.
“I love a walk along a quiet Portobello promenade with a morning sky and the sounds and smells of the sea for company. Joggers and walkers smile and say ‘hello’ as they pass by. Then into the Victorian gem of a swim centre where the morning light from the glass roof dapples the water as I swim. I can’t think of a better way to start the day.”
Lord Provost Donald Wilson.
“It is a great privilege to live in a city with such fanstastic gems everywhere you look. There is no better way to take them all in than during an early morning run. I started running last year in preparation for the London Marathon and this has given me an even greater of appreciation of Edinburgh’s spectacular scenery. My favourite place to run is through Holyrood Park, next to Dunsapie Loch. Not only do I get to enjoy panoramic views across the Forth but it’s also a joy to see visitors taking it all in for the first time.”
Fraser Parkinson, 55, of MacDonald Road, administrator of the Spirit of Leithers website.
“My favourite time of the day is 8am to 9am when I am heading to work. The best bit is travelling on Leith Walk. It’s a river of humanity at this time, with a tide of Leithers surging uphill to town and the townies rolling down to Leith. It’s busy, colourful, bustling noisy. It’s a time of day when people think about their successes, achievements, solutions, problems and likely a few troubles too in the midst of this organised chaos.”
Claire Morrison, 33, Newhaven, manager at Maison de Moggy.
“The mornings are our time to bond with the cats before anyone arrives – we have them all to ourselves. It’s when we really learn all about their individual personalities and get to have a proper chat with them without having to worry about people thinking we’re crazy.”
Scott Hoatson, 31, Portobello, actor
“This is the time when I can get a well-made coffee and get some fresh air. Edinburgh has an abundance of great clean air blowing in off the sea. I can either go over scripts if I’ve got an upcoming meeting, or learn scripts if I’m working on a project, or failing that read some of the paper.”
Sarah Thomson, 20, West Calder, student.
“I’m a morning person, and tend to try and get as much done as I can before midday. During term time at university I usually start work around 8am, and so by 11am I’m ready for coffee – and cake. I have a habit of seeking out Edinburgh coffee shops where I can take my books, and must be one of Starbucks’ most loyal customers.”
John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh.
“I love walking my dog Bess through Inverleith Park where we’ve lived for over 18 years. It used to be pushing my kids in their prams, now it is the dog. The views over Swanny Pond to the city are among the best you’ll get anywhere. Irrespective of the season the colours are so vibrant. It really is a special place.”
Gordon Henderson, senior development manager, Federation of Small Businesses.
“I normally have meetings in the city and I’m usually free from 1pm to 2pm. If I’ve spent the morning in long meetings and I have an afternoon ahead of more meetings in air-conditioned offices, I like to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. I’m a firm believer in walking everywhere. It often involves a pit-stop at an independent coffee shop – much better than a big American chain.
Lauren Fairgrieve, 20, student.
“While at university I use time after lunch to work on assigned reading; I always feel energised around 2pm, and can focus knowing that before too long I can go home and chill. On a free day I am lazy in the morning, and so at 2pm I tend to go out and do something productive. I love to wander round Edinburgh checking out local cafes and shops, and the afternoon seems to be the best time to do that.”
Janette Fairgrieve, 59, Haddington, retired.
“Early evenings are particularly hectic as my son does many after-school activities, meaning that we keep a tight schedule. 3pm-4pm is the time that I take for myself to relax, read the paper, and maybe watch a bit of television before making the dinner. No-one else is home, and so I have some quiet time before my husband and son return home.”
Cindy Sirapassorn, owner-manager of the Passorn Thai restaurant, Brougham Place.
“This time is a welcome oasis of calm; a delightful opportunity to sip a cappuccino and attempt to relax my racing mind. I recover from the bustle at lunch and look forward to greeting my customers in the evening.”
Deidre Brock, Edinburgh North MP.
“Sometimes the sky turns a very attractive pearly blue with tinges of pink in it. When the working day is over or drawing to a close I find it very peaceful if you have time to enjoy it. If you’re lucky enough to have finished work, it can be a very restful time of day. I love the colours and the way trees and other objects stand out against the sky.”
Gemma Fraser, Weekender editor at the Evening News
“This is when it’s time to get my three-year-old daughter bathed and ready for bed. Once she’s finished splashing around in the bath for a while, I love brushing her hair and then snuggling up to her smelling all clean and fresh as I read her a bedtime story. Sometimes she even reads me one back, which is always an amusing experience.”
Mark Greenaway, owner of Restaurant Mark Greenaway.
“Service at the restaurant is in full swing, staff are busy and customers are enjoying themselves. The location of the kitchen within the restaurant means that regular customers pop by and say hello, which enhances this time of day even further. There is nothing more satisfying as a chef than seeing the whole team here working together and a restaurant full of happy customers.”
Bruce Findlay, West End, former manager of Simple Minds.
“During the festivals I’d be out and about. I’d either have tickets for a Fringe production or I’d be going to eat before a Fringe production. The festival is just the best – I love it. Just walking about the streets, there’s such a buzz. The atmosphere is just magic.”
Ewan Aitken, Church of Scotland minister and chief executive officer of the Edinburgh Cyrenians.
“I stand on Mound Place with a summer dusk approaching; looking over the New Town to the Forth with Fife beyond, the evening light catching on several centuries of stonework; Calton Hill is still and strong, watching over the city. In the forefront, the Scott Monument strikes its way into sight. Princes Street Gardens lie beneath and the National Galleries, two of the keepers of our cultural soul seamlessly joined to this green oasis. I walk on, contented in this special city I am privileged to call home.”
Chris Rutterford, Comiston, artist and writer.
“My studio at Jock’s Lodge is across town from my home, most nights I work till it shuts at 10pm. The journey home takes me through Holyrood Park past Arthur’s Seat then over the Braids Hill Road. The sunsets this time of year from the Braids Hill are absolutely jaw dropping – the vista of the city underneath blue skies cloaked with clouds in impossible shades of pink and red. Rome was built on seven volcanic hills and so are we.”
Jamie Murphy, 30, of Inverleith, an education charity worker.
“Seeing the city coming alive in the last hour of the day is perfect for me. In this hour, the vibrancy of the city radiates through bars, clubs and restaurants. A ten minute walk can quickly turn into a three-hour jaunt as you navigate your way through the music and laughter. Unlike many other times in the day, 11pm can take you anywhere in the city with little warning. The beauty is in knowing that in this city you will never have to go far for a full pint, full belly and great entertainment.”