12 exciting Edinburgh events to look forward to in 2018

Bananarama are back together and playing Edinburgh Castle
Bananarama are back together and playing Edinburgh Castle
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It might be cold and miserable right now, but there’s lots tolook forward to in Edinburgh this year. Let Gillian McDonald be your guide to the best 2018 has to offer.

Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival

Tough Mudder is branching out with a punishing 5k 'cousin' course in Holyrood Park

Tough Mudder is branching out with a punishing 5k 'cousin' course in Holyrood Park

Start 2018 as you mean to go on by visiting the new Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival, which focuses on helping attendees get fit, eat well and feel good. The two-day event includes talks, workshops, fitness classes and health advice from top names such as Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Professor Richard Wiseman, Jasmine Hemsley, Shona Vertue and Tom Kerridge. 27-28 January at the Assembly Rooms, George Street – edinburghwellbeingfestival.com

Hidden Door

Independent, non-profit arts festival Hidden Door will return for its fifth year in 2018 with a programme of poetry, cinema, dance, art and music. Taking over the old Leith Theatre and nearby State Cinema, the festival transforms abandoned spaces into unique community venues at the same time as showcasing local creative talent. 25 May-3 June at 28-30 Ferry Road – hiddendoorblog.org

Scot Gin Fest

Scot Gin Fest will be stopping off at several locations throughout Scotland this year, including The Caves in Edinburgh. Find out about the best Scottish gins, taste plenty of samples and take part in masterclasses to become a gin expert. 12 May at The Caves, 8-10 Niddry Street – scotginfest.co.uk

Tough Mudder’s Cousin in the City

Cult mud-based assault course, Tough Mudder, is coming to the city with a punishing 5 kilometre route through Holyrood Park. After completing “probably the toughest event on the planet” – requiring strength, stamina, speed and teamwork – participants can relax in the Mudder Village with live music, street food and craft beer. 25 August 2018 at Holyrood Park – toughmudder.co.uk/events/2018-edinburgh-5k

Edinburgh Coffee Festival

Back for its fourth year, the Edinburgh Coffee Festival aims to celebrate the city’s vibrant coffee scene. Visitors will be able to watch demonstrations, take part in interactive workshops and listen to talks, as well as drink coffee from local vendors and shop for coffee and equipment at the marketplace. 6 October at Edinburgh Corn Exchange, New Market Road – edinburghcoffeefestival.co.uk


Music festival ScotFest, is coming to the Royal Highland Centre in 2018 with a line-up of ’90s and ’00s favourites. Boyzone, B*Witched, Liberty X, The Jacksons, East 17 and Five will all be taking to the stage over the two-day festival, which has both camping and glamping options available. 6-7 July 2018 at Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston – scotfestuk.com

Edinburgh Restaurant Festival

Showcasing the best restaurants the city has to offer, the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival will be taking place in February. The ‘Moveable Feast’ event will allow diners to sample a different course at venues across the city, and many restaurants will be offering special set menus or discounts to encourage diners to try something new. Various venues – edinevents.com/edinburgh-restaurant-festival

Whisky Stramash

Lovers of whisky are in for a treat at the Whisky Stramash, a two-day event showcasing the best whiskies in the world in a fun and non-stuffy environment. There will be a huge array of whiskies from both Scotland and further afield to sample and purchase, as well as various workshops and masterclasses, plus food, beer and cocktails to enjoy. 19-20 May at Surgeons’ Hall, Nicolson Street – thewhiskystramash.com

Edinburgh International Magic Festival

One of the city’s more unusual festivals, the Edinburgh International Magic Festival returns for its ninth year this May. As well as the return of popular events like the MagicFest Gala and the Secret Room, the team also have some brand new magical experiences and events up their sleeves. 11-19 May at various venues – magicfest.co.uk

Pride Edinburgh

An annual celebration of LGBTI+ culture, Pride Edinburgh centres around a traditional Pride March through the city, with politicians, community activists and individuals taking part. The festival also includes live music, a community fair and various other events, welcoming approximately 10,000 people each year. 16 June at various venues – prideedinburgh.org.uk

Bananarama at Edinburgh Castle

Iconic ’80s band, Bananarama, are playing a one-off gig at Edinburgh Castle this year. Perhaps surprisingly, it will be their first ever outdoor live performance, and also the first time the original line-up has played in the city. The 2018 Concerts at the Castle series will also see Il Divo and Del Amitri take to the stage. 20 July 2018 at Edinburgh Castle – edinburghcastle.gov.uk/whatson/concerts

Royal Highland Show

Having been running for nearly 180 years, the Royal Highland Show is one of the most iconic events in Edinburgh’s annual calendar. Celebrating the best of farming, food and rural life, visitors can expect traditional entertainment, the ‘Grand Parade’ of livestock, and Scotland’s Larder Live, showcasing fresh and seasonal produce from across Scotland. 21-24 June at Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, EH28 8NB – royalhighlandshow.org