The best places to watch the Edinburgh Festival fireworks

There are plenty of places in Edinburgh that offer a fantastic view of the end of Festival fireworks (Photo: Shutterstock)
There are plenty of places in Edinburgh that offer a fantastic view of the end of Festival fireworks (Photo: Shutterstock)

Whether you love the festival or loathe it one thing is for certain - on Monday 27 August, everybody will be watching the fireworks.

By Joshua King

Always one of the most popular events in the capital among tourists and locals alike, last year a quarter of a million people turned their attention to the Castle Esplanade's pyrotechnics.

During this year's Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will lead the crowds on a voyage through deepest space with music from Gustav Holst's visionary The Planets.

The concert, conducted by Clark Rundell, will also include music to mark the centenary of the birth of musical maestro Leonard Bernstein, who wrote music for both West Side Story and Peter Pan.

Choreographed by international fireworks artists Pyrovision, more than 100,000 fireworks will be launched from the castle in one of the biggest displays in the world. The event officially closes the Edinburgh International Festival, but has become a symbolic finale for all of August's festivities.

While thousands of revellers will gather in the city centre, residents and repeat visitors alike know that there is more than one place to enjoy the summer's most explosive event.

Princes Street Gardens

The concert in Princes Street Gardens is ticketed and you can even bring picnic blankets and deckchairs if standing for several hours doesn't appeal. Tickets are available online now and start at £15.50.

Calton Hill

Back in 1889, Robert Louis Stevenson said, "Of all places for a view, this Calton Hill is perhaps the best". Who are we to disagree? The walk to the top is steep but fairly short.

Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags

Brave revellers can take to the heights of the crags (151 feet) or even clamber to the summit of Arthur's Seat (823 feet) for undoubtedly one of the best views of the city. Torches are recommended as the paths are not lit and can be crowded after the display.

Inverleith Park

If you want to escape the crowds of the city centre, head north to Stockbridge and settle in Inverleith Park, which gives panoramic views of the castle skyline. The park is popular with young families.

Bruntsfield Links

For those in the south of Edinburgh who do not fancy a hill walk or cross-town trip to enjoy the August evening, head to Bruntsfield Links. The raised ground near Warrender Park Terrace gives the best views and is within walking distance of some of Edinburgh's finest restaurants and bars.

Festival Fireworks Facts

• More than 100,000 fireworks will be used during this year’s concert

• Around 250,000 people watch the fireworks every year

• Keith Webb, head designer at Pyrovision, has worked on every firework display since 1984

• Fireworks can reach speeds of 200 miles per hour

• The first concert was held in 1982 - this year marks the 36th show