Travel-and-Leisure August in Edinburgh, Scotland is festival time. And it’s not just one festival but six: There is the original Edinburgh International Festival of music, drama and visual arts that started in 1947. Around the same time came the Edinburgh International Film Festival promoting British and continental films as well as American imports. In 1950 the army started performing the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in the Castle Esplanade, which has become one of the main festival attractions with some 200,000 tickets sold each year. Then during the 1950’s uninvited performers set up shop in any space they could find in pubs, halls and churches. By the end of the fifties the uninvited referred to themselves as being on the Fringe. Today the Fringe Festival is actually bigger than the official festival and is the main draw for many festival visitors. The Edinburgh Book Festival is held in a series of marquees erected in the middle of Charlotte Square in Edinburgh’s New Town. It’s also worth taking time off from the festival to pay a visit to the Georgian House that stands at the end of Charlotte Square. Refurbished by the National Trust for Scotland this Robert Adam designed house shows what domestic life was like for the well to do in 18th Century Edinburgh. Last but not least is the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival with free concerts in Princes Street Gardens and the Grassmarket as well as in numerous pubs and bars. With so much going on in one month it’s not surprising that the city’s population of about half a million is expanded by three times. And whilst the city has a great many hotels and guest houses it make sense to book early to secure your Edinburgh accommodation. So here are some suggestions for the budget conscious seeking cheap discount hotels. Ailsa Craig Hotel, 24 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AH (+44 [0]131 556 1022) offers large clean rooms with original Georgian features. Popular with students and low budget groups. Balfour Guest House, 90-92 Pilrig Street, EH6 5AY (+44 [0]131 554 2106) has a central location with free parking that makes it popular with groups. Brodies Guest House, 22 East Claremont Street, EH7 4JP (+44 [0]131 556 4032) has been extensively refurbished with most rooms having en-suite facilities. Friendly service, free street parking and full Scottish breakfasts at this family owned establishment. Claremont, 14-15 Claremont Terrace, EH7 4HX (+44 [0]131 556 1487) has large clean rooms some with views of Arthur’s Seat the extinct volcano that looms out of Holyrood Park. The downstairs disco may be much enjoyed by some but too noisy for others. Frederick House Hotel, 42 Frederick Street, EH2 1EX (+44 [0]131 226 1999) is a listed building very near Waverley Station – the main Edinburgh railway station. Glendale Guest House, 5 Lady Road, EH16 5PA (+44 [0]131 667 6588) situated in the conservation area of Craigmillar Park, 3km from Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street. Secure private parking and close to a direct bus route into town. Greens Hotel, 24 Eglinton Terrace, EH12 5BY (+44 [0]131 337 1565) owned by a charitable trust and located just near Haymarket Station this hotel offers good quality at a reasonable price. Menzies Guesthouse, 33 Leamington Terrace, EH10 4JS (+44 [0]131 229 4629) is located in the heart of the city of Edinburgh just a short walk away from Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle, King’s Theatre and all main attractions. Nova Hotel, 5 Bruntsfield Crescent, EH10 4EZ (+44 [0]131 447 6437) is just ten minutes from town and offers spacious rooms suitable for groups. Town House, 65 Gilmore Place, EH3 9NU (+44 [0]131 229 1985) is close to some of the major theatres making it convenient for Festival visitors. Full details of festival dates and venues are at www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk and for a useful site listing more Edinburgh accommodation options take a look at www.visitscotland.com. 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