Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour
One of the few European tour companies to have in Scotland an escorted small group tour of Edinburgh during the fringe festival. As well attending performances, this trip includes time to experience, the old town, new town and the royal mile, a UNESCO world heritage site plus Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse.
From A$5,150 AUD
- 1. Experience the quirkiness of the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- 2. Indulge in local food and Scottish whiskey tastings at local bars
- 3. Immerse yourself in the vibrant, cosmopolitan city
- 4. Enjoy the nightlife
|03 August 2022 |
Ends 11 August 2022 • 9 days
|03 August 2023 |
Ends 11 August 2023 • 9 days
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour
Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Scotland and beyond into the British isles. We explore Edinburgh's heritage, its World Heritage Sites, and world famous city attractions. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of France, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.
Explore the world’s largest arts festival celebrating its 73rd anniversary in 2020. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, born from eight theatre groups who turned up uninvited at the postwar Edinburgh International Festival in 1947, is among the most celebrated of all the festivals in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2020, it runs from 7 August to 31 August. The programme launch is on the 10th of June.
This extraordinary festival encompasses almost an entire month's worth of theatre, cabaret, children’s shows, experimental performance art, circus, comedy, and dance. Every year, an eclectic showcase of new and established artists and street performers from across the globe turn unconventional venues into performance spaces. Known for experimentation, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe feature free, paid, and pay-what-you-want programmes, giving us the opportunity to see and hear plenty of performances in this art festival. On this educational tour, we experience nine enthralling days of the Fringe.
In the world's first City of Literature (UNESCO, 2004), Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, will also be explored on this tour. While the Fringe is the tour's highlight, we will embark on walking tours around this fascinating city. Numerous sightseeing opportunities promise something for everyone.
You will also have free time to explore the city at your own pace. This visit to Edinburgh can take you to the Royal Mile, which runs downhill and book-ended by Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the British monarch's official residence in Scotland. The iconic Royal Mile in itself is an attraction, with its cobbled streets and wynds (minor streets) branching out of the main road, as well as countless historic buildings. You can also check out the Royal Yacht Britannia, which used to be the nautical residence of the Royal Family, and is now a five-star tourist attraction. Indulge in local Scottish food and whiskey tastings at charming city bars, or relax at the pubs on High Street. Get ready to experience what the United Kingdom's art hub has to offer.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Small Group Tour Highlights
A few of the Fringe's past performances included in this programme:
- Nina Conti: Work in Progress
- Choir of Man
- Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Full Band
- Havana After Dark
- Soweto Gospel Choir
- Alexei Sayle
- Ruby Wax
- Academic 2
As the exhaustive programme is only published when bookings for performances open in June each year, tour selections and the updated itinerary will be confirmed closer to the date.
Please note that the performances mentioned in the current itinerary are from past performances and are included here to give you an idea of the mix of sightseeing and performance attendance on this tour. The itinerary will be updated with the new performances before the 2020 tour begins.
Secure Your Place at The Fringe
You can learn more about Britain and Scotland with our profiles where all the other tour departures are listed as well. For further information, check out the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ pages above. To make a booking, please call, send us an email, or simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.
Odyssey aims to secure accommodation in central Edinburgh, at the heart of the festival. Due to high demand for such locations, early booking for this tour is advised.
Day 1: Edinburgh
Upon arrival in Edinburgh, you will make our own way to the hotel. An introductory meeting and dinner to familiarize ourselves with one another will be held at the hotel.
Day 2: Edinburgh
After breakfast at the hotel, we embark on an orientation tour of Edinburgh with our tour leader. The walking tour will bring you to a diverse range of sights and monuments.
In the early afternoon, you will have some spare time to explore the city at our own pace.
In the mid afternoon, we will meet for our first performance. Enjoy unique interpretations of international classics by the two-time Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir. They have performed for many world leaders including Nelson Mandela, the British Royal Family, Desmond Tutu, and former US President, Barack Obama.
Come early evening, we make our way to the oldest bookshop in town, Blackwells, for a glimpse into Scotland’s literary scene.
Day 3: Edinburgh
This morning, the tour leader will hold a festival orientation; learn about the Fringe and its cultural significance in great detail.
We will then visit the National Galleries of Scotland. From surrealism, contemporary art, to historic photography, their astounding collection is not to be missed. More information on the featured exhibition will be released closer to the date.
The afternoon will be free for you to soak in the city before we attend Alexei Sayle’s stand-up comedy show in the evening. A well-known comedian, Sayle’s career spans varied works as novelist, actor, and columnist.
Day 4: Edinburgh
This morning is free for you to enjoy the city and the festival.
After lunch, we will attend a performance by two of the oldest and best a cappella groups from the University of Cambridge. Get ready for some jazz, soul, and pop music.
Afterwards, we will see Ruby Wax’s Frazzled. Based on her book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled wherein she uncovers the secrets of the mind, learn practical tips on mindfulness from an actress, author, and mental health campaigner.
Day 5: Edinburgh
The day is free for you to explore the festival at your own pace and watch any events and performances that most appeal to you.
We highly recommend you to pre-book tickets to any shows via the Fringe’s website to avoid missing out.
Day 6: Edinburgh
The morning is free for you to enjoy the city at your own pace.
We meet at lunch for a talk with Allan Little, former BBC reporter, special correspondent, and presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme. Little is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster who has covered many important historical moments, such as the Gulf War in 1991 from Baghdad, the break-up of Yugoslavia, the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, among others.
Afterwards, we make our way to the National Museum of Scotland. More information on the featured exhibition will be released closer to the date.
Day 7: Edinburgh
Once again, the day is free for you to explore the festival at your own pace, and enjoy the events and performances that most appeal to you.
We highly recommend you to pre-book tickets via the Fringe’s website to avoid missing out.
Day 8: Edinburgh
The morning is free for you to explore the festival and the city.
In the afternoon, we will watch The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This play follows Sherlock Holmes as he attempts to track down a criminal mastermind. Filled with plot twists, meta-fiction, and twisted logic, it is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Come evening, we will walk to a local restaurant to sample Scottish whiskey and enjoy dinner together. Improv legends Mike McShane and Colin Mochrie, and master hypnotist Asad Mecci will complete our evening. We will join these three amazing artists for a mind-blowing, side-splitting show — Hyprov: Improve under Hypnosis – crafted from the subconscious of each night’s audience!
Day 9: Edinburgh
After breakfast, our tour concludes.
Includes / Excludes
- 8 nights of hotel accommodation.
- 8 breakfasts, 2 dinners, and 1 whiskey tasting.
- 4 tickets for Fringe performances.
- Detailed preparatory information.
- Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of the tour.
What’s Not Included in Our Tour
- Return international airfare and departure taxes.
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Meals not specified in the itinerary.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, moderate walking on uneven surfaces between 3 - 5 kilometers per day. Suitable for most fitness levels
Make it a private tour
Easing your journey
Crossing international borders with restrictions
The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:
For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.
Book With Confidence
If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.
See Terms and conditions for details.
Peace of Mind Travel
The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.
See Peace of Mind Travel for details.
Great hotel (perfect location), wonderful tour guide (Robert was excellent in every respect), the half-day walking tour was fun and informative, and the events selected exposed me to Fringe events I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. Very well thought out and put together.
Lovely hotel and the location could not have been better. I'd stay there again.
Please evaluate your tour Program Leader, Robert Williams Communication - Exceeded expectations Organisation - Exceeded expectations Local knowledge - Exceeded expectations Engagement - Exceeded expectations Friendliness - Exceeded expectations Care and concern for your needs - Exceeded expectations Do you have any comments to make (good or bad!) about your tour Program Leader? - I cannot compliment him too highly
Excellent selection and diversity from different types of events. We saw wonderful things that would not have occurred to me on my own.
Reading List Download PDF
How to be a Brit
The indispensable manual for everyone who longs to attain True Britishness
George Mikes's perceptive best-seller provides a complete guide to the British Way of Life. Having been born in Hungary, he eventually spent more than forty years in the field, and the fruits of his labour include insights on important topics including the weather, how to be rude and how to panic quietly.
Loved by readers and authors alike, How to Be a Brit contains Mikes's three major works -- How to be an Alien, How to be Inimitable and How to be Decadent. If you're British, you'll love it; if you're a foreigner, you'll appreciate it.
How to plan a town: "Street names should be painted clearly and distinctly on large boards. Then hide these boards carefully."
Queuing: "An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one."
Sex: "Continental people have sex lives: the English have hot water bottles."
By George Mikes
English humour for beginners
If you want to succeed here you must be able to handle the English sense of humour.
So proclaims George Mikes' timeless exploration of this curious phenomenon. Whether it's understatement, self-deprecation or plain cruelty, the three elements he identifies as essential to our sense of humour, being witty here is a way of life.
Perfectly placed as an adopted Englishman himself, Mikes delivers his shrewd advice - helpfully divided into 'Theory' and 'Practice' - with a comic precision that does his chosen country proud. Drawing on a trove of examples from our rich comic canon, from Orwell ("Every joke is a tiny revolution") to Oscar Wilde, this is the essential handbook for natives and foreigners alike.
Mrs Kennedy: "I don't think, Mr Churchill, that I have told you anything about my grandchildren."
Winston Churchill: "For which, madam, I am infinitely grateful."
By George Mikes
The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: How to Make Your Show A Success
'Ah! The Fringe! I can't think of a more delightful way of putting my liver, bank account, relationship, complexion, and mental stability under the greatest strain they've ever known!' Mel Giedroyc
It is the world's largest arts festival, attracting everyone from student first-timers to Hollywood stars. Thrilling, inspiring and bewildering in equal measure, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can make you a star or break your bank.
So what is the secret of making it work for you?
The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide draws on the experiences of the festival's leading figures - their disasters as well as their triumphs - to take you step by step through the process of making your show a success in the Scottish capital.
From choosing a venue to keeping on top of the budget, from sorting out accommodation to securing the best press coverage, from generating word of mouth to making the most of a hit, this unique practical guide for performers, directors and producers helps you get your show the audience it deserves.
Among those sharing their expert advice are playwright Simon Stephens, comedian Phil Nichol, actor Siobhan Redmond, producer Guy Masterson, Tiger Lillies front manMartyn Jacques, theatre critic Lyn Gardner, Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award director Nica Burns, as well as the directors of all the major Fringe venues, top press officers, international promoters and insiders from the Fringe Society itself.
The foreword is written by playwright Mark Ravenhill.
By Mark Fisher
Cracking The Fringe: Your balls-out guide to taking on the Edinburgh Fringe
Ever dreamed of doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe? Thousands have done it, and those thousands have made millions of mistakes. And while they'll tell you mistakes are part of the fun, they're really not. Mistakes suck. We know, because we've made them.
This is your guide to navigating the behemoth that is the Edinburgh Fringe - the biggest arts festival in the world, which attracts 20,000 performers each year. Whether you're a dancer, comedian, cabaret act, ventriloquist, juggler, playwright or all of the above, we're here to help with every aspect of preparing for and tackling the Fringe - plus we've backed up our knowledge by asking performers, producers, agents, press and venue staff for their best advice and top tips.
Learn to (amongst many other things):
Pick & book a venue
Network in Edinburgh
Stay healthy and sane for the month!
Prepare and distribute your publicity
Organise your get in
Get the best accommodation and transport
And lots more.
Your Fringe experience starts here.
Featuring advice and tips from Nick Helm (BBC, Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee), Cariad Lloyd (BBC Radio 4, Channel 4, BBC3, Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee), Benny Davis (Axis Of Awesome, creator of smash hit 4 Chords Song) and many, many more.
By Jon Gracey
Off the Mic: The World's Best Stand-Up Comedians Get Serious About Comedy (Performance Books)
What is it to be a stand-up comedian? To be funny, solo? You have no character-role, no double-act partner, and nowhere to look but out into the darkness, with just a microphone, an audience and your imagination.
This is a job without an annual appraisal; a job where you are publicly appraised every ten seconds. The results are harsh and obvious: if the audience isn't laughing, you 'died'; if they can't stop, you 'killed'.
Deborah Frances-White and Marsha Shandur unpack the inner-workings of the minds of comics, sharing their secrets, insecurities and successes; their bÃªtes noires and their biggest fears. Featuring interviews with a host of comedians including Eddie Izzard, Moshe Kasher, Sarah Millican, Jim Jeffries, Stewart Lee, Lewis Black, Jenny Eclair, Todd Barry, Richard Herring, Marc Maron, Stephen K Amos, Rich Hall, Zoe Lyons, Marcus Brigstocke, Phill Jupitus, Gary Delaney, Mark Watson, Greg Davies and many more, this excellent book lets you in to the hearts and minds of celebrated comedians, away from the stage and off the mic.
By Deborah Frances-White & Marsha Shandur
Edinburgh: A History of the City
The late poet laureate, Sir John Betjeman, said that Edinburgh was the most beautiful city in Europe. Like some other great cities it is set on seven hills. But only one of these, Rome, rivals Edinburgh in matching the beauty of its setting with the stateliness of its buildings. A romantic landscape of sea and hills, broad vistas and hidden corners is embellished by a style of architecture combining stern classicism with antiquarian whimsy.
By Michael FryAmazon
The Town Below the Ground: Edinburgh's Legendary Undgerground City
Below Scotland's capital, hidden for almost two centuries, is a metropolis whose very existence was all but forgotten.
For almost 250 years, Edinburgh was surrounded by a giant defensive wall. Unable to expand the city's boundaries, the burgeoning population built over every inch of square space. And when there was no more room, they began to dig down . . .
Trapped in lives of poverty and crime, these subterranean dwellers existed in darkness and misery, ignored by the chroniclers of their time. It is only in the last few years that the shocking truth has begun to emerge about the sinister underground city.
By Jan-Andrew HendersonAmazon
From mean beginnings – ‘wretched accommodation, no comfortable houses, no soft beds’, visiting French knights complained in 1341 – the city of Edinburgh went on to become one of the architectural wonders of the world. But over the centuries many of those fine buildings have gone. The buildings which stood in the way of what was deemed progress are the heritage of Lost Edinburgh. Hamish Coghill sets out to trace many of the lost buildings and find out why they were doomed. Lavishly illustrated, Lost Edinburgh is a fascinating insight into an ever-changing cityscape.
By Hamish CoghillAmazon
Edinburgh in the 1950s: Ten Years that Changed a City
"Edinburgh in the 1950s: Ten Years that Changed a City" by Jack Gillon, David McLean & Fraser Parkinson looks at the city of Edinburgh during a decade in which, as the authors note in their introduction, Britain changed definitively and dramatically. This was a decade in which post-war rationing gave way to an economic boom, and a decade in which the problems of Edinburgh's appalling slums were finally addressed, though not always in ways that were welcome at the time or appear wise when viewed with hindsight.
By Jack Gillon, David McLean, Fraser ParkinsonAmazon
Jack Gillon is a long term resident of Edinburgh and has worked as a Town Planner involved in the conservation of the city s heritage of historic buildings for around thirty years and has an extensive knowledge of the city's history and architecture. He writes extensively on the historical heritage of Scotland and has had several books published by Amberley."
By Jack GillonAmazon
A Walk Down Edinburgh's Royal Mile
Writing in 1824, the author and future publisher Robert Chambers described Edinburgh as "a truly romantic place" and that for visitors it offered " a perfectly unique scene, and one which, once contemplated, was not easily to be forgotten." What the young Robert Chambers wrote some 200 years ago still holds true today for the thousands of local folk and visitors who walk down Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile.There can be few streets anywhere in the world that are so steeped in history. Stretching from the Castlehill lying in the shadow of the majestic Edinburgh Castle, then running down the quaintly named Lawnmarket, the Royal Mile then enters the ancient High Street itself before descending down the Canongate past the Scottish Parliament building and finally ending at the Royal Palace of Holyrood. For well over a 1000 years, the Royal Mile has been at the heart of Scotland's capital city. 'A Walk Down Edinburgh's Royal Mile' is intended both as a guide book for our many visitors and as an informative reference book for those, perhaps living far away as expatriate Scots, who have an interest in Edinburgh's unique story.'A Walk Down Edinburgh's Royal Mile' will also take you off the historic street into some of the ancient closes and wynds which run north to the present-day New Town and south to the Grassmarket and the Cowgate. Many visitors on the Royal Mile pass these by unaware of their treasure trove of tales. Here you will find some of the best stories such as the marital problems of Lady Stair, the ill-luck of Deacon Brodie, the unsolved murder of Thomas Begbie the bank messenger and the murderous activities of the villainous Burke and Hare.The book will introduce you to some of the remarkable characters who have made this journey. Here you will meet such Scottish monarchs as Robert Bruce, James IV and Mary, Queen of Scots. They are joined by other iconic Scots such as Bonnie Prince Charlie, Sir Walter Scott, John Knox, Elsie Inglis and Robert Burns. Here too you will find an assortment of characters including a notorious warlock, assassins, murderers, thieves, a servant boy roasted on a spit and a town councillor shot dead by a 10 years' old schoolboy. Your journey will introduce you to some colourful eccentrics including Lord Monboddo who first suggested our descent from apes and Hugo Arnot, the asthmatic lawyer, whose 'History of Edinburgh', published in 1779, gives us an invaluable account of the dramatic changes taking place in the city in the second half of the 18th century. Sharing your journey are some true Edinburgh 'local heroes' - George Drummond, six times elected as Lord Provost who was the driving inspiration behind the planned New Town; John Kay, the caricaturist who during a career that spanned more than 30 years from 1785 to 1807, has left us images and pen portraits of several hundred of his contemporaries who he observed from his little premises nestling behind St Giles Kirk, Sir William Chambers, another reforming Lord Provost and Sir Patrick Geddes the late 19th century conservationist who fought to preserve what little was left of the historic Old Town from civic destruction. Nor must we forget the celebrated 'Golden Age' of the late 18th century when Edinburgh rejoiced in the reputation of such intellectual giants as David Hume, Adam Smith, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson and James Hutton. What a cast of characters!'A Walk Down Edinburgh's Royal Mile' draws from several contemporary sources in describing such events as the Great Fire of 1824 and the murder of David Rizzio, secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots. The book is generously illustrated with pictures of the Royal Mile as we can enjoy it today as well as contemporary prints and drawings. The book concludes with a bibliography and some suggestions for further reading. If you enjoy this book then why not continue your journey by purchasing the companion title 'A Walk Through Edinburgh's New Town.'
By Eric MelvinAmazon