Mon 31 Aug 2015
For the last couple of years, the Festival Wheel has come to Edinburgh Princes Street Gardens during the month of August. The Fringe Festival website advertises it as:
“the newest addition to Edinburgh’s Festival season providing unrivalled views of Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns from the comfort of a fully enclosed pod. Take a ride on the Festival Wheel and you’ll also hear extracts of shows from Edinburgh’s summer festivals.”
I was excited to try out this new style of wheel with enclosed pod – like the London Eye but smaller. However, when we got there we discovered it was in fact the old style of ferris wheel with open carriages, and there were no extracts from shows playing, just your usual fair ground music. It certainly wasn’t as advertised, but we decided to go on it anyway.
Tickets are £8 per person, but as we are Edinburgh residents (with a EH postcode) we got a 20% discount. We just needed to show proof of address, such as a driving licence. We purchased tickets and then joined the short queue for about 5 minutes. There were three of us and we got a carriage to ourselves.
The wheel went round twice quite quickly and then again more slowly as passengers were loaded off and on. We had a really amazing view of the city. It was a nice sunny day and we could see for miles. Edinburgh is a truly beautiful place and it was lovely to see it from this angle. I thought it was much better than the Christmas Wheel, which is always so cold and windy with an open carriage. Hopefully the enclosed pod will be back for the winter!
The Festival Wheel will be in Princes Street Gardens until Sunday 13th September. We thought it was great fun and a unique way to experience a wonderful city. However, I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone nervous of heights, as it is very high and open to the elements!
Festival Wheel, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, EH2 2HG