Edinburgh is a well-connected city, with easy transfer via tram or bus to the airport, and two central train stations offering frequent connections to Glasgow and London. As your guests arrive in the capital, make it as easy as possible to reach their destination by choosing a convenient city centre location. But, convenience shouldn’t mean compromising on quality. We’ve suggested five unique meeting rooms near Edinburgh Waverley that are sure to impress.
A K Bell meeting room at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Boardroom style capacity: 18
An adaptable space right in the heart of Edinburgh, the A K Bell meeting room at the National Galleries of Scotland’s Portrait Gallery is ideal for meetings, presentations and small seminars.
Situated within the historic Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street, this beautifully restored venue benefits from state of the art AV equipment, including an interactive white board and full technical support from the in-house team.
The Commissioners’ Room at the Signet Library
Boardroom style capacity: 26
Take a short hop from Waverley station to the Royal Mile to find the Signet Library nestled beside St Giles Cathedral on West Parliament Square.
Filled with antiquarian books from the WS Society’s collections, the oak bookcases that line the walls of the Commissioners’ Room create an impressive and cosy setting for board meetings and private events. Even better, once you’ve finished up with business, head to the Signet Library’s Colonnades to sample Edinburgh’s finest afternoon tea.
The Blenders Room at the Scotch Whisky Experience
Boardroom style capacity: 16
Suitable for small boardroom meetings, lunches, workshops and seminars, the Blenders Room at the Scotch Whisky Experience is an obvious choice for those looking for an entertaining meeting venue. The room’s intimate size provides the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the tutored whisky tastings offered by the venue.
The large south-facing window also offers excellent views across Edinburgh’s old town and Grassmarket, towards the Pentland Hills. This room also benefits from two skylights which create a bright and refreshing space.
One venue you won’t be able to miss as you emerge from Waverley Station is Edinburgh Castle.
The castle’s nineteenth century Gatehouse Suite offers a luxurious location for small meetings and seminars. Available during the day, attendees should take full advantage of the suite’s private terrace with views over Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills. The main meeting room also features a breakout room, allowing for flexibility.
One of Scotland’s more discreet treasures, the Merchants Hall, can be found hiding just a short five minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station on Hanover Street. Built in the nineteenth century, this venue combines the best of art and architecture to create a grand and distinctive atmosphere.
With portraits by Allan Ramsay and Raeburn hung above mahogany-panelled walls, the Court Room is an impressive setting for private meetings conveniently located within Edinburgh’s New Town.
Did you know you can enquire about all of the meeting rooms above in one simple click with our quick search form? Simply add the venues to your enquiry, write a short message detailing your event requirements and hit submit to contact multiple unique venues at once.
Today, most companies operate in teams and this is how all the important work gets done. To help your team accomplish anything they set their minds to, we’ve compiled 5 powerful tips that will keep your employees motivated to do their very best on the job.
Giving your team the respect and recognition they deserve can go a long way. Who doesn’t like to be told they’re doing a great job? If you show your appreciation and gratitude to your team, you can be certain that they will go above and beyond for you and the company.
Our top tip? Make time for each team member, get to know them as individuals and be specific when you’re recognising their contribution to the team’s efforts.
Showing your gratitude doesn’t always have to cost you money – even giving your team an early Friday finish can inspire a positive start to a Monday morning.
Provide opportunities for self-development
We know from numerous studies that individuals are more valuable to your company when they’re constantly developing both personally and professionally.
Providing your team with opportunities for self-development isn’t just limited to teaching them new skills that benefit the role they’re in, but also in supporting the development of habits and traits that help improve their personal and their professional life. Training sessions, courses, workshops, webinars and mentoring programmes are all fantastic ways to help develop your team.
But also make sure you’re listening to them and what they need, because sending them on fancy training sessions they don’t need won’t help anyone – and certainly not your wallet!
Set clear goals
We all know the importance of communication for the success of every company and its people, but surprisingly many leaders fail in this vital skill. You can only inspire your team when you build and maintain clear lines of communication with each member.
If you’re the leader, it’s your job to work with each individual to set clear goals. Once you make sure everyone knows exactly what their goals are, what their relative priority is, and what the team’s role is in reaching them, you’ll have an inspired team in no time!
Avoid unnecessary meetings
We’ve all sat in meetings before, staring at the clock and panicking about the mounting list of tasks waiting for us at our desks. This feeling can really impact on the work day, leading to a less productive team, so leaders should avoid long winded meetings that waste time.
The average professional wastes 3.8 hours in unproductive meetings each week. Maintain a productive and inspired team by creating an agenda which you share with the team in advance, inviting relevant team members only, starting the meeting on time, and then ending it as quickly as you possibly can.
Your team will thank you for it – trust us!
Inspiring work environment
You don’t need to provide a ‘Google-esque’ work space, but remember that everyone wants to work in a stimulating office environment that makes them feel happy and inspired. Employees who find joy in their work make excellent role models for their team members, encouraging them to also enjoy their work.
An inspiring work environment has multiple benefits; a positive atmosphere, increase in staff retention, higher profits and company growth and higher productivity.
There are many ways to create a stimulating and motivating work environment, but it is most important to ask your employees what they think would improve the workspace.
Remember – inspiration comes from a consistent behavioural change from management that makes your employees feel that they matter and that you genuinely care.
With so many Edinburgh venues gearing up to welcome couples to open days, fairs and events, it would seem there is no better time to be in the midst of wedding planning. The wide range of options can be daunting, but do not fear. We have rounded up key dates for the diary that will help, whatever stage you find yourself at whilst on the way to your big day.
Wedding Open Days at Edinburgh Zoo
Multiple dates in September, November & February
The events team at Edinburgh Zoo invite couples to be to save the date ahead of an open night and wedding fairs at Mansion House. The Zoo is probably the wildest place in the capital to get married but the elegance, impeccable service and delicious catering options ensures that couples and their guests will have a truly memorable experience. The next event is on Wednesday 14 November, 12-4pm, followed by the February event on the Sunday 24th, 12-4pm. For more information, please click here.
Wedding Open Day at Gilmerton House
Saturday 8 September, sorry this event has passed. Check out the venue page for more info.
Situated in the heart of the picturesque countryside of East Lothian, Gilmerton House will host a Wedding Open Day on Saturday 8th September, 12pm – 4pm. Couples to be can take this opportunity to see the stunning and historical mansion house set for a wedding amongst the beautiful 1,000 acre estate and learn more about the exclusive use venue. To book your place or visit on the day, please click here.
Wedding Fair at the Botanics
Sunday 23 September
Prospective couples are invited to join the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh on Sunday 23rd September for their annual wedding fair. Attendees will be given the opportunity to visit the Caledonian Hall and view this unique wedding venue, discuss the latest theme ideas with the industry’s best suppliers and learn of exclusive offers, available only on the day. The fair is free to attend and will be held between 12pm-4pm. For more information or to get in touch before the day, please click here.
Dundas Castle Wedding Open Afternoon
Sunday 23 September
Recently engaged couples dreaming of a fairy tale castle wedding are invited to visit luxury Scottish wedding venue, Dundas Castle, between 2pm and 5pm on the 23rd of September 2018. The exclusive-use venue, with its atmospheric, 600-year-old Keep and 18th century house with 17 sumptuous bedrooms, five-star Dundas Castle is the ultimate location for fairy tale weddings. The expert team will be on hand to walk couples through their special day and answer all of their burning questions. As this exclusive wedding open afternoon has limited spaces available, those interested in attending will need to register their interest in attending here.
Open Evening at the Signet Library
Friday 28 September
The perfect location for an elegant and romantic wedding, the Signet Library on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile invites couples for a Wedding Open evening. Event designers will be on hand to show off this unique venue and answer any questions. This is also a great opportunity to talk to some of Scotland’s best wedding suppliers who will be there too! Simply pop in to meet the teem between 6-8pm on Friday 28 September. For more information, click here.
Luxury Scottish Wedding Show at Hopetoun House
Sunday 7 October
Hopetoun House will open its doors to prospective couples for The Luxury Scottish Wedding Show on Sunday 7th October. The elegant and engaging show, which features an inspiring collection of luxury wedding exhibitors, offers prospective couples a relaxed environment in which to plan their special day. The show, which will take place from 12pm-4pm, is a unique opportunity for couples to meet with hand-picked wedding professionals, who can assist in the planning of wedding arraignments. For a full list of exhibitors, see here.
Once you’ve tasted the canapes and met the experts, it’s time to lock down a date and start the countdown to the big day. Wrap it up easily with our simple and quick enquiry form, allowing you to choose your top venues and get in touch in one simple click.
Team-building experiences are well known for delivering a wealth of workplace benefits; enhancing collaboration and communication to name but a few. And with the warmer weather now upon us, what better way to boost team morale than a venture out of an over-heating office? For those looking for an exercise more memorable than the cliché company picnic, we have rounded up the most out-of-the-box team building ideas Edinburgh has to offer:
‘Blend Your Own’ with The Scotch Whisky Experience
This one-of-a-kind experience begins with a guided tour of the World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky and is followed by a sampling session. Participants then put their new found Whisky wisdom towards blending a personal 100ml bottle, with the guidance of a whisky expert. This creative take on team-building is perfectly suited for teams who need to work together more, offering a fun way of promoting office interaction. This is also an activity that can be enjoyed irrespective of how questionable a ‘summer’s’ day Edinburgh is experiencing. Tour, Tutored Tasting and Blending (10+guests): £56 per person
‘It’s a Knockout’ at Hopetoun House
Hopetoun House’s take on the iconic TV game show is guaranteed to put even the slickest working team to the test. After all, what situation would challenge your team’s cooperation skills better than a tug of war, followed by a race over an inflatable-slip-in-slide all completed in a penguin costume? Hopetoun offers a fully tailored experience so whether you wish your day of outdoor activities to include a survival course, treasure hunt or archery, you can guarantee your team-building requirements will be fulfilled. Price upon request, get in touch with the team.
Animal Handling at Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo offers the opportunity for your team to get up close and personal with some fluffy and some not so furry friends. In this session, your team’s ability to stay calm and collected under pressure will be challenged as you handle a selection of small invertebrates and animals. No to-do list will ever appear as daunting after this experience, though it’s a guaranteed winner with lovers of small creatures.
Laser Tag at Winton Castle
When better to hone your team’s leadership and collaboration skills than whilst pacing around vast woodland on a mission to stop an imminent zombie apocalypse? In a game of Laser Tag at Winton Castle, team members will be fully kitted out with flack jackets and authentic infra-red weaponry before being thrown into a scenario that can only be best compared to a real-life video game. Choose from a range of different game scenarios including domination, capture the flag and zombies. This fast-paced activity is destined to ensure your team’s ability to think on their feet but we can’t promise things won’t get competitive. Email the team at Winton Castle for further information & prices.
Highland Games at Dundas Castle
Summer in Scotland is instantly associated with the age-old tradition of the Highland Games and the sprawling lawn of Dundas Castle offer the ideal location for your team members to get stuck into a miniature, replica of the games. Let your colleagues take on the classic cable toss, tug of war or shot put, all for the glory of being crowned the strongest or most agile. This activity truly offers something for all members to enjoy, plus who doesn’t like switching up their usual work-wear for a little tartan? Price upon request, for further information visit the website.
Croquet on the lawn of Gilmerton House
Why not take full advantage of the British summer in your next team building exercise, with a truly civilised day of croquet on the lawn of one of Edinburgh’s finest stately homes. Not every team appreciates a day of exerting, physical challenges and the more gentle game of croquet might be just the ticket to ensure your team returns to work refreshed and ready to achieve success. The game is, however, notorious for devious means and tricks, so might not be quite so polite as you expect! Prices on request, contact Gilmerton.
Edinburgh’s architecture and geography has made the Scottish capital an attractive shooting destination for filmmakers. Many movies have been filmed in and around our Unique Venues of Edinburgh, and here are just some of them.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Marvel Studio’s blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War was filmed in multiple locations throughout Edinburgh, including Cockburn Street, Waverley Station and St Giles’ Cathedral. A fight scene was shot on the Royal Mile, close to our venues: The Real Mary King’s Close; The Signet Library; and The Hub.
(Euan Cherry, WENN.com)
Trainspotting (1996)/T2 Trainspotting (2017)
Trainspotting follows heroin addict Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his friends, set in and around Edinburgh. Famous for its Princes Street chase scene, director Danny Boyle features a shot of UVE member, Edinburgh Castle, later in the film. 2017’s T2 features Edinburgh Airport, Parliament Square, the Forth Road Bridge and the Scottish Parliament.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Chariots of Fire includes a training scene in Inverleith Park, located just behind our Royal Botanic Garden venue. The British classic follows an English Jew and devout Scottish Christian, competing in the 1924 Olympics.
One Day (2011)
Starring Anne Hathaway, One Day is a British-American romantic drama. Parts set and filmed in Edinburgh include Parliament Square, Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat and Victoria Street, near The Hub.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Cloud Atlas was filmed near our Scotch Whisky Experience venue, on Victoria Street. The movie, which stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant, explores how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future. Other locations include the Scott Monument and City Chambers.
Comedy-drama Filth features James McAvoy as a scheming policeman. Filth opens at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle, and also features scenes on Victoria Street and The Grassmarket.
The Illusionist (2010)
Oscar-nominated Sylvain Chomet’s 2010 animated film The Illusionist depicts 1950s Edinburgh, with views of Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. The director set up an animation studio in Edinburgh, after attending the International Film Festival.
For those of you who have been planning your Father’s Day surprise for months, we applaud you and this guide is probably not for you. But if you’re like most people who have left their Father’s Day festivities to the last minute, then we might be able to help – this is our last minute Father’s Day gift guide.
We are in Scotland after all! And while Mums are suckers for flowers and chocolates, you can never go wrong with a fine dram for Dad. If you want to make the experience even more special, you can spend some quality time with Dad at the Queen Street Father’s Day Tasting hosted by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
But if you can’t make it there this weekend, its nae bother! You can buy a voucher from The Scotch Whisky Experience to present to Dad on Father’s Day and go on a whisky tasting tour when it suits you.
Personalised DadCredit: www.notonthehighstreet.com
Because who doesn’t love something with their name on it? You still have a week and Amazon is great for next day delivery. So go on! Get Dad those personalised golf socks he’s always wanted. Or better yet, get him an engraved whisky glass to go with the bottle you surprise him with.
There are so many options for personalised gifts. From engraved hammers to frames and keychains, socks and t-shirts to glasses and storage boxes, the opportunities are endless.
If your dad is a bit of techie, then you can’t go wrong with the latest gadgets. If he doesn’t already have a voice activated assistant, this is a must – and be sure to enjoy the first few months of hearing Dad yell ‘Alexa’ every five minutes!
If an Echo is a bit out of your price range, then check out John Lewis or Waterstones where they have an amazing range of the latest and greatest gadgets at various price points to get any techie Dad excited.
For those of you with an active Dad who can’t get enough of the outdoors, there’s plenty for you to choose from too. Introduce Dad to an activity band or change his running forever with wireless Bluetooth headphones – trust us, he’ll definitely thank you later.
Or head over to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for Dads Rock Father’s Day and enjoy a fun (free!) afternoon exploring the gardens and getting involved in the creative activities.
If Dad’s into sports, try and find tickets to watch one of his favourite teams play. Remember your Father’s Day gift doesn’t have to take place on the actual day – and he might even enjoy having something to look forward to with you later in the year.
It’s well known that the way to man’s heart is through his stomach, so if all else fails this Father’s Day take him out for dinner or lunch. Make sure you leave Mum at home, so Dad can enjoy all the food he wants without Mum casting that disapproving look – every Mum has one!
Edinburgh has some fantastic places to eat, but you can never go wrong with the tried and trusted steak and pint. Try Chophouse for something fancy, or if that’s a bit too fancy we’re sure Dad will appreciate McKirdy’s Steakhouse on Morrison Street – it’s owned by three award winning butchers.
Whatever you choose to spoil Dad with this Father’s Day, the most important gift is spending quality time with him. Nothing shows Dad how much you appreciate him and everything he does for you, more than an afternoon of father/son or father/daughter fun.