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Hidden Doors & Gardens


Happy 1st of April!

Another weekend swooshed by in no time. There’s a pop-up arts festival called Hidden Doors going on at the moment in the unused vaults on Market street here in the Burgh. 24 vaults have been turned into different art installations, stages and cinemas. It’s free to enter until 6 pm and the festival is on until April 5th – so you still got time to pay a visit!

Hidden Door Festival Edinburgh. Image source: The Scotsman

I wonder why these vaults aren’t used more often – they’re right in the city centre and they could easily be made up for different happenings.


It wasn’t too crowded during the day – maybe because of the extremely depressing weather…


40 bands will play during the festival. This was one of the bigger vaults, whereas some were so low that you couldn’t stand up straight. As you can see, the place was heaving.


Festival artwork – the back of the wall in one of the vaults was filled with a myriad of things…Looks pretty cool, but got to confess I didn’t get a lot of the “artwork.” One vault was just made into a pitch-black corridor you were supposed to walk through – and that was all there was to it. I do, however, think that even though we might not understand the art it’ll still stimulate our senses on a subconscious level and we might take something away from the whole thing without even knowing. That’s how I make sense out of it. 🙂


Outside the festival we bumped into this guy. We told him to be careful, but he just ignored us.

Dunbar's Close Garden Edinburgh

There are many small, hidden gardens just off the Royal Mile (the main street going through the old town), and we happened to see this one (Dunbar’s Close Garden ) and decided to check it out.


We didn’t get far before we spotted the People’s Story Museum that showcases the lives of Edinburgh’s ordinary people at work and play from the late 18th century to today. It didn’t take long before Matthew made a new friend.


We also popped into the Fudge House of Edinburgh to get Matthew’s mum some treats for Mother’s Day. The key lime pie fudge was amazing.


Before heading home we had lunch at Hemma, where I hadn’t noticed these cool windows before. At home I totally destroyed Matthew at Scrabble (let me point out that English is my 3rd language), before heading out to Leith for the lovely Hanna’s birthday drinks.


On Sunday I had to drag a very tired Matthew to Sainsbury’s for our weekly shop. We’ve become so organised that we’ve started writing a shopping list. (It’s really useful when we actually remember to take it with us.)

Luckily this is just a 4-day working week, as I’m getting on a plane to go to London town on Friday morning. Can’t wait! 🙂

Have a great week y’all!

x Nina x

Nina Äikäs

I’m a Swedish-speaking Finn who left Finland for the lovely and thrilling London town in 2011, but after meeting an equally lovely and thrilling Scotsman I somehow now find myself in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. In February 2015 our gorgeous little girl arrived and made us a happy family of three. Follow my blog and get to know us!

  • machinegunmama

    Those vaults are crazy! What I the original purpose of them? Wish I could check it out in person

    April 1, 2014 at 11:24 pm
    • ninaaikas

      Not sure about these particular vaults, but the more famous South Bridge vaults (where you can go on ghost tours nowadays) were used as storage space and workshops for the local businesses and later the area developed into Edinburgh slum with pubs and brothels operating in the vaults. I’ve been on one of those tours, they’re pretty scary 🙂

      April 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm
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