Apex Hotels Blogs

London August 2014

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What's on in London in August 2014

Event of the Month | DINO SNORES FOR GROWN UPS
(22 AUGUST 2014)

Have you ever fancied spending a night in a museum? Dino Snores for grownups allows those childhood wishes come true. Bring your sleeping bag and pillow and experience a sleepover with the dinosaurs!

Dino Snores for Grown Ups | © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum is hosting a fun-filled sleepover evening where you can explore the museums galleries at night time. From dinosaurs to creepy crawlies the museum is packed full of wonders.

The night is bursting with activities with stand up comedy, live music and a unique midnight feast (which even includes edible insects!). You’ll also get a three course dinner (without any insects!) and can enjoy a wine, beer or soft drink from their cash bars. With an all-night monster movie marathon too, we can’t guarantee you’ll get much sleep but there will be a full hot breakfast waiting for you in the morning to brighten you up!

This event is for adults aged 18 and over, places are limited so we suggest you book early to avoid disappointment!

Location: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Website: nhm.ac.uk  


The August bank holiday weekend signals the start of annual Notting Hill Carnival. Running since 1966, the carnival is the largest street festival in Europe. A celebrate of culture and traditions in the Afro-Caribbean communities, the festival is full of colours, unity and sounds.

Location: Notting Hill

Website: thenottinghillcarnival.com


A celebration of music, food and fun – The Big Feastival is fun for all the family. Join in cookery masterclasses, meet top chefs for Q&A sessions or simply enjoy music from Kelis, Fatboy slim and many more! Camp, glamp or visit for the day but do not miss out on this unique Feastival!

Location: Alex James Farm, Oxfordshire, OX7 6UJ

Website: jamieoliver.com


Calling all cyclising enthusiasts, jump on your bike and join in this festival of cycling! View beautiful, iconic landmarks as you travel around the traffic-free streets and enjoy music zones, bands on bikes and stilt bikes to mention a few! You can stop off in the special parking zones and experience the free entertainment as you make your way around the route!

Location: Around London

Website: prudentialridelondon.co.uk


The Longines Global Champions Tour brings together 30 of the top riders in the world in a competition spanning 12 countries. London is one of the last stops on the tour so results are key to the success of the riders.

Location: Horse Guards Parade, The Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London, SW1 2AX

Website: globalchampionstour.com


The first major exhibition devoted to Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture fashion world. From Sidewalk to the Catwalk is full of exhibitions bringing together iconic costumes dating back to 1970’s up to the present day, cutting-edge designs and avant-garde creations.

Location: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Website: barbican.org.uk


Discover an array of exciting works from world-renowned and emerging artists. Full of diversity and talent, the Summer Exhibition allows artists new and notorious to display their works together to create one of the most significant exhibits in the art world.

Location: Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD

Website: visitlondon.com


BBC Proms is an annual event of orchestral music concerts and events. There’s even something for the kids to enjoy with an exploration of CBeebies through an orchestra. If you can’t get tickets to any of the big events in the Royal Albert Hall there’s also various parks showing live screenings.

Website: bbc.co.uk/proms


BBC Proms is an annual event of orchestral music concerts and events. There’s even something for the kids to enjoy with an exploration of CBeebies through an orchestra. If you can’t get tickets to any of the big events in the Royal Albert Hall there’s also various parks showing live screenings.

Location: The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Website: nationalgallery.org.uk


See legendary hits performed live on stage with this Michael Jackson musical tribute. Stunning dance routines, special effects and a dazzling tribute to the King of Pop! Thriller has been wowing audiences for years, tracing the life of Michael Jackson.

Website: visitlondon.com

Dundee August 2014

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What's on in Dundee in August 2014

Event of the Month | ALBA REAL ALE FESTIVAL
(22-24 August)

Alba Real Ale Festival

Celebrating Scotland’s Independent Brewers, The Alba Real Ale Festival is back again! Spend your August bank holiday weekend with a selection of over 40 ales, ciders and lagers. This festival is perfect for those who enjoy an ale or two or for those looking to enjoy a fun, friendly, family day out!

The festival is held in The Royal Tay Yacht Club which features striking views over the River Tay and a family friendly atmosphere. With local performers taking to the stage including Charlotte Brimner and Rock Bottom you can enjoy music during the festival too.

You can even take the kids along! Sunday will be particularly focused on families with a bouncy castle, face painting and a magician!

Tickets are available to buy online, best to book in advance to avoid disappoint to this annual festival of real ale, music, family fun and entertainment!

Location: The Royal Tay Yacht Club, 34 Dundee Road, Broughty Ferry, DD5 1LX

Website: albarealalefestival.org


Become an ice cadet for the day and experience what life would be like in the coldest, windiest and most remote places on Earth. Learn all about the Antarctica and experience some exciting challenges including braving ice-cold temperatures and riding a snowmobile.

Location: Dundee Science Centre

Website: dundeesciencecentre.org.uk


Great fun for kids who love pirates! Jump aboard the Frigate Unicorn and enjoy storytelling, face painting and competitions. Dress up in your best pirate costume for a chance to win a prize too!

Location: Frigate Unicorn

Website: frigateunicorn.org


Fancy braving the chilly waters of the Tay? Take part in the Discovery Mile Championship swim, so far around 100 swimmers are set to take part and you can join them. As long as you are over 12 years old and can swim. There’s also prizes for the top 3 in various categories.

Location: River Tay Estuary

Website: yeaaba.org.uk


The Dundee Car Show is the perfect event for any car fanatics. From vintage to classic cars and kit to commercial vehicles, this is a show not to be missed, especially not be any petrol heads! If you’re especially proud of your car you can enter it too for only £2 per vehicle!

Location: Baxter Park, Arbroath Road, Dundee, DD4

Website: dmoft.co.uk


Ceilidh dancing is a great Scottish tradition, learn the moves and enjoy the music aboard the Frigate Unicorn. Performing throughout Scotland and also in Ireland, Germany and Holland – the ceilidh band are a popular choice and their lead accordionist has also twice won Scottish Accordion Champion!

Location: Frigate Unicorn

Website: dundeecity.gov.uk


Discover the historical, medieval past of Dundee on this guided tour. Explore the Old Steeple, dating back over 600 years, the Franciscan monastery of the Howff and Dundee’s last remaining medieval house.

Location: Dundee Contemporary Arts, Town Walls, 152 Neithergate, Dundee, DD1 4DY

Website: scotiaheritage.co.uk


Romeo & Juliet is coming to Glamis Castle with The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the UK’s premier open-air touring theatre. Experience a performance full of passion, heartbreak, murder and betrayal featuring two star-crossed lovers and feuding families.

Location: Glamis Castle, Angus, DD8 1RJ

Website: glamis-castle.co.uk


A celebration of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Caird Hall will host a unique double string orchestra. With 14 Scottish Ensemble musicians performing alongside 14 young string players at the beginning of their career, Commonwealth Strings will be a symphony of musical talent.

Location: Caird Hall City Square, Dundee, DD1 4TB

Website: scottishensemble.co.uk


Calling all green fingers or those aspiring to be so – Carnoustie Flower show features around 200 classes so you can learn all about potting plants, vegetables and floral art. There’s even a children’s section for kids taking a keen interest in flowers and plants!

Location: Carnoustie Leisure Centre

Website: welcometoscotland.com

Edinburgh August 2014

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What's on in Edinburgh in August 2014

Event of the Month | Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
(1 – 23 August)

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is part of the world-famous Edinburgh Festival. Nearly a thousand musicians, drummers, pipers, dancers and singers will perform on the esplanade of the striking and iconic Edinburgh Castle. Over three weeks, more than 200,000 people will join together to experience a celebration of music and entertainment at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Tattoo is referred to as a ‘global gathering’ with talented performers coming from all over the world to take part.

Edinburgh Castle Tattoo Fireworks

Ending with a stunning display of fireworks and red arrow or RAF flyover the Tattoo is a magnificent event which will leave your heart pounding and adrenaline high! If you can’t get tickets to the Tattoo you can take in the dazzling firework display over Edinburgh Castle from our Apex International and Apex City Hotels in the Grassmarket.

The Tattoo has always sold out in advance in recent years, so make sure to get your tickets sooner rather than later.

Location: Edinburgh Castle Esplanade

Website: edintattoo.co.uk  

Edinburgh International Festival (8th – 31st August)

The International Festival was founded in 1947, just after the Second World War. Unlike the Fringe Festival, artists and companies take part on an invitation-only basis. During the festival you’ll get to experience theatre, classical music, opera and dance by performers from across the world. At the end of the festival, you’ll not want to miss the stunning fireworks concert which takes place at Edinburgh Castle.

Location: Various locations around Edinburgh

Website: eif.co.uk

Edinburgh Art Festival (31st July- 31st August)

Scotland’s largest annual visual arts festival returns to Edinburgh this August. The festival, which showcased in 1947, showcases some of the Scotland’s most impressive contemporary art as well as exhibitions from some the most influential artists in the scene. Over 40 exhibitions will be taking place across the city, many of which will be free!

Location: Various locations around Edinburgh

Website: edinburghartfestival.com

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (1st July- 25th August)

By now, everyone knows about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it is after all the world’s largest Arts Festival. With over 40,000 performances taking place in 250 venues across the city, you’ll need to put some time and thought into choosing the performances you want to see. Highlights this year include shows from Brendon Burns, Al Murray and George Galloway.

Location: Various locations around Edinburgh

Website: edfringe.com

International Book Festival (9th – 25th August)

If you want to attend a somewhat quieter and more relaxing festival in Edinburgh this August, the International Book Festival might be just what you’re looking for. Book lovers will congregate in the surrounds of Charlotte Square, and together they will celebrate the books they love and discuss the big issues of our time. It’s the perfect spot to spend an hour or two reading your favourite book.

Location: Charlotte Square

Website: edbookfest.co.uk

SKC Dog Show (23th – 24th August)

If you’re a dog lover, why not attend The Scottish Kennel Club Championship Show this August? The event will take place across 2 days at the Royal Highland Showground. On Saturday you’ll be treated to Working, Pastoral, Utility, Toy and Agility competitions. On Sunday there will be Gundog, Hound, Terrier, Obedience and Agility competitions to enjoy. Bring the whole family and make it an event to remember.

Location: Royal Highland Showground

Website: scottishkennelclub.org

Mela Festival (31st August –1st September)

The talent of Edinburgh’s ethnic minorities will be showcased during the Mela Festival. Prepare yourself for some Bhangra beats, family fun and delicious food. The festival manages to attract more than 20,000 visitors, and this year looks set to be no different. Don’t expect to be allowed to stand back and spectate however… you’ll be expected to join in on the fun!

Location: Leith Links

Website: edinburgh-mela.co.uk

Edinburgh Farmers’ Market (Every Saturday)

The Edinburgh Farmers’ Market has become an Edinburgh institution. Held every Saturday, and located a short walk from Apex International Hotel and Apex City Hotel, you’ll find a fantastic array of Scottish produce to tickle your taste buds.

Location: Castle Terrace, Edinburgh. EH1 2DP

Website: edinburghfarmersmarket.com

London July 2014

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What's on in London in July 2014

Event of the Month |TOUR DE FRANCE 2014
(7, 24, 25, 26 & 27 JULY 2014)

See the world’s top cyclists pass through London as part of the Grand Depart for the Tour De France or watch live coverage from a dedicated fan park.

Tour de France

Watch cyclists, including Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome, as they pass through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before going alongside the River Thames. The route through London will see them pass iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, before finishing on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. Fans are expected to line the streets in celebration of the passing cyclists.

Come together with other supporters in the free fan parks around London. Featuring giant screens you can watch the Grand Depart and Tour De France live. Watch the Grand Depart live Trafalgar Square’s big screens followed by the Tour De France live screenings at Canary Wharf. Not only will there by live coverage at Canary Wharf but also plenty of French themed food, prize give aways and special celebrity appearances too!

The Tour De France is the world biggest cycling event, experience the excitement, atmosphere and dedication as the world’s top cyclists go head to head for the title.

Website: visitlondon.com  


Hyper Japan is the biggest Japanese culture celebration in the UK. Discover the world of anime, taste cuisine from the best sushi chefs in the UK, experience Japanese fashion shows and shop for unique hand-made gifts. There’s also a chance to join the COSParade and be in for a chance of winning a prize for best costume.

Location: Earls Court, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA

Website: hyperjapan.co.uk

ROOFTOP FILM CLUB (Throughout July)

A unique experience for film lovers - The Rooftop Film Club brings the stars of the big screen under the stars in the sky. During July there will be classics including Flash Dance and Top Gun screened from Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop. Book early to avoid disappointment as screenings are extremely popular.

Location: Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX

Website: rooftopfilmclub.com

ROOFTOP FILM CLUB (Throughout July)

A ten day “extravaganza” packed full of music, dance and comedy. From Tom Jones to Jake Bugg, Tim Minchin to Diversity – each day is filled with a variety of acts for every taste. Experience high quality festival food for a change with specially selected restaurateurs, artisan traders and produces available in Hyde Park.

Location: Hyde Park

Website: bst-hydepark.com


The annual summer opening of Buckingham Palace begins in 26 July. As one of the world’s last remaining working royal palaces, Buckingham Palace is an iconic London attraction where during summer you can visit the luxurious state rooms, full of royal treasures.

Location: Buckingham Palace

Website: visitlondon.com


Following a sell out last year, after hours zoo nights have returned. Unleash your wild side with comedy, cabaret and a silent disco all held within London’s very own urban jungle. Don’t miss out on this event held most Friday nights throughout July.

Location: ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY

Website: zsl.org


Bastille Festival is now in its 7th year, celebrating all things French including food, arts, theatres and film. You can experience wine tastings, creative workshops and many more activities all in Borough Market. There’s also an open air party to round up the day.

Website: visitlondon.com


One of London’s most spectacular venues, featuring panoramic views over London, is hosting a silent disco. Three DJs will travel to Level 69 to spin the decks and entertain those looking to party. Combining stunning views and excellent music The Shard’s Late Night Silent Disco is a truly unique experience.

Location: The Shard

Website: theviewfromtheshard.com


In their first live performance since 1980, The Pythons reunites for a hugely popular comeback show. Featuring the all-star cast including John Cleese, Terry Jones and Eric Idle, Monthy Python will be the talk of London’s comedy scene in 2014.

Location: The O2

Website: londontown.com

Edinburgh July 2014

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What's on in Edinburgh in July 2014

Event of the Month | Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
(18 – 27 July)

July in Edinburgh welcomes some of the giants of Blues and Jazz, including big name acts such as Van Morrison, Jools Holland and Bill Wyman. This two week Jazz and Blues Extravaganza features over 140 gigs, held across 13 venues within Edinburgh City Centre, featuring diverse musical styles ranging from bop, boogie-woogie, samba and soul.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

This exciting music festival takes place in stunning venues across the city; they’ll also be the opportunity to enjoy some alfresco Jazz on the Grassmarket, as musicians take to the street and entertain you whilst you enjoy some shopping, eating or drinking in the beautiful Grassmarket – right outside our Apex International Hotel and Apex City Hotel.

Find out more about the 2014 program by visiting theEdinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival website to find out more about all the artists and events that are taking place during this festival of all things Jazz and Blues. If you’re staying for the whole festival, why not choose Apex Hotels. All our properties in Edinburgh are ideally located and within easy reach of all the venues taking part in this groovy music festival.

Location: Various locations around Edinburgh

Website: edinburghjazzfestival.com  

A Capital View: The Art of Edinburgh (4 June 2014 – 6 July 2014)

This exhibition charts the history of Edinburgh through an exquisite collection of paintings, prints and sculptures. Don’t miss this opportunity to view some unique and rare artworks that show the development of this beautiful city. If you’re staying at Apex Waterloo Place, don’t miss this exhibition as it is only a short walk from the hotel.

Location: City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE

Website: edinburghmuseums.org.uk

Edinburgh Famers’ Market (Every Saturday)

The Edinburgh Farmers’ Market has become an Edinburgh institution. Held every Saturday, and located a short walk from Apex International Hotel and Apex City Hotel, you’ll find a fantastic array of Scottish produce to tickle your taste buds.

Location: Castle Terrace, Edinburgh. EH1 2DP

Website: edinburghfarmersmarket.com

River Dipping (3 – 29 July)

Keep the kids occupied and take them for a cooling dip in the Water of Leith to discover the diverse wildlife that inhabits our inner city river. Bring your waterproofs and wellies, and prepare to get wet as you and your children discover what creatures lurk beneath the Water of Leith. Children must be accompanied by an adult and booking is advised.

Location: Water of Leith Visitor Centre, Edinburgh, EH14 1TQ

Website: waterofleith.org.uk

The Art of Golf (12 July 2014 – 26 October 2014)

Learn about a Scotland’s other famous export: Golf, in this exciting exhibition about Scotland’s national sport. You’ll get the chance to see golf as it was in its early days, right through to the present day via a collection of beautiful artwork, museum pieces and memorabilia that sport and Scotland’s past.

Location: Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

Website: nationalgalleries.org

Pentlands Walking Festival (24 – 26 July)

Escaping to the great outdoors is easier than you think in Edinburgh. Located a stone’s throw from the city centre, the Pentland Hills Regional Park boasts some of the finest views of Edinburgh and the Lothians. Discover this national treasure during the Pentlands Walking Festival in July as you are led on a series of guided tours around the park.

Location: Pentland Hills, Edinburgh

Website: pentlandhills.org

Dundee July 2014

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What's on in Dundee in July 2014

(4 - 12 JULY)

The Ladyboys of Bangkok

Sizzling, sexy and seductive; a show like no other and not to be missed – The Lady Boys of Bangkok returns to the UK for its 16th year. Stopping for a week in Dundee, before appearing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, ‘Red Hot Kisses’ will see temperatures rising in The Sabai Pavilion set in Baxter Park. Watch in astonishment as sixteen gorgeous and glamorous Lady Boys take to the stage in a truly unique performance.

With an array of extravagant costumes, plenty of cheeky humour and full-on glitz & glamour – this show is perfect for girl’s (or boy’s) night out or even as a first date ice-breaker! The travelling Sabai Pavilion allows you to be surrounded and enveloped in Bangkok’s exotic atmosphere as the aroma of freshly prepared Thai food fills the air, which you can enjoy with a drink from the fully licensed bar.

There’s also a Lady Boy’s Boudoir where you can buy some fantastic souvenirs from DVDs to masks and other novelties – a great way to remember a sparkling night out.

Celebrating in a group? Book a premium or platinum table package and get the best seats in the house along with a souvenir brochure, Thai meal and a standard drink per person. Book through us and you’ll get £10 off tickets Sunday – Friday

Location: The Sabai Pavilion, Baxter Park Terrace, Dundee, DD4 6NL

Website: ladyboysofbangkok.co.uk  


A long-held tradition, Broughty Ferry Gala week is full of fun, frolics and a touch of fancy dress! Events include pet shows, competitions and treasure hunts. There’s also a window guessing competition with a prize of up to £50.00 for the winner (sorry parents, this one is for kids only!)

Location: Various locations in Broughty Ferry (very close to Dundee)

Website: cometobroughty.co.uk.


In the first performance to be held on Frigate Unicorn, four actors and their bicycles perform a Shakespeare inspired comedy. Using bicycles to power surprises and contraptions within the performance, this is a one of its kind show which audience members may even become part of.

Location: HM Frigate Unicorn, City Quay

Website: dundeecity.gov.uk


Although Dundee may not be a tropical paradise where you can swim with dolphins in warm waters it doesn’t mean you can’t see them in their natural habitat. Ancrum Outdoor Centre has teamed up with Dundee’s Countryside Rangers to offer two powerboat trips to see pods of dolphins and other local wildlife in Tay Estuary.

Location: Tay Estuary

Website: ancrum.com


Continue Without Losing Consciousness features three solo artist’s exhibitions tracing the development of contemporary in Scotland over the last 25 years. The DCA will be working with the artists to create three new projects for their galleries focusing around the artist’s original concepts.

Location: Dundee Contemporary Arts

Website: dca.org.uk


The perfect, fun packed day out for school holidays! Face painting, storytelling, safari trails and plenty of fun and games. Zoofest at Camperdown Wildlife Centre is a great way to keep the kids entertained this summer holiday (entry is less than £5.00 per person too!)

Location: Camperdown Wildlife Centre

Website: camperdownwildlifecentre.com

Edinburgh International Film Festival

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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014

This June Edinburgh welcomes back the Edinburgh International Film Festival for its 68th edition. This world renowned film festival brings its usual mix of cutting edge feature films, documentaries, shorts and animation.

EIFF 2014

Edinburgh, with its numerous dedicated film venues, is the ideal home for such a long running and well respected International film festival. The programme takes place across the city at well known venues such as the Filmhouse, Cameo and The Dominion. The festival also includes unique festival events such as outdoor screenings, workshops and discussions at venues across the city.

Our four city centre hotels offer the perfect base for enjoying the festival and visiting the host cinemas. In this blog we look at some of the venues that will enjoy EIFF screenings.

The Venues

38 Home Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LZ

The Cameo - based in the Tollcross area of the city and not far from Apex International Hotel and Apex City Hotel - is one of Scotland’s oldest cinemas. This cinema with its huge main screen and comfy seats make it one of the best places to see film in Edinburgh.

Pick of the Festival: Teen Spirit Shorts – A look at some of the best International short films by the very best young film makers

88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9BZ

No trip to the EIFF is complete without a visit to the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the official home of the EIFF. This beautiful Georgian building houses three screens that showcase the best in international independent cinema. It also has a great Cafe, where hungry filmgoers can fuel up or grab a beer between films.

Pick of the Festival: That Guy Dick Miller – A light-hearted documentary about one of Holywood’s most prolific actors. You’ve more than likely seen his face - you’ll know his name after seeing this endearing documentary.

18 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4RT

Venture south to leafy Morningside and you’ll discover this beautiful Art Deco Dominion Cinema nestled just off Morningside Road. This attractive and often overlooked Edinburgh cinema can be easily reached from the City Centre by bus.

Pick of the Festival: Welcome to New York – Gerard Depardieu stars in this UK Premiere about Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his fall from grace.

A full programme of showings and events is now available to view on the EIFF website.