Please pre-book. If you take one thing away from this blog then please check the website of any place you vaguely want to go and pre-book.
I learnt this lesson the hard way. In between lockdowns and from sheer dumb luck myself and some friends where able to go to Edinburgh for a few days last year. Which sounds bananas now I think about it, given what has happened after this BUT. We learnt a lot. While there we discovered on our first night not only where most museums and galleries closed but even to go get a pint we needed to pre-book.
After our first night of leaving the safety of out walk in table for tea and trekking the whole length of Edinburgh’s golden mile and beyond to discover no room at the inn we needed a plan.
We set to work planning every single thing we wanted to do and eat during our next few days. We tried to hard and in general this worked. Places has space and we where able to get like Queens. But occasionally this failed. I misread an email and my fear of phone calls meant I dragged us to a bar on the edge of town with no confirmation and my friend had the booking for the wrong date and took some begging to let us have our tea at 9pm.
So take it from someone who has been waiting in the rain and going hungry to tell you to pre-book.
It’s not just restaurants and pubs, its everything.
I work in a museum, several in fact and all of them are making pre-booking mandatory. Actually they will probably keep pre-booking around forever as every generation has some sort of computer skills and we all have magic phones that can pre book.
The silver lining: The price remains the same. So for fellow museum and art gallery nerds don’t worry you wont have to pay if it is a free venue, prices remain the same you just have to make them aware your coming.
Walk-Ins are also still available, don’t worry , if you turn out to be like myself and my friends on our faithful Edinburgh trip do not be dismayed. There are usually a few spots for walk-ins. Be this by happy coincidence or the venues bubble system they can usually squeeze you in. But please don’t take this as golden and please actually try to pre-book if you are planning any stay-cations this year.