By Anton Constantinou
“Edinburgh isn’t so much a city, more a way of life… I doubt I’ll ever tire of exploring Edinburgh, on foot or in print.” Author Ian Rankin’s famous words offer telling insight about a city which well and truly dazzles its visitors and residents. Scotland’s iconic capital is as beautiful as it is lively: a place where lush landscapes meet great bars and restaurants. Being an important economic hub, it’s home to major businesses and, with that, is well placed to accommodate employees looking to socialise. From paintballing to clay pigeon shooting, there’s no shortage of team-building activities in Edinburgh. Here are nine ideas to get you started:
1. The Edinburgh Dungeon
You’ve heard of London Dungeon. Well, Edinburgh Dungeon is just as fun and, with Halloween on the way, what better excuse to bring your team together than with some ghoulish theatrics. The dungeon combines great acting, special effects and rides in a spectacular walkthrough experience that will leave you clinging to each other in excitement. Each tour lasts roughly 80 minutes and offers gripping storytelling accounts of Scotland’s dark past. Groups of 10 people or more receive a fantastic 25% discount, as well as priority admission – allowing you to beat the queues.
2. Can You Escape?
Problem solving needn’t stop at the workplace. Creatives and coders will have to collaborate closely in order to solve the mind-boggling puzzles in this award winning live escape game. All missions are timed and require a variety of different skills, so teamwork is essential. In Operation Odyssey, for example, players must respond to a distress call involving meteors, and break free before it’s too late. Previously named the best performing small business, Can You Escape? is brilliant for friends, family, students and colleagues. Teams can be as small as two, or as large as 16, depending on your preference.
3. Battlezone Paintball Edinburgh
Nothing speaks high-octane bonding like a spot of paintballing. Battlezone Paintball gets people exercising army-style in goggles and camouflage overalls, and is a great stress buster. Armed with guns, masks and ammo belts, players must duck and dive their way through a leafy terrain, whilst competing in various themed challenges. Pricing operates on a sliding scale, with a half day costing £30 per person, and a full day (commando), £40 per person. Battlezone also offers quad biking, laser tag and human table football.
4. Bubble Soccer Scotland
Football fans will love this variation on the popular sport, which turns a simple kick about into a giant inflatable skirmish on an indoor pitch. Once strapped into the hollow balls provided, players must zorb it out in a range of action-packed games, which separate the men from the wimps. Take part in a roly poly race, or pit yourself against the might of 1 on 1 knockout. The Bubble Soccer corporate event package starts from £22 per person and includes a team photo and personal event organiser.
5. Xtreme Karting Edinburgh
Go karting is something that many of us do for the first time as a child, and it only gets better with age. After all, what’s not to love about speeding around a racetrack, in competition with your nearest and dearest? Xtreme Karting Edinburgh is suitable for junior, as well as seasoned drivers, and offers both practice sessions and exclusive race events. Their corporate event offer can accommodate up to 50 participants, and is ideal for entertaining clients. As part of the offer, you’ll have access to 5-star facilities in which to conduct meetings or presentations.
6. Wall Street Winners
Put yourself in the shoes of a Wall Street trader with this adrenaline-fuelled business event from Chilli Sauce involving forecasting and make or break deals. The aim of the game is to buy and sell assets as a team and construct a corporate empire. The team with the highest tower wins. Much like in the real world, the game is full of tricks and blunders to throw you off course, and no tower is secure until the final bell rings. Each session runs for three hours and features experienced instructors, along with prizes and medals for the winners.
7. Hopetoun Clays
Make a lasting impression on your clients or colleagues by treating them to a day of clay pigeon shooting . The Hopetoun Clays are located on a rural estate, just 12 miles from Edinburgh and offer an idyllic setting for the sport. Highly skilled instructors are on hand to help you fire like an expert, so don’t worry if you’re new to shooting. With a group booking, you get both a dedicated tutor and private piece of land. Experienced participants can up the ante with simulated game shooting involving more challenging targets like ducks and grouse.
Golf is a sport best played in style. Putt like a true pro by swinging on down to the Muirfield golf club in East Lothian, famous for its major amateur and professional championships. Otherwise known as “The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers”, it’s a prestigious venue with a colourful history dating back to 1744. Visitor days are Tuesdays and Thursdays (excluding public holidays). The club gets particularly busy during peak season, from May to September, so book well in advance at this time.
9. Pitch & Putt – Bruntsfield Links
If Muirfield is too upmarket for your fancy, choose Bruntsfield Links instead. Pitch & Putt’s historic short-hole golf course is free to use, immaturely maintained, and offers breath-taking views of Edinburgh’s main peak, Arthur’s Seat. Visitors have a choice of two courses: one in summer and another in winter. Clubs can be rented from the nearby Golf Tavern pub for £5 a set. For those on a limited budget, this is a perfect way to bring people together whilst keeping costs down.