A Guide to Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh
A Guide to Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh
There are few places better in the world for Christmas and new year than Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. Edinburgh over the Christmas period becomes a winter wonderland with outdoor ice-skating, a bustling Christmas market in the city centre, fairground rides and an array of stunning lights. Hogmanay, as New Year’s Eve is called in Scotland, brings the Edinburgh street party where you can bring in 2019 with great food, music, dancing and watch the fireworks display over the picturesque Edinburgh Castle.
Running from November to January, Edinburgh’s Christmas markets, located along Prince’s Street, bring delicious food, drinks as well as an array of handmade items, gifts and even fortune telling. Why not head along for a day out and buy yourself a bratwurst and a hot cider or mulled why? There is nothing like a trip to the markets to really get into the Christmas spirit.
Not just for the Christmas markets, Edinburgh is great city for shopping and to find great Christmas gifts. Many stores are open for an extended period over the festive months, often opening until around 8 pm. In the capital you will find everything from your discount stores to your high-end designers like Swarovski and Louis Vuitton.
Usually based in St Andrews Square in the city centre, looping around the Melville Monument, Edinburgh’s outdoor skating rink is a hugely popular attraction on the run-up to Christmas. There is a mixture of chart and Christmas music and at night disco lights shine, lighting your way around the skating rink; each skating sessions starts on the hour every hour and participants get a total of 45 minutes on the ice. Nearby you will find food and drink stalls as well as a variety of rides and amusements.
Visit Santa Clause
If you are taking kids to see Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations, why not pay a visit to Santa’s Grotto – normally located in the Prince’s Street Christmas market? See the kids’ faces light up as they meet Father Christmas himself, have a chance to sit on his knee, meet his helpers and listen to a festive tale. Ticket prices often start around £8.50 and the session lasts 25 minutes.
Edinburgh’s new year celebrations are a big event which includes the ticketed street party, a large public ceilidh, concerts, rides and a big firework display as the clock hits 12 am on January 1st. If you wish to attend the street party and associated concerts, it’s recommended that you book tickets as soon as you can as they often sell quickly. If you are travelling into the city and need accommodation, there are lots of great hotels to choose from but try to book early as rooms sell quickly and prices skyrocket the closer to the holidays you get.
The Loony Dook
If you are feeling brave enough, why not choose to take part in the annual New Year’s Day tradition the Loony Dook and dive into the freezing cold waters of the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry? The Loony Dook is a charity event which initially started out as a joke in 1986, but has now grown into a large event where crowds gather to watch those participating dive into the water – often in fancy dress.
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