Christmas in Edinburgh…a magical, winter wonderland
A visit to this majestic city is an attack on the senses. Every sight, sound and smell will leave you in no doubt you’re in Scotland’s Capital. However, once winter sets in and Edinburgh’s Christmas comes to town, the whole city is transformed into a magical, winter wonderland of light and sparkle and could take its place among some of the best European cities. Edinburgh is a beautiful city in any season but arguably Auld Reekie is a real stunner when she has her Christmas decorations up. For six weeks or so, Scotland’s capital becomes a real festive playground and the atmosphere is something really special, warming the hearts of everyone who spends some time here in the run up to the big day. The place just twinkles all day and all night.
For a bustling Capital, Edinburgh is surprisingly green with plenty of open spaces to chill and enjoy the vibe and these areas are put to good use during the winter months. East Princes Street Gardens is the hub of the merriment and is unrecognsable from late November into early January.
The quaint garden space (accessed via steps from street level) that nestles alongside busy Princes Street has everything you could imagine for real yuletide family fun. For thrill-seekers, there’s a 60 metre Star Flyer and a traditional Big Wheel as well as a Helter Skelter. For families with younger children, head over to Santa Land where you’ll find a Christmas Tree Maze, Santa’s Grotto and Santa’s Train.
A fabulous Christmas Market is in the middle of all this excitement and offers the usual choice of tasty, traditional food and drink treats as well as stalls selling all manner of festive bric-a-brac. Pop down, have a mulled wine or a hot chocolate and just soak up the atmosphere. There are also some great free events in Edinburgh at Christmas so you can still join in the fun without it costing too much.
Exploring Edinburgh on foot is an ideal way to get in about all the nooks and crannies and visitors will enjoy wandering around the mysterious, cobbled streets and alleyways. You will be spoilt for choice with the diverse range of attractions on offer as well as a thriving cultural scene. These are available all year round but a great addition to your festive activities if the tinsel and glitter get too much for you!
There’s also some fabulous shows on during the Christmas period and two highlights for a family treat might be The RSNO Concert: The Snowman at The Usher Hall and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at The Lyceum Theatre.
A good starting point on a stroll around the city is the historic Royal Mile, which connects the Castle to the Palace of Holyrood House, The Queen’s Edinburgh residence. You’ll find plenty to explore along this quaint, historic road. The world famous Castle dominates the Capital’s dramatic skyline and if it’s your first time in Edinburgh, then you really should not miss a tour around this historic and fascinating structure.
On the way down ‘The Mile’, why not drop into St.Giles Cathedral, a working Kirk that provides a tranquil haven amidst this bustling pocket of the Old Town. Sometimes you will find a musical performance taking place but even if there isn’t, just go in anyway, it’s so beautiful and peaceful and a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
Here’s a handy link to the St Gile’s Cathedral concert diary…
Out with the old and in with new? If you’re in need of a spot of lunch or a sparkly drink to get you in the Christmas spirit, look no further than the decadence of George Street in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.
This year, the famous Street Of Light will take up residence here, illuminating this swanky thoroughfare into a dazzling, magical fairyland scene and should be at the top of your list once you arrive in the city. Your Christmas selfies will never be the same again!
Don’t forget for all the best deals and offers on accommodation, tripsology has some great prices if you fancy making a night or a weekend of it.