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Edinburgh’s Christmas: What’s on in the Capital this holiday season?

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With the preparations for Edinburgh’s Christmas well under way and kicking off next week, we thought it might be time to start planning for the festive season.

As one of Edinburgh’s landmark venues, we like to consider ourselves the experts when it comes to celebrating Christmas and Hogmanay in the city and since Christmas is all about the spirit of giving, we’re giving you our top tips on celebrating in the capital this year.

Edinburgh’s White Christmas

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Our first taste of the holiday season begins 16 November at 1pm! If you are after a white Christmas, the ice rink round the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square brings a festive frost to your Christmas shopping.

Prices start at £8.00 and you can get your mittens on tickets here.

Light Night – 18th November 2018, 3.00pm

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Light Night is the night when the Christmas lights of Edinburgh go live.  It’s a free event and takes place throughout the city and is all about family and community.  Choirs from across Scotland perform in front of an expected audience of around 20,000 people, hosted by Forth One DJ Arlene Stuart.

The Christmas tree on the Mound, a gift to the City of Edinburgh Council from Hordaland County Council in Norway, will be lit as part of the Light Night switch-on and the lights go on at 5pm with a burst of fireworks.

Christmas Shopping

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Once the celebrations are underway in late November, many of Edinburgh’s shops stay open later so you can shop under the stars.  Some streets put on special evenings and celebrations, stringing up lights and decorations.  Find your way to enclaves such as William Street, Marchmont or Multrees Walk for some stylish and festive retail therapy.

Packed with great bars and cafes, Edinburgh is also a brilliant place to enjoy a festive mince pie or hot chocolate.  The Cafe Hub is always popular for shoppers on the Royal Mile looking for a winter warmer in cosy, vibrant surroundings. Our 12 foot Christmas tree adds the extra festive touch.

Other places to enjoy the Christmas spirit include the traditional markets and Santa Land. In the heart of the city, the famous Christmas market offers a fun shopping experience with its fair of crafters, artists, gift shops and gastronomic surprises.

Silent Light – 19th November 2018 to 5 January 2019, times vary

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In a world first, Silent Light brings together the spectacular Street of Light from Edinburgh’s Christmas 2015 and 2016 and silent disco headphones to give you the ultimate street party: singing and dancing under a spectacular array of 60,000 lights synchronised to music heard only through the headphones.

Brought to you in association with Fringe 2018 hit, Silent Adventures, there are up to five Silent Light shows a day, each 20 minutes long. Get your Christmas groove on and choose from three tracks, one for each show: Santa’s Sparkles, especially suitable for families, Christmas Crackers with all your favourite festive tunes and Disco Delights for the party crowd.

We think this might be the perfect Christmas entertainment for all! Tickets available here.

24 Doors of Advent – 1st December 2018 to 24th December 2018

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We thought it would be hard to top last year’s giant advent calendar projected onto the General Register House, but this year the team at Edinburgh’s Christmas has something just as fun in store. The 24 Doors of Advent takes you through a different door on an exciting adventure to a new place for each day of advent. We can’t wait to see Edinburgh opens its doors to showcase the unique buildings in the city.

And the best part is: it’s absolutely free, though some places do require booking in advance. Find out all you need to know here.

Hogmanay – 1 January 2019 to 3 January 2019

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Edinburgh really comes to life at Hogmanay and with three days packed full of celebration, it’s no wonder that Edinburgh is known as the home of Hogmanay.  From the traditional to the downright bonkers, there is something for everyone.

From the kick-off Torchlight Procession on 30 December things take a magical turn.  Thousands of people blaze a trail to Holyrood Park where they are met with a festival of fire.  The procession is breath-taking and is ideal for all ages.

On Hogmanay itself the city bursts into life with the famous Street Party.  Princes Street becomes a river of revellers with music, entertainment, street performers, DJs and dancers.  It’s an experience people never forget.

This year, you can celebrate Hogmanay in style at Hogmanay HQ… The Hub! That’s right, you can enjoy Edinburgh’s Hogmanay from the comfort and splendour of our spectacular landmark venue on Castlehill.

Tickets include a glass of Prosecco, canapés on arrival and full buffet dinner, plus entertainment, private bars, live music and a prime spot to view the midnight fireworks.

The Hogmanay HQ + Street Party ticket gives full access to the famous Street Party hosted by Johnnie Walker.

For those lucky enough, the Concert in the Gardens is the ultimate festival ticket for the headline music act, Franz Ferdinand, and the best view of the famous midnight fireworks.

There really is no better way to ring in the New Year…

On New Year’s Day head down to South Queensferry where a procession through the town culminates in our quirkiest celebration of the year when participants leap into the freezing Forth in an experience known as the Loony Dook.  Set against the backdrop of Scotland’s three iconic bridges, for the less brave, there are plenty of bars and restaurants from which to enjoy the sight of the dookers.

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So if you’re in Edinburgh this holiday season, there’s plenty for you to see and do. Don’t forget to pay us a visit and enjoy a delicious Scottish breakfast, hearty lunch, and afternoon tea experience or ring in the New Year with us at this year’s Hogmanay HQ! Situated in the heart of Old Town, we’re the perfect stop to rest your feet after a full day exploring Edinburgh’s festive fun.

 

Photos from: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh’s Christmas websites.

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