Princes Street at Christmas & Hogmanay

By | Category: Travel destinations

Edninburgh Christmas Market

Now that the children have broken up from school, they can still get bored quite easily. Combining shopping and visiting Father Christmas has been a solution, going back decades, to keep them occupied. At Christmas and Hogmanay, Princes Street in Edinburgh is turned into a mini entertainment arena.

Up at the Haymarket end is the German market with gluhwein strongly in evidence at about £3 a mugfull. This year it celebrates it’s tenth year so there are some extra special offers. The stallholders make their way from Frankfurt for the month long stay. Apart from German food and beer you will find crafts such as turned woods, candles and toys. It gets busy as the day wears into evening so, for the remaining few days, why not visit it in mid morning. Given the weather at the moment the gluhwein is especially welcoming!

For those who prefer it there is the Traditional Highland Village Christmas Market Christmas just up from the German market.  Unlike the German market, this one lasts until January 4th so there is food throughout Hogmanay.

For the younger at heart there is a helter skelter and two carousels. And to top it off, there is the Edinburgh Wheel which takes you high over Princes Street to give a good look at things. From there you can see to the ice rink in the gardens. This is one of the largest open air rinks in Scotland and is open every day bar Christmas Day. For those feeling slightly more adventurous there is the Bungy Snowdome, also down in the gardens.

And after Christmas comes Hogmanay. Anywhere in Scotland can be pretty special at this time of year but Edinburgh pulls the stops out. It starts on the 29th with a torchlight procession. If you join this you’ll be one of an estimated 20,000 who will turn up. Up at Calton Hill, there will be the traditional burning of a wicker effigy.

In the 30th, called The Night Afore, there will be activities in the Royal Mile all linked to fire and light. A number of attractions such as the castle, John Knox House and St Giles will be open for night time viewing.

On the evening itself between 80 and 100,000 will meet in Princes Street to see the new year in. Entertainment will be all down the street and then four and a half tons of fireworks and a laser display will bring the new year in. They don’t do things by halves in Edinburgh!  Of a quieter nature, there will also be a candlit concert at St Giles Cathedral.

And on New Year’s day itself? Apart from sleeping in and recovering from all the revelry, there are events planned throughout the day.

Princes Street and Edinburgh puts on quite a show during December and the new year. It needn’t cost you a packet either as there are lots of free things to do. But be warned, if you’re planning on staying accommodation will be in short supply or expensive. But then isn’t it everywhere at new year? It’s just in Edinburgh you get you money’s worth.

For further Hogmanay details in Edinburgh see www.edinburghshogmanay.com.

The helter skelter on Princes Street

The helter skelter on Princes Street

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