Christmas has arrived at the Royal Botanic Garden

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Visitors to the gardens can watch festive light projections on the Glasshouse.

 

It may only be the first week of December, but the festivities in Edinburgh are well and truly underway and the Royal Botanic Garden has a brand new Christmas trail for visitors to enjoy.

Until the 29th of December, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is running a winter-themed trail with decorations, music and over a million lights called “Christmas at the Botanics”. This is the second year the Royal Botanic Garden has put on the event and there are similar trails all across the UK.

Emma Henderson from Culture Creative , the creative management company behind “Christmas at the Botanics”, mentioned some of the other trails around the country.

“Christmas at the Botanics is one of seven lit trails themed around Christmas which include Christmas at Kew, Christmas at Bleinheim Palace, Christmas at Dunham Massey, Christmas at Bedgebury, Christmas at Beaulieu and Christmas at London Zoo.”

“The first trail was at Kew Gardens six years ago and its success has led to other trails being added each year.”

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Some of the one million lights on display at “Christmas at the Botanics”.

This year, the mile-long trail has several new additions, including contributions from both UK-based artists and artists from around the world.

“This year’s trail includes artworks by international and UK artists, live theatre and light projections onto the world-famous Glasshouse and Inverleith House,” said Emma.

“French lighting designers Tilt have two installations: “Lily of the Valley” and “Carbonium”. Mandylights from Australia, whose work has been shown previously at Vivid Festival in Sydney, has brought us ‘The Cathedral of Light.'”

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The Cathedral of Light is one of the new attractions at the gardens this year.

The Cathedral of Light, a 70m-long tunnel with over 100,000 lights, provides quite a spectacle at the halfway point of the trail. Visitors should take their time to enjoy the stunning lights and accompanying Christmas carols: this is one of the prime picture taking areas.

There are also a number of new features this year for children to enjoy on their way around the gardens. Emma Henderson spoke about some of the options available for families to enjoy together.

“This year’s Santa Panto is themed around the gifts that conifer trees give us year-round. It’s presented by Connie Fir and Connor Fir, two Christmas elves who are Santa’s helpers. Our conifer trail is also new this year, which highlights six key specimens in the garden for adults and children to find.”

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Festive decorations have been placed at different points around the garden.

Although the trail is outdoors and some may be sceptical to brave the Scottish weather on winter evenings, there are plenty of opportunities to buy hot food and drinks around the garden.

“Christmas at the Botanics is a family event created for everyone to enjoy. There are over a million twinkling lights, creamy hot chocolate, mulled wine and marshmallows, Christmas music, crackling fires and of course, Santa Clause. So wrap up warm and come enjoy the wonderful Christmas atmosphere and fun.”

You can find out more about “Christmas at the Botanics” and how to purchase tickets here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s happening in October

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Picture of October cocktail at a pop-up bar in Edinburgh. Photo by Rachel Lee.

Five events to get you off your couch!

It might feel like winter is just around the corner with the recent onset of autumnal weather, but that doesn’t mean you should be mourning the death of your social life and going into hibernation just yet! Edinburgh has many amazing events and places to try in October. Whether you’re looking for foody, spooky or boozy, we’ve got you covered.

The Spooky One

It’s impossible to get through October without thinking about Halloween, and if you don’t want to be at the beck and call of trick-or-treaters, then it’s best to hit the town for the night. The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be on at the Edinburgh Playhouse at the end of the month, so getting dressed up and dancing the night away has never been easier. This infamous show, which is part of a sell-out world tour, is sure to impress. The show is only in town for six days, starting on October 28th, so make sure to get your ticket to hell soon. Get your fishnets on and get ready to party.

The Foody One 

If you’re lusting over bygone holidays or for the trips you never got to take, then why not take America to Scotland. The City Café offers a little taste of the States without the hefty flight prices. Adorned with neon lights and memorabilia, their menu serves all the American delights you can think of with pretty wallet-friendly prices too. Go for a heft milkshake or their killer sweet potato fries.

The Boozy One 

If you feel like you’ve tried every tipple in Edinburgh, then The Pop Up Geeks will always prove you wrong! Their bar is in the same location as their last temporary treasures (The Stranger Thing’s ‘Upside Down’ and the Rick and Morty inspired wubba-lubba-dub-dub) but the theme changes every few months. This month, they’re running a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory event between October 15thand 21st. Don’t look for a golden ticket, it’s a glossy wristband you need to enter this magical world.

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Picture of Afternoon Tea at The Dome in Edinburgh. Photo by Rachel Lee.

The Classy One

The Dome might seem like a really classy joint, but it’s the perfect place to spoil yourself if you’re looking for a bit of TLC. Its afternoon tea is an experience in itself and the Georgian Tearoom, where it’s held, is luxurious and opulent. The perfect treat to get you out of the house. You don’t need to break the bank to feel like royalty.

 

 

The Educational One 

The International Storytelling Festival kicks off for its 30th year on October 18th with a jam-packed agenda of 66 events local to Edinburgh, covering everything from Scottish folklore to the Scottish Suffragette movement to children’s literature. For those who are feeling inspired, there are a variety of workshops available too, so you can get stuck into all the action. With something on offer for everyone, this festival is sure to satisfy even the fussiest of readers.

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