What’s on in Edinburgh this Christmas?


West Princes Gardens will play host to the 15th anniversary of the Santa Fun Run & Walk, a fundraising event that sees a horde of Santas taking on a 2.5km circuit in order to raise funds for When You Wish Upon A Star.

The route will be accessible to all with wheelchair and pram access, as well as allowing our four-legged friends on leads to join. Registration for the event begins at 9:30am, and there are prizes in place for the best dressed Santa!

Adults: £15
Juniors: (5 – 11) £5
Juniors: (2 – 4) £3
Under 2s: Free

Date/Time: 1st of December, 9.30am – 3pm


This magical winter wonderland in the heart of the city is the best way to get in the festive spirit.

With food and drink and gift stalls lining the East Princes Street Gardens, you will find plenty that catches your eye. There is something for everyone at the Christmas Markets which makes it a must for your Christmas activities this year!

Price: Free Entry

Date/ Time: 16th of November – 4th of January 2020, 10am – 10pm every day
With the exceptions of:
16th of November, Early Afternoon – 10pm
24th of  December, 10am – 8pm
26th of December, 12pm – 8pm
31st of December, 10am – 6pm
1st of January, 12pm – 8pm


While visiting the markets at East Princes Street Gardens, don’t forget to stop off for some fun at Santa Land! Situated just beside the markets, there is plenty to do and see, such as a Santa Train, Carousel, Chair O Planes and even a Christmas Tree Maze.

Fun for all this festive period at Santa Land!

Price: Tickets vary from £2.50 – £4.50 with a 20% discount for EH postcode holders

Date/Time: Santa Land will run on the same days as The Christmas Markets. Time slots for each activity are subject to availability.


Start December right by joining the annual Nativity Carol Concert. Choirs from across Edinburgh gather at a brand new location, Mound Place, to perform a selection of traditional Christmas carols with the public.

Price: Free

Date/Time: 1st of December, 3pm


It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to the man himself… Santa!

This year, Santa’s Grotto will be situated on Castle Street, with group visits beginning every 30 minutes for a magical experience this winter.

Adults can be warmed up thanks to the bar below, which serves hot chocolate or mulled wine while you wait. However, if you wish to join in, each child can bring two adults, with the first receiving free entry and the second paying £5.

Price: Tickets from £8.50 with a 20% EH postcode discount applicable

Date/Time: 16th of November – 24th of December


Hosted at Fort Douglas, the spectacle of light at Dalkeith looks to be a spectacle well worth exploring. This event promises to make you “marvel at the beauty of the Orangerie as you follow this visual and musical feast around the gardens and across the river”.

The event is a “continuous experience” which will offer entry times every 30 minutes from 4pm to 6:30pm, and the entire experience will take around 90 minutes to complete.

Toast marshmallows around the fire and stay as long as you wish.

Adult: £15.75
Child (3 – 15): £9.90
Family (2 + 2): £44.55
Under 3s: FREE

7th – 8th of December
13th – 15th of December
17th – 23rd of December
27th – 31st of December
2nd – 5th of January


The Castle of Light will take place at Edinburgh Castle and is highly accessible for all to enjoy and attend. Boasting “state of the art” light installations and “stunning visuals”, this event will make a great outing for anyone keen to see something visually sensational.

On the 2nd of December, there will also be an access night for those who suffer from conditions such as autism and dementia. This will come with an autism orientation map and support will be provided by event stewards.

Adult (16-59yrs) £20.00
Concession (60yrs+) £16.00
Child (5-15yrs) £12.00
Family (1 adult and 2 children) £40.00
Family (2 adults and 2 children) £58.00
Family (2 adults and 3 children) £68.00

Date/Time: 24th, 29th and 30th November and 1st – 2nd, 5th – 8th, 12th – 15th and 19th – 22nd of December


By Caitlin Gallagher

Christmas has arrived at the Royal Botanic Garden


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.”


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.'”

Olivia Hill

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.”


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 to expect from the 2016 Black Friday sales

With the infamous Black Friday sales hitting the UK for the 6th year running this weekend, thousands of tech deals, fashion discounts and travel extravaganzas are set to triumph stores nationwide.

So what deals can we expect for 2016?



Online giants Amazon have soared ahead of competitors by releasing their Black Friday goods 12 days early. Over a thousand Amazon Marketplace sellers are due to take part in the sale by slashing the prices on everything from HD TVs, GoPro accessories, Apple products and more.

Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager at Amazon said: “In response to positive customer feedback for Black Friday deals, we are introducing The Black Friday Sale – 12 days of fantastic deals on must-have gifts and products, saving our customers millions of pounds.”

EBay and Argos are also due to be major players in the tech sales with up to 50% off expected throughout. EBay are offering the Sony CMTS20BMK Sound System for just £99.99, while Argos have revealed a £60 saving on the Apple iPhone 6s.


Fashion and Beauty


To make your Christmas spending that little bit easier, many fashion retailers are offering four days of deals from Friday, right through to Cyber Monday.

Customers can expect price-crashing deals with the likes of high street leaders Topshop and French Connection offering up to 50% off clothing goods.

Boots and The Body Shop are also getting on board by offering half price cuts on hundreds of selected beauty items.




Thinking of jetting off during the dreary British winter? Airlines and travel agents are set to release staggering price drops with major flight operators previously offering £2 one way flights to Europe.

With Thomson, Thomson Cruises and First Choice being likely to offer promotional codes over the weekend, some firms, however, will simply cut prices across the board. Last year British Airways Holidays offered £100 off all standard bookings.

Virgin Trains will also be offering 200,000 discounted tickets, with standard tickets on offer from £5, £10 and £15.



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