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 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?

 Technology

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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

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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.

 

Travel

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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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