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Old Town Chambers, Merchiston & Abbey Strand

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  • Penguin Club for all ages up to 12
  • Chilled bottled water in fridge
  • Late check out subject to availability
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Edinburgh’s Festive Favourites


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Edinburgh’s Festive Favourites

Just as the city waves farewell to the last of the Fringe summer stragglers, it’s not long before the thought of Christmas begins to brew in the Capital. Whether you are local or you are visiting, there are lots of things to see and do in Edinburgh around the festive period. Christmas comes to light on the 17th of November, and from there you can dive into the magic.

Christmas Market

Take in the smell of bratwurst as you browse through the unique market stalls in Prince’s Street Gardens. Local treasures and hand-made crafts from our bespoke artists displayed in a German market strung together with glistening fairy lights. Wrap up and wander around the delicacies on offer and indulge in sweet treats sourced from all over Europe.

Royal Botanical Garden’s Illuminations

Take in the light display in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Garden. Mulled wine in hand (or hot chocolate in the smaller hands), the botanical garden’s host a trail of impressive light installations. The admission is limited and timed to avoid over-crowding, really allowing you to embrace the magic.

The Big Switch On

Keep your eye open for the date announced for the annual ‘big switch on’ which is usually around mid-November. Edinburgh always attracts crowds keen to kick off their Christmas celebrations with a bang – literally, fireworks, live music and thousands of festive lights. Head along George Street for the full effect, the famous Edinburgh Dome lights certainly never disappoint.

Festive Afternoon Tea

Edinburgh Dome doesn’t stop there with the impressive exterior decorations, garlands and ribbons. The interior is every bit as spectacular, bursting with lights and extraordinary festive cheer. Warm-up in the Christmas wonderment with a Christmas themed Afternoon Tea and delicious treats.

Outdoor Ice Skating

Glide around under the glittering Edinburgh Christmas lights and take in the excitement that surrounds you. Skates are available to rent, but you are welcome to bring your own. Cuddle up afterwards in the apres-ski-styled bar at the centre of the rink and enjoy a wee dram or two to warm you up.

Tree Trail

Edinburgh doesn’t quite have a Rockefeller tree, but we do have a few stunning alternatives. You will find beautifully decorated Christmas trees across the city centre around Christmas time. The Grassmarket, The Dome and Jenners all boast Christmas trees which are worth a visit.

Toy Soldiers

No festive time could be complete without a visit to our very own Edinburgh Grand to see the toy soldiers. Afterwards, pop up to the Register Club for a warm drink and view over St Andrew Square.

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