So winter has officially hit Scotland. Cold and dark at 4pm. NO THANKS! So to cheer up those dark days I’ve been doing some research and having a think about what fun things there are to do in Edinburgh this season. I kinda feel that I missed Christmas and winter last year spending my days in 35 degree sunshine and chilling on the beach in December! Therefore I’m looking forward to seeing how magical Edinburgh will be this year.
Of course I can’t mention what fun things there are to do in the city without mentioning Edinburgh Christmas. The city just explodes about this time of year in to full on festive mode. The markets at Princes Street Gardens are always a highlight and you could spend hours exploring them and tasting all the festive food such as Dutch Pancakes (my fave) and German sausages. The rides are fun too, if a bit pricey. This year they also have ‘Silent Light’ which looks right up my street. Essentially its a silent disco to Christmas songs on George Street! Tickets are £4.50, so grab a pal and sing along to Mariah Carey. It’s also worth mentioning how busy the markets can get, so definitely head along on a week night to avoid the crowds.
Note: This was taken a couple years ago so may not look the same now, it’s probably bigger!
Christmas Film Screenings
What’s Christmas without rewatching your old favourites? The Three Sisters are hosting an outdoor festive cinema club and the tickets are free too. Home Alone, Love Actually and The Greatest showman are a few of the films on offer. Cosy up with a cider and get in to the Christmas spirit. If being outdoors doesn’t take your fancy The Filmhouse and The Cameo always show screenings of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on Christmas Eve.
Grab a Hot Chocolate or a Winter Brunch
When it becomes cold and dark I literally crave hot chocolates and my quantity of these doubles at this time of year! I’ve mentioned them before but make sure to head to The Chocolate Tree in Bruntsfield for what I think is the best hot choc in Edinburgh. Chai hot chocolate YES PLEASE. Cairngorm Coffee also do a lovely hot choc and you can nip in between wandering the lights round George Street. Feeling peckish? Why not also head out for brunch to keep you warm. I recently visited Brochan, in Marchmont, which is the perfect spot to cosy up and eat some delicious porridge.
I just saw this event on facebook last night and so thought I’d also pop this is on here! SkyBar, in the Grass market, is hosting a Christmas event on the 6th of December. Music, cocktails and views it sounds like it would be a great evening out to get in the spirit. This is also somewhere on my list I’m yet to have been too, so I would be able to tick this off. Head to their facebook for more information as this is where I found out about the event.
One of my favourite things I love about winter are those nice, crisp, sunny days making it ideal to head out for some fresh air and a walk. Calton Hill or a hike up Arthurs Seat are handy if you’re in town and provide a good view. However if you’re able too, head along the coast for a beach trip. North Berwick is perfect and you can warm up at Steampunk after!
Visit to Peebles
So this is not technically Edinburgh, but it’s one of my favourite places to visit in winter (I pretty much only come here this time of year). Peebles is only a 40 minute drive from the city and it’s the perfect spot to see some Christmas lights, wander the streets and do some shopping. If you need a Christmas tree there’s also the Forestry Commission just outside the town!
Lastly, I couldn’t not mention Hogmanay in Edinburgh. Similar to August the city just fills with people who visit the city especially to see the fireworks display and see in the New Year. Although I love the street party, it is a nightmare for the crowds! If you fancy seeing the fireworks somewhere a bit cheaper and quieter head to the Grassmarket or the Royal Mile; still good views and you can head straight back to the pub after.
So there you have it, probably a bit Christmas based, but thats what this time of year is about. If any of you have some good ideas about what there is to do round the city message me on here or instagram at mairimackay_