There are fewer places in the world that get into the festive spirit like Scotland does. When it comes to the best parties, seasonal food and drink, and knowing how to celebrate in style, nobody does it quite like the Scots. But what really makes this country a great destination during such a magical time of year is the enchanting atmosphere.
A special kind of air with a true sense of community often lost in other parts of Britain. If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape to this December, here are some reasons that will make you want to pick Scotland for your Christmas celebrations.
1. EDINBURGH CHRISTMAS MARKET
Edinburgh definitely makes it to our top spot when it comes to Christmas events. The annual markets are definitely not to be missed if you love mulled wine, spiced apple cider, music, shopping and delicious street food. There are two to choose from; The Scottish Market in St. Andrew Square and the European Christmas Market on East Princes Street Gardens.
2. VISIT SANTA LAND
If you’re looking for the perfect winter escape for the whole family, make sure you head over to Santa Land in the capital. It’s the next best thing to Lapland outside of Finland and it features a fun fairground, a festive market, food and drink stalls, a Santa’s Grotto, an Elves Workshop, a maze and a huge Christmas tree display. The little ones will love it so much, they won’t want to leave.
3. IRVINE HARBOUR FESTIVAL OF LIGHT
Taking place at the beginning of December, and as a part of the wider St. Andrew’s Day celebrations, this festival is one of the highlights of the Scottish winter. It’s recently been named “Scotland’s Best Festival” (as recognized at the inaugural Eventit Awards) and you won’t want to miss it you’re nearby.
4. HOGMANAY & NEW YEAR
Stay over Christmas and New Year and you will have the unique opportunity to experience the Hogmanay Festival. A world-famous event that takes place every New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh. With three whole days of activities and the unmissable and truly iconic Street Party which takes place on the 31st December.
5. TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DINNER
Enjoy Christmas Dinner with a Scottish twist! Whilst Scotland’s Christmas Day meal is very, very similar to English traditions, the Scots have a few customs of their own. Including ‘Cock O Leekie’ soup for starter, haggis stuffing for the turkey, and the ‘Clootie Dumpling’ or traditional Crannachan for dessert. A fine way to experience Christmas in Scotland.
6. THE BEST CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
Scotland’s major cities will be perfect for your annual Christmas shopping trip. Edinburgh and Glasgow are renowned for their fantastic high street and boutique offers – so you’ll be able to find a gift for everyone. Some stores you just have to visit include Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Edinburgh and the Nutcracker Christmas Shop (in Callander or Crieff). Don’t forget to pick up some specialist souvenirs such as Scottish shortbread for biscuit lovers or some fine Scottish whiskey.
If you’re thinking of visiting Scotland this Christmas time, here are some unusual places to stay to make your visit even more memorable. If you’d like to discuss your trip to Scotland, please do get in touch.