The days may have become shorter, but all this darkness provides the city with the perfect chance to sparkle. On the 18th November fireworks emblazoned the sky and Christmas came to Edinburgh again. This year, Edinburgh Christmas has pulled out all the stops to make it an extra special one. Edinburgh with its majestic castle, cobbled streets and its backdrop of historic buildings makes it the perfect place to truly enjoy the spirit of Christmas and a chance to set your inner child free.
Here is my very special #BluBlazerGuy guide to enjoying a festive night in this beautiful city.
The Christmas Market
Sitting in the east-end of Princes Street, under the shadow of the old town is the quaint Christmas market. This festive market is filled with an abundance of traditional wooden stalls selling an array of bespoke goods from around the world, making it perfect for those extra special gifts. Wander aimlessly with a mulled wine in-hand, leisurely perusing as the lights twinkle around you. With a huge selection of food stalls, you are never short of choice, from traditional German sausages to chocolate slathered waffles there is something for everyone.
My favourite place is the Johnny Walker Bothy Bar, a two-story bar situated on the mound, selling a delicious selection of whisky cocktails and their very own take on a hot toddy.
On its upper level, step onto the outdoor balcony which provides the perfect view of the Christmas market below and allows you to relax with your drink and absorb the magical sights, sounds and smells.
Proudly standing in Princes Street Gardens is the iconic Forth 1 Big Wheel. As you step inside one of its 36 enclosed weather-proof pods, you are slowly elevated above the bustling crowds.
With views of the grand castle on one side and the Victorian-Gothic Scott’s monument on the other, it truly is a great way to experience unrivalled views of the city in all its beauty.
During your experience, listen carefully to the much-loved commentary by Boogie and Arlene from Forth one. On a clear evening I recommend arriving just before dusk so you can get that perfect view of the sun sinking behind the castle.
Only minutes from Princes Street is the elegant St Andrews square housing its very own Rekorderlig Cider Lodge. Circling the Lodge is the famous ice rink where you can grab your skates (and your loved one, if you are anything like me) and slide around the beautiful elliptical ice rink.
Can you imagine dancing carefree under a carpet of 60,000 lights all synchronised to the music you are listening too? Well, you don’t have to imagine, as this year’s new addition Silent Light brings this to life. A world’s first, Silent Night merges two themes from previous years; the Street of Light and the Silent Disco.
With five Silent Light shows a day with an array of different tracks to listen to, there is something for everyones taste. What makes it even more appealing is that 50p from every ticket goes to a wonderful charity, One City Trust. So now you can have your very own street party while contributing to a worthy cause. After all, it is the season of giving.
Situated in the famous Spiegeltent on Festival Square is the weird and wonderful La Clique Noel show.
Prepare yourself to be dazzled and astonished by this group of talented artistes who perform a spectacular array of daring acts. Think of it as a very sexy circus show with some of the performers making you gasp in astonishment. The hilariously funny host Bernie Dieter captivates the audience with her devilishly dark humour. Her sultry singing is infectious, and I found myself entranced by her every time she sashayed her way onto stage.
This quick moving show will surprise you at every turn, with comedy, magic, burlesque, music and more. My personal highlights were the sultry Heather Holliday who took sword swallowing to another level and the famous Fancy Chance, who had me grabbing at my scalp as she swung precariously over the audience by her hair.
Keep your eyes out ladies and gentlemen for the final act by the muscle-clad Stephen Williams. I won’t spoil the surprise but his act which encompasses balance, aerial strength and dance was a captivating and perfect way to conclude this fantastically varied show.
I’ve only touched on a few of the rides, shows and attractions available at this years Edinburgh’s Christmas. For more information visit the Edinburgh’s Christmas website, where you can buy all your tickets and plan your visit for this six week festive spectacular.
Don’t forget that Edinburgh residents will receive a 20% discount on rides and attractions with a valid ID.
Edinburgh’s Christmas is on from 16 November 2018 – 5 January 2019