Edinburgh Christmas

December has arrived, and Christmas festivities are well underway. From charming markets featuring mulled wine and delicious food to a great range of theatre productions to vibrant light shows, there’s a great range of festive activities to indulge in this month across east central Scotland.


The Christmas markets have returned to Princes Street Gardens as has the big wheel, which allows fantastic views over the city. There’s also the adrenaline-inducing Star Flyer ride – not for the faint of heart, this ride is like the family-favourite flying chairs, but much, much higher. Plus, get your skates on as St Andrew’s Square is once again home to an outdoor ice rink.

George Street is also hosting Edinburgh’s Street of Light again, but for the first time is adding silent discos into the mix. Silent Night offers the ultimate street party: singing and dancing under a spectacular array of 60,000 lights synchronised to music heard only through the headphones. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a range of fantastic theatre productions on as part of the Christmas celebrations, including La Clique Noel – Part Deux at the Festival Square Spiegeltent and Wendy and Peter Pan at the Lyceum.

East Lothian

The festive spirit is also very much alive to the east of the capital, with several East Lothian towns featuring their own Christmas lights. Haddington is also hosting its own Christmas Market at the Old George Hotel, featuring fantastic gifts, food and drinks, plus Santa’s grotto.

Archerfield Walled Garden have also teamed up with Rogue Village to offer an illuminating, immersive theatre experience in the form of A Christmas Fairy Trail. Set in the Archerfield Estate woodland, visitors will be transported to an ethereal otherworld. The 1.5km trail will see visitors come face to face with fairies and woodland creatures as well as a series of lighting installations and projection along the way. With dancers, aerial artists and fire performers, this promises to be a fantastic activity for the whole family.


The Restoration Yard in Dalkeith Country Park is most definitely one of the places to be this Christmas. Enjoy a hearty winter meal in the café and enjoy the stunning views through its panoramic windows. The seasonal menu features the likes of homemade soup, sticky toffee pudding, turkey roulade and slow cooked beef.

Little ones and grown ups can also get creative at the variety of festive workshops the Restoration Yard is hosting, from making personalised pottery tree decorations to Christmas wreaths. There will also be a festive food market available on weekends, featuring local and artisan food and drink suppliers. To top it all off, the Restoration Yard will be screening classic Christmas movies in a unique winter wonderland from 21st–24th December, with a dinner and film package available on selected screenings.


Over the Forth, Dunfermline is also bristling with Christmas cheer. The former ancient capital of Scotland has a great range of special winter wonders in store for visitors. With Christmas lights brightening up the High Street and many of the stunning historical building lit up with floodlighting, including the Dunfermline Abbey and Palace, the town will certainly be a magical sight. Plus, you can pick up some tasty treats at the farmers’ market for your Christmas meal.

West Lothian

Livingston’s pantomime of choice this winter is Jack and the Beanstalk, which is on at the Howden Park Centre in Livingston from 14th–28th December – it promises to entertain the whole family. Plus, the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder will be hosting Zoo Illuminations until 23rd December. Witness thousands of lights illuminating enclosures, trees and plants and make sure to check out the Nature Riverside Walk. There’s also a festive market, skating experience and children’s rides.