Scotland in general, or Edinburgh in particular in winter does not sound very appealing but appearances can be deceptive. Yes, it’s cold and snowy, but if you get past that, Edinburgh has a lot to offer winter tourists. It is the one place that refuses to go underground fearing the cold and snow.
Hotels & Lodging
There are plenty of pubs and restaurants that invites in people for a cosy evening. There are plenty of good hotels in the capital of Scotland that offer not just accommodation, but would be glad to provide tourist services.
St Andrews Day features free concerts and story telling sessions as celebration. Many of the museums and attractions of Edinburgh offer large discounts on this day. The festival of Hogmanay is world famous and this year would be featuring a candlelit concert as well as other concerts, a street party with music, dance and food, and the Keilidh, a traditional dance festival where dance moves are taught and there are fireworks to end the day. This year, the Limbo festival on 22nd November will showcase illusionists, sword swallower, acrobats, contortionists, musicians and dancers. It’s a perfect event to take the entire family and not to be missed by those visiting Scotland.
Edinburgh offers winter sports such as ice skating and skiing. The Midlothian Snowsports Centre is Europe’s largest dry slope and has facilities for skiing, snowboarding, snowblading and race training during the entire year. There are also traditional snow slopes located in and near Edinburgh where one can fully enjoy the winter season. Edinburgh city centre festivities includes ice skating and other smaller rinks are also set up during the season in other parts of the city.
There is a fairy tale aspect to Edinburgh during the winter and Holyroodhouse Palace is the embodiment of this fantasy. The royal residence of the Queen in Scotland, the palace has had a long history. An entire day can be spent inside the warm palace looking at the numerous collections of art and tapestries as well as learn some history. The Royal Yacht can also be visited. Other non-royal attractions include the Inchcolm Abbey, Gilmerton Cove, Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral, Georgian House and the Edinburgh Dungeon, to name but a few. All these places are made much more beautiful and atmospheric during winter. In addition, Edinburgh boasts of several art galleries and museums in which it would be a delight to spend the day
Winter means Christmas! And during Christmas, Edinburgh comes alive. There are Christmas festivities everywhere and just walking through the streets during this time feels great. The big fair in the centre has different rides for everyone to enjoy, along with food and shopping. There are Christmas tree mazes and Santa Train and workshops for the children. No Christmas is complete without a Christmas market and Edinburgh has three of them: a traditional European Christmas Market, Children’s Market aimed at children as the main consumer and Scottish Market showcasing Scotland’s best food and drinks.
So never let anyone claim that Scotland in winter is a bore. There is an amazing range of things to do in Edinburgh. So put on your woolies and head to Scotland!