Where to Stay
Hogmanay takes place in what is known as peak season for Edinburgh’s hospitality industry and for this reason it is wise to pre-book accommodation well before making a trip. The main Hogmanay celebrations take place in the city centre at locations such as West Princes Street Gardens and Carlton Hill. If you want to be in the thick of the action, look for hotels nearby some of Edinburgh’s main attractions such as the castle. The Royal Mile and Grassmarket have some beautiful and luxurious accommodation options. If you are looking for more affordable lodgings, a self-catering apartment on the outskirts of the city centre may be a more suitable option.
Hogmanay in Edinburgh
The Hogmanay celebrations begin with the Torchlight Procession that runs from Princes Street to Carlton Hill. A spectacular firework display marks the start of the New Year’s Eve festivities followed by an elaborate street party that attracts thousands of visitors.
As part of the festivities, The Loony Dook involves a dip in the icy cold water and takes place at Firth of Forth at South Queensferry, just outside of the city, on New Year’s Day. The event attracts 80,000 people each year and highlights include the Candlelit Concert at St Giles Cathedral and the Concert in the Gardens.
Also, don’t miss out on the tongue-in-cheek events happening around the city on New Year’s Day such as Dogmanay, which sees dog sleds racing across Holyrood Park. There is also a triathlon for those who are feeling fresh and want to start the year on a healthy note.
So where does the tradition come from? For the Scots, it has long been a tradition to fill the streets with people and celebrate the year’s end and they have always put more importance on New Year’s Eve than they have on Christmas Day. Today, Hogmanay is one of the most popular winter festivals around.
Image credit: This is Edinburgh