What to Do in Edinburgh This Winter


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It's the most wonderful time of the year! Well, actually, it's probably the busiest time of the year, but you should definitely keep an evening free here and there to check out some of the festivities Edinburgh has to offer. Here are a few of my top picks from this season's festive programme...

Scottish Ballet's Cinderella
Scottish Ballet's productions are always beautiful and their Christmas ballets, in particular, are lovely and sparkly and perfect whether you're a seasoned professional or a ballet-watching beginner. Cinderella is on at the Festival Theatre until Hogmanay. A classic story of rags to riches, with plenty of enchanted animals, a comedy sister act and a wee bit of romance too, Cinderella is sure to get you in the festive spirit with all the sparkling costumes and dreamy set designs. If you miss out this time, Scottish Ballet will also be taking Cinderella to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness in January.

Indie Shopping in Edinburgh
Edinburgh has loads of amazing independent shops so it's definitely worth taking a trip round town to pick up some unique Christmas gifts. There are loads that I love (check out my Christmas Shopping Itinerary on Every Edinburgh for some inspiration) including Hannah Zakari, Curiouser & Curiouser, Life Story and Godiva Boutique. If you can't be bothered going outside, why not shop online at Love From Indie Street instead for personalised gifts and vouchers for lots of different independent Edinburgh stores? You can even use my discount code elevator10 to get 10% off!

Visit the European & Scottish Christmas Markets
Every year the Christmas markets in Edinburgh seem to be getting bigger and better, and this year they're split into two markets in two locations. The European market in Princes Street Gardens features all the usual favourite stalls (think waffles smothered in Nutella, hand crafted Christmas decorations and plenty of German sausages) and over in St Andrew Square you'll find the Scottish market. In amongst local businesses with Scottish gifts, food and drink, you'll come across Mimi's Cake Cabin, which is my highlight of Edinburgh's markets so far! Their hot chocolate and tray bakes are an essential for a chilly winter evening. I've also heard rumours of a bar located in the middle of a merry-go-round somewhere in the markets, must seek that out on my next visit!

24 Doors of Advent
An advent calendar with a difference, the 24 Doors of Advent is an adventure around the city which gives you a sneak peek into some of Edinburgh's unique buildings. Similar in style to Doors Open Days which run every September in Scotland, this festive version allows you access to a different building on each day of the advent calendar. Go behind the scenes at the Playhouse on the 12th, discover some of Edinburgh's history at New Register House on the 17th or see some arts and crafts at Dovecot Gallery on the 21st - there's lots of different places to choose from!

Virgin Money Street of Light
It's hard to have missed this one if you've been anywhere near the Royal Mile during the past week or so! The giant arches are adorned with millions of twinkling lights which have been synchronised up with the Christmassy music which accompanies the light show. It's a pretty spectacular show and the music really helps you to get in the festive spirit. The Street of Light shows are on daily until Christmas Eve and are free, although you do need to reserve a ticket first. Treat yourself to an indulgent hot chocolate from Contini Cannonball's cafe to keep your hands cosy during the show.

What are you looking forward to doing in Edinburgh this winter?

Gillian x


  1. Next Christmas I think I need to get myself to Scotland asap!
    A Story of a Girl

  2. Lovely post! I adore Edinburgh but I've never been at this time of year- I think I better had!

  3. I need to go to the street of light when I'm in Edinburgh over the next few weeks! It's such a magical place at Christmas time.



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