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Edinburgh at Christmas?

(28 Posts)
Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 18:51:57

We are hoping to have a week in Edinburgh over the Xmas period. We live in London so would take the train. It is me, dh and three boys aged 6,10,13.

What I need help deciding is whether to come over Christmas Day itself. Dh thinks that would be the most fun but I think everything will be closed for 2 days so what will we do? I want to sightsee, visit places, possible take the train to other nearby interesting places.

What would you all suggest?

Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 19:46:31

Come on all you Edinburgh residents!
Help me plan this!

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Fri 11-Jul-14 19:57:39

The zoo is open on Xmas day

Sunbeam18 Fri 11-Jul-14 20:03:42

Hi! I'm in Edinburgh. I reckon you are right - the whole world closes for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. There is loads of Christmassy stuff and a winter festival on both immediately before and after 25/26th. I'd suggest either coming up the week before Christmas or immediately after and enjoying the Hogmanay celebrations too. There is loads to see and do. Almost everything is closed (including public transport) on 25th and 26th. Hope this helps!

scotchtikidoll Fri 11-Jul-14 20:08:52

My gosh, Edinburgh is craaazy at Christmas time, good or bad depending on what you are like! I personally like the bustle but when my mum was visiting me she couldn't stand it.

I love the continental Christmas market that runs all December on Princes Street- fairground rides, ice rink, the smell of cinnamon, German sausages, mulled wine and pretzels in the air! The Hogmanay street party on Princes Street is wonderful too, with live bands and fireworks, but prepare to spend a good hour queuing for the portaloos.

scotchtikidoll Fri 11-Jul-14 20:11:48

With regards to Christmas Day itself, I am not 100 percent what you could do. This will be the first time that I am actually staying in Edinburgh for Christmas day instead of going to the North East where my family live. I will be staying indoors though, sorry I couldn't be a greater help.

GrouchyKiwi Fri 11-Jul-14 20:25:09

Public transport on Christmas Day is a nightmare, and I doubt much would be open. Definitely agree with coming up around Christmastime and enjoying the Winter Festival. If you want to stay for Hogmanay too then suggest booking asap.

Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 20:34:52

I love the sound of the festival and market! Ok, so in discussion with dh, I think we will go the week of Xmas itself. 20th - 27th.

Sooo....does it always snow at Xmas in Edinburgh?? grin

What should we see and do??

CuriosityCola Fri 11-Jul-14 20:37:32

We always go to the zoo on Boxing Day. It's lovely getting all wrapped up and having a wander.

Otherwise, most things have been suggested above. Plenty to do on the royal mile...worth a google.

Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 20:39:16

That's so funny as we love in London and always go to the zoo here Boxing Day smile I would love to do that in Edinburgh!

GrouchyKiwi Fri 11-Jul-14 21:02:37

I've been here for 7 years and it's snowed at Christmastime once - and we were leaving for Christmas in NZ at the time. grin

It's usually blinking freezing, though.

Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 21:04:29

Just told off dh for telling the kids it would snow! Cold is ok. We did a snow trip to Austria last year so are fully kitted out in long underwear and wooly socks grin. And surely freezing cold walks are rewarded with lots of hot chocolate right???

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 11-Jul-14 21:09:07

Have you got anywhere in mind to stay? Last time we went we stayed at the Residence Inn. It was by far the best Hotel ive ever stayed in anywhere. Service was amazing, the whole feel if the place is about making you feel at home and the rooms have little kitchenettes in and theyll even pop out and do a food shop so you can make something that evening for yourself if you fancy but dont have time to shop.

CuriosityCola Fri 11-Jul-14 21:09:55

Grouchy, I should have known you were also in Scotland from the other thread. Only up here are winter stews being cooked in July!

We have made the Zoo trip 'our' tradition to add to our amalgamated family traditions at Christmas.

GrouchyKiwi Fri 11-Jul-14 21:11:56

It might snow. It was (apparently) stupidly warm here last Christmas (we were in NZ again so didn't experience it personally): something like 10C! So we're probably due a Very Cold One. I hope so, because my family's across this year.

And yes, cold walks should always be rewarded with hot chocolate, or the aforementioned Mulled Wine (glühwein) from the German Market.

GrouchyKiwi Fri 11-Jul-14 21:13:21

Heh, Curiosity! My Le Creuset casserole dish is one of my most-used kitchen things. grin

KatieKaye Fri 11-Jul-14 21:14:43

there is a torchlight parade one evening before Christmas that you can take part in.

Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 21:15:04

I wish we could afford a hotel! But alas no. We are arranging a home exchange. Yum....mulled wine smile

Ok, another question, is there anywhere we should take a day trip to (must be by train as the kids get bus sick) while we are there? I realise Scotland is beautiful and we should go into the countryside, but maybe December is not the time to do that?

I am sooooo excited! Scotland has been top of my wish list for so long!

GrouchyKiwi Fri 11-Jul-14 21:17:21

Hm. Thinking of the ages of your DC maybe Stirling would be interesting for them? Plenty of gruesome history.

Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 21:18:01

Great tip thanks (goes off to google Stirling)!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 11-Jul-14 21:21:23

this might help you drum up some ideas for day trips

Any edinburgh residents know if the underground streets are open midwinter?

KatieKaye Fri 11-Jul-14 21:37:45

I think there are tours all year round now. Google "Mary Kings Close" for more info.
If you are taking a train trip - then how about going up to Dundee to see the Discovery? (Capt. Cooks ship). that way you get to go over the Forth Bridge.
Don't forget to go and see Greyfriar's Bobby, who is handily near the Museum in Chambers Street. And down the Royal Mile is the Museum of Childhood.

GrouchyKiwi Fri 11-Jul-14 21:43:09

The Museum is Chambers Street is BRILLIANT. I need to go again soon.

Wiifitmama Fri 11-Jul-14 21:55:03

I think Dundee is just a little too far. Stirling looks perfect for a day trip.

So on my list so far- Edinburgh castle, whiskey tour (for dh), underground Mary Kings Close, Museum of Illusions place, walking around and just taking in The atmosphere, Christmas markets, torchlit parade, zoo on Boxing Day, day trip to Stirling. Oh, and celebrate Christmas grin. Can't wait! Now I just have to organise an exchange.

sleepyhead Fri 11-Jul-14 22:00:21

We always go for a walk on Christmas day (if dry..) . Arthur's Seat, Swanston Village, Braid Hills, Portobello or out to Gullane.

Arthur's Seat would be doable and whet your appetite for dinner if you're staying centrally.

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