Glorious Festivities & Hogmanay in Scotland

…. A Veritable Winter Wonderland

The festive season in Scotland can be full of wonderful surprises. 

Discover unusual gifts in the many Christmas markets, ice skate under the stars in the cities, visit the real reindeer in the Cairngorms, take part in the Great Santa Run, experience a real Scottish Ceilidh or spend a memorable Christmas with family and friends in an enchanted castle setting complete with misty lochs and snow-capped mountains.

By the time November melts into December, Christmas festivities in Scotland will already be in full swing. Festive craft fairs, food fairs and colourful Christmas markets pop up in the most unexpected places as well as in the major towns and cities.

Festive Scotland is yours to enjoy!


In Glasgow, amazing festive decorations, hand-crafted toys, candles galore, roasted almonds and a very welcome mulled wine can be found at Glasgow’s Christmas Markets held in St Enoch’s Square and George Square.

Glasgow is the home of wonderful, often raucous Scottish pantomimes so think about taking your seat for Christmas Carol, Cinderella, Widow Twanky or Britney & The Beast.

Make it part of a festive break and book into One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow’s west end, or for a castle experience tucked away on the outskirts of the bustling city of Glasgow, there is Crossbasket Castle overlooking the stunning waterfalls on the River Calder.

For an unforgettable experience, get into the jolly Christmas spirit with a rather jolly Christmas suit, and join thousands of others donning a Santa suit for charity and participating in the Santa Dash in Glasgow and Edinburgh – a fun and colourful five kilometres. If you or your children have never seen Santa… here’s your chance!


Further north in Aberdeen, festive visitors can experience the new Aberdeen Christmas Village complete with fairground and ice rink. Close by in the quadrangle of Marischal College, is Aberdeen’s Festive Food Market, featuring a diverse collection of innovative producers showcasing the very best of Aberdeen and the North East.

Something new for 2018 is the HAAN Christmas Design Market, a high quality showcase of the best creative products from local, regional and international designers.

Why not linger a while and enjoy the festivities whilst staying at either MacLeod House or the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa.

You could also explore the many castles and distilleries in Royal Deeside.


But don’t think all of Scotland’s festivities are only to be found in the big cities. Historic Brodie Castle near Nairn offers a relaxed rural setting in which to do your Christmas shopping with amazing Scottish crafts and local art, horn craft, textiles, jewellery and festive gifts. Nearby in Inverness, The Red Hot Highland Fling showcases a wealth of musical talent. Boath House in Nairn and Rocpool Hotel in Inverness are ideal choices for a festive or Twixmas break.

Further south but still in a wonderful festive setting is The House of Bruar, a truly magnificent shopping wonderland featuring the best of Scottish country clothing, jewellery and silverware, presents galore and a huge food hall that must be a foodie’s dream come true. Kinloch House and Gleneagles are both less than an hour away … but slightly longer by sleigh.

Travel east and experience one of Scotland’s most recent shining stars. The new V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, opened in September to international acclaim and is already on the map of discerning cultural visitors keen to explore this dramatic piece of architecture and the treasures it has on display.

Combine this with a visit to Dundee’s Ethical Christmas Fair with over 40 stalls inside a festive marquee with seated cafe area, festive food, craft activities for children and regular visits from Santa.

The Old Course Hotel St Andrews and Kinross House are less than 30 minutes from Dundee.

And if our initial suggestion of a ‘memorable Christmas with family and friends in an enchanted castle setting complete with misty lochs and snow capped mountains’ appeals to you, then Luxury Scotland offers you a wonderful choice – Borthwick Castle just south of Edinburgh, Glenapp Castle or Crossbasket Castle over in the west, Inverlochy Castle in Fort William, The Torridon with its lochside setting.

Or perhaps Eriska Hotel & Spa on its own private island. All set in dramatic countryside locations with the chance of a dusting of snow; these luxury hotels have a wonderful spread of entertainment, activities and indulgent festive feasts.

For those seeking a more relaxed festive break we can recommend Airds Hotel on the shores of Loch Linnhe, Kinloch Lodge on the Isle of Skye and Knockinaam Lodge on the Galloway coast looking out across the Irish Sea. All three have beautifully tranquil settings with wonderful walks, cosy interiors, log fires and gourmet dining of the highest standards.

For family breaks on Scotland’s west coast there is festive grandeur at Trump Turnberry with a host of activities for everyone and Lochgreen Hotel & Spa is set in a delightful woodland setting near Troon.

If your preference is for city action with a tranquil retreat, then consider stylish Greywalls with its rural setting just 30 minutes from Edinburgh.

Feeling active… then try your hand at Scottish dancing and the famous Ceilidh.

What better time of the year to enjoy an organised ceilidh, than during the festive season?

The Scottish ceilidh is a feisty occasion with Highland dancing and music provided by a traditional ceilidh band often with a ‘caller’ to call out the steps and make sure everyone joins in the dancing.

These are very lively occasions where good company and a wee dram or two of the finest Scotch whisky can instil long lasting memories of Scotland. The Crinan Hotel with a lochside setting on Scotland’s west coast is famous for its three day Hogmanay House Party.

Hogmanay in Scotland is on the ‘must see’ list for so many visitors and not to be missed. 

Edinburgh’s World Famous Hogmanay is four days of street parties, spectacular events, concerts and ceilidhs celebrating the New Year in Scotland. In Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and many other smaller locations, similar events take place involving street festivals, music and colourful celebrations to mark the start of the New Year.

To immerse yourself fully in Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, stay right in the heart of the action at the Edinburgh Sheraton or the Radisson Collection.  If you want to be more independent and live like a lord, then the beautifully appointed self-catering apartments at The Chester Residence would be the perfect choice for you.

Throughout Scotland’s cities and villages, as the bells ring in the New Year, crowds of thousands will cheer and celebrate in the time- honoured way by linking arms with friends old and new, and singing Auld Lang Syne, written by Scotland’s own renowned poet and lyricist Robert Burns.


Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?<br />
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne<br />
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,<br />
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne.<br />