Christmas is so precious to us in Scotland; the lead-up to the day of Christmas is the darkest time of the year as our kids go and come back to and from school in the dark. There is a need for us to find something to elevate our spirits during the cold December days, and the festive spirit of Christmas is a better solution.
This is the time to be happy as you are celebrating Christmas in Scotland. Scotland has so many seasonal Scottish traditions that you can celebrate; while some are new, some of them are also old.
With the sight of many trees, turkeys and tinsel in Scotland at Christmas, the festive period is so unique to us compared to the rest of the UK. It has some younger celebrations for starters, there is a different name for Father Christmas and an actual penchant exists for all fiery things. Then the New Year is also there and has a name given to it by the Scottish and is celebrated like no one else.
These and many more make Christmas in Scotland unique.
Continue reading to find out some purely Scottish Christmas activities to enjoy.
Christmas Activities in Scotland
- Christmas Markets, Fayres, And Festivals
There is no way that we will talk about things to do in Scotland during Christmas without mentioning our great Christmas markets, which are available across the country. Imagine twinkling lights everywhere, with your favorite winter food scenting all around, plus your drinks taking a tour in the air, and see yourself in the festive mood with some Christmas shopping.
Memorable Hogmanay Celebrations
Hogmanay street celebrations in Scotland are worth the hype. These include:
- Edinburgh’s Hogmanay: Enjoy the atmosphere at the Hogmanay street party in Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve, with outdoor bars live music from famous stars and intense fireworks at midnight.
- The Hogmanay Hoolie: This is done at Edinburgh’s famous Chillie Dhu, well known for its ceilidhs in this amazing converted church.
- Beach Ballroom Hogmanay Ceilidh: The incredible Beach Ballroom ceilidh in Aberdeen can make you dance all through the night.
- Oban Hogmanay Party: A yearly celebration where you can have a nice night of ceilidh music.
- Castle of light (a kingdom of colors) between 18 Nov and 30 Dec: Be there when Edinburgh Castle begin to shine in a variety of color. Have a captivating experience in one of the country’s well-known castles with top-notch art visuals and lighting installations. A brand new show will form a memorable moment as out-of-the-world projections dance from the walls of the castle.
- Glamis Castle Christmas Market on 26 to 27 Nov: Come to this popular Angus attraction to have a fun-filled time with your family, with festive gifts, Santa’s Grotto, a tour of the castle, and tasty treats all available.
- Elfingrove (24 Nov to 24 Dec): Go to Glasgow and have a Christmas celebration at Kelvingrove Ary Gallery and Museum. You can skate under the country’s biggest ice rink, with classical music and a light show as well as festive food and drink to refresh your body.
- Edinburgh’s Christmas (19 Nov to 3 January): Christmas celebration in the capital is so amazing, and the stars of the show are the Christmas markets. You will enjoy so many fairground rides, varieties of stalls, and carnival experiences at Princes Street Gardens.
- Beecraigs festive forest (2nd to 23rd Dec): Visit Beecraigs Country Park closer to Linlithgow to experience an atmospheric light show with illuminated trails, many treats, lasers, and Santa’s Grotto
- Winter festival and Christmas Village in Aberdeen (18 Nov to 31st Dec): Come and experience the new and existing attractions, such as the festive fairground, outdoor ice rink, and delicious food and drink.
- Perth Winter Festival (19 Nov to 31 Dec): Varieties of music genres are played during Christmas and there is more to see at the Perth Winter Festival this Christmas. You will also get to enjoy live music, various stalls with artisan markets, and of course, great food and drink
Celebrate Christmas in a Castle
One of the best things to do during December in Scotland is to remain inside a magical castle. Lots of castles offer great Christmas packages, for a memorable holiday ever. There are many castles all over Scotland to pick from, but below are some of them to ignite your imagination:
- Fonab Castle in Perthshire.
- Dalhousie Castle is just a few distance drives from Edinburgh.
- Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire.
- Inverlochy Castle is located in the Western Highlands, Closer to Fort William.
- Barony Castle is not far from Peebles, located in the Scottish Borders.
Celebrating Christmas at the Botanics – 17 November To 30 January
You don’t want to miss Christmas at the Botanics for any reason. One of the major things to do in Scotland during the festive period is to tour around Edinburg’s 70 acres of amazing green gardens in the dark, lit up magically by Laser Garden, Scented Fire Garden, glowing boats’ festive Flotilla, and the tunnel of light. You will enjoy great wine, festive foods, music, hot chocolate, and fire-pits to feel warm. You will certainly get some amazing photos on your way around.
Gather and watch a Christmas ROM-COM
There are times when you just want to stay indoors and watch a movie. There are certain entertaining latest romantic comedies filmed in Scotland, available on Netflix; the best way to unwind after your tour.
Below are a few:
- The Princess Switch 3: The location where this movie was filmed was Hopetoun House in West Lothian & Newbattle Abbey College in Midlothian. Gosford House, Dakota Hotel, Borthwick Castle, Barnbougle, Dundas Castle, and Dalmeny Estate, including the Royal Highland Center were also featured.
- Falling for Figaro: Joanna Lumey stars in this movie as an ex-opera diva that turned into a singing teacher and was also filmed in Glasgow and Glencoe and Luss located on Loch Lomond’s west bank
- A Castle for Christmas: This movie cast Brooke Shields as a novelist and stars Cary Elwes as a Scottish duke and was filmed at various locations such as Dakota Hotel located in Queensferry, Dalmeny House closer to Edinburgh, Edinburgh Airport, and Tantallon Castle located in East Lothian.
Say Hi to Santa and His Reindeer
Visit the Cairngorms National Park to say hi to Santa and his reindeer. About 150 free-ranging reindeer are found in the Cairngorm Reindeer Center, which is the exact place to meet these friendly creatures in their natural home. Santa is surrounded by tinsel and decorations and will be there watching over his reindeer and there are many crafting activities for you as well. You could visit Highland Wildlife Park which is not far, and there you will see reindeer, snow leopards, polar bears, arctic foxes, and so on.
This is our guide to the amazing and fun-filled things to do in Scotland during Christmas. However, if you plan to visit any of the aforementioned spots, and are concerned about how to transport your family to the location, Prestige Chauffer is your best bet for this. You will be given a great tour around the city by our professional tour guys with the suitable cars in our fleet.