Dreich – tedious; damp and wet (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-50476008)
Hogmanay – New Year’s Eve (in Scotland)
If it’s your first Winter in Edinburgh: you’re in for a treat! Edinburgh tends to get crisp and cold between December and February (ok, sometimes wet, and dreich too…) but there’s plenty going on and our city is buzzing over Christmas and the New Year.
If you’re willing to wrap up warm, why not take a walk around Arthur’s seat? Arthur’s seat is an extinct volcano in the centre of Edinburgh, near to coffee shops on the Royal Mile if you need a gingerbread latte to warm up afterwards.
Another lovely place to go in the frost or snow is Dalkeith country park – there are festive events on too! There are many trails to walk in this beautiful park, set over 1,000 acres. The park has a rich history, having been in the Buccleuch family for over 300 years. The site dates back to the Roman times.
Another option is to head up Calton hill for a panoramic view of the city lit up in full Christmas mode – it’s not a difficult walk up the steps. You can also see the National Monument and Nelson monument. This is a popular spot on Hogmanay to take in the fireworks too.
Calton Hill in the snow
Picture Credit: Pixabay
A little further afield but worth a trip is the lovely Roslin Glen. You can see the ruin of what was once Scotland’s largest gunpowder mill. You can also see the impressive and partly ruined Roslin Castle. A short walk through the glen takes you to the famous Rosslyn Chapel, founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair. In the New Year, you might see the snowdrops starting to come out in the Glen.
Finally, another bracing walk in the wintertime is a walk along the promenade at Cramond. If you so desire, you can walk from Silverknowes along to Cramond and if you’re feeling adventurous and have checked the tide times , you can walk over to Cramond island. According to the Cramond Association, Cramond is the oldest known site of human habitation in Scotland.
If you’re looking to soak up some festive illuminations, there are a number of options in Edinburgh!
In the city centre, the Christmas Market lights up Princes Street Gardens with an Ice rink, big wheel and Christmas tree maze – https://showcatcher.com/edwinterfest/christmas.
At the west end of Princes Street garden, you’ll find Santaland, with a festive family funfair.
George Street also boasts Christmas lights and an enormous Christmas tree which can be seen at the top of the mound – apparently this tree has a history, and is a gift from Norway each year. This tradition dates back to WW2.
Looking for more lights? The Botanic Gardens hosts a light trail each year, which is pretty spectacular, and you couldn’t ask for a nicer backdrop. Have a look at Christmas at the Botanics for more information.
Another light spectacular to take in this winter is Edinburgh Castle’s ‘Castle of Light’. This involves projecting light onto the castle’s walls and ramparts and a historical walking tour.
Last but not least, Edinburgh is well known for its Hogmanay celebrations, and in 2022 Edinburgh will host its giant street party once again. For the uninitiated, Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve.
The celebrations also include live music and a huge fireworks display at midnight. Lots of kissing, hugging, and dancing ensues!
Looking for something quieter?
If you’re looking for a cosy corner to curl up in when it’s cold and snowy, come to one of our campus libraries. You can check our festive opening hours here.
You can borrow Library items from Friday 9 December 2022, and you won’t need to return them before Monday 16 January 2023. Full details can be found here.
Remember, we’re always here online too – you can continue to access ebooks, ejournals and databases using LibrarySearch, even if physical libraries are closed.
By Judy Wheeler