Photo Diary: Edinburgh at Christmas

December is in full swing! On a scale of The Grinch to Mariah Carey, how festive are you feeling? Well, wherever you are on the scale, a visit to Edinburgh this month will get you in the full Christmas spirit. Think the end of Love Actually (and all it’s feel-good vibes) multiplied by 100. Our festive photo diary below is only the beginning…

Christmas at the Royal Botanic Garden

‘Christmas at the Botanics’ returns for its third year and is running until 29 December. This after-dark extravaganza will see the beloved Garden transformed into a walking festive masterpiece. Grab a spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate to take with you as you walk under the stars before making new friends around the giant fire-pit. 

Top tip: Book your tickets in advance as they are more expensive if you buy them there and then. Save those extra pennies for some festive bubbles.

East Princes Gardens Market and Winter Wonderland 

Just a two-minute walk from Edinburgh’s Waverley train station, East Princes Street Gardens hosts the biggest Christmas market of them all. At the top, you’ll find the famous big wheel – hitch a ride if you want to see a gorgeous lit-up view of Edinburgh’s skyline. There are also the flying chairs for those who are fond of an adrenaline rush.

It wouldn’t be Scotland if there weren’t plenty of bars where you can grab your festive drink of choice (or just try them all – no judgement here…). With your tipple in hand, head down a level where you can stroll along a whole load of craft and food stalls so you’ll definitely be able to spot (or smell) something you like here… Did someone say last-minute emergency Christmas present shopping?

Top tip: There’s plenty to see (and taste!) here so wrap up warm and prepare to spend a lot of time outdoors. We’re thinking tartan scarf, mittens, the lot…

The Dome

It wouldn’t be a trip to Edinburgh at Christmas time without at least walking by The Dome. With spectacular lights wound round their beautiful columns, The Dome is a festive favourite here in Scotland’s capital. If you have some extra savings tucked away, you should definitely head inside where delicious food and drink alongside thousands of fairy lights and baubles await you.

Top tip: Make sure you book way in advance if you are splurging out as this is a very popular spot.


If you’re going for a walk around the city, perhaps popping into a few shops or at least doing some window browsing, then definitely head into Jenners. Their Christmas tree is G-I-A-N-T and sits in the middle of their store, with onlookers admiring it from all floors. Combined with the hanging Christmas lights, it’s impossible to not feel all the festive good vibes.

Festive Village, Waverley

Does delicious street food, live music and a wide range of mulled spirits and beers sound right up your street? Then you absolutely have to head to the Festive Village. Just at the top of the steps leading out from Waverley station, it couldn’t be easier to find (although you’ll probably hear the village before you see it). 

Top tip: Get that 10/10 Instagram-perfect shot with the Waverley star before you lose yourself in the Village’s crowds.

Book now to stay with us during December using code HOHOHO for 15% off plus free coffee and pastry on arrival.

Image sources: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen