As the nights draw in and the days get chillier, there are some fantastic events taking place this winter that make the most of the long, dark evenings.
From gigantic lanterns at the zoo to Scotland’s history illuminated on the castle, there are a great variety of events that use light to create a real spectacle.
Here’s our pick of the events taking place in Edinburgh this winter:
Giant Lanterns Lost World, Edinburgh Zoo
Dates: 15 November to 26 January
Time: Timed slots between 16:45 – 21:00
This winter, the whole family will be mesmerised by the incredible lanterns found around Edinburgh Zoo. This year’s theme is Lost Worlds, so during this night time extravaganza you can go on a dinosaur hunt around the zoo. There are over 600 brand new lanterns to discover on the one-mile route. It’s a family friendly event with food stalls available along the route too.
How to get there: Take the train to Edinburgh Waverley or Haymarket and hop on the Number 26 Bus to the zoo.
Christmas at the Botanics, The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Dates: 22 November to 29 December
Time: Timed slots between 16:40 – 20:00
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is spectacular at any time of day, but when the sun goes down and the lights go on, the gardens are transformed into a festive extravaganza. This year sees some new attractions in the form of a laser garden and a sparkling festive flotilla. And of course, the popular Tunnel of Light is back to meet all your Instagram needs. Once you’ve had a wander, warm back up with a hot chocolate or something a little stronger. The perfect evening out!
How to get there: Take the train to Waverley or Haymarket and either walk the 25 minutes through Canonmills or hop on the Number 8 bus.
Dalkeith Country Park, Spectacle of Light
Dates: 7 – 8, 13 – 15, 17 – 23, 27 – 31 December & 2 – 5 January
Time: Timed slots between 16:00-18:30
The Spectacle of Light at Fort Douglas in Dalkeith Country Park sounds like it will be a mesmerising, cosy family evening out. Brand new for 2019, the 90-minute experience (although you can stay as long as you like) explores Fort Douglas after dark, accompanied by lanterns, illuminations and thousands of twinkling lights. Wander the sky maze, sip hot chocolate and enjoy some festive shopping. Sounds like a cosy evening out for every age.
Getting there: Take the train to Eskbank Station on the Borders Railway. From there, you can enjoy a 25-minute walk, or hop on the number 40 Lothian Bus from opposite the station to Dalkeith High Street. It’s then a 5-10 minute walk from there.
Edinburgh Castle, Castle of Light
Dates: 14-17, 22, 24, 29-30 November & 1-2, 5-8, 12-15, 19-22 December
Time: Timed entry from 17:30 to 20:30. The event closes at 22:00.
This winter see Edinburgh castle like never before in its 900-year history. For the first time, you can experience a truly unique light show where the castle will be illuminated with animations telling the stories of Scotland’s past. The route takes around 90 minutes and you’ll be treated to storytelling and state of the art projections.
Getting there: The castle is a 10-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley station.
All of these events sound like they’re the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. They are all outside and because we’re in Scotland, be sure to wrap up warm and cosy and take a waterproof.