For those of you who saw my recent video on How to spend Hogmanay in Edinburgh, you may have seen me talk a bit about ‘Blogmanay’, a blog trip I am currently on which saw me spend Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) in my home town city of Edinburgh. In fact, the trip has gone on well beyond the day of Hogmanay itself. Right now I am in the Scottish Highlands with Haggis Adventures as an extension of that trip. However, there will be more about that later… Just now I thought it would be a good chance for me to share with you the major highlights that I experienced during Hogmanay in the city of Edinburgh. I hope that you will find it inspiring, and will consider Edinburgh in future years to come as a fantastic location to spend New Year’s Eve!
Torchlight Procession on the 30th December
Celebrations in Edinburgh start the day before Hogmanay on the 30th of December with the amazing torch light procession! Thousands of people light torches and walk from Chambers Street in the city centre all the way up to Calton Hill. Having taken part for the first time in the Torchlight procession this year as part of Blogmanay, I can honestly tell you it was a truly magical event. It’s also something the whole family can take part in, and so there was people of all ages walking with their torch in unison up to the top of Calton Hill. Even as a spectator I think this event is worth coming along to for the magical views of thousands of flaming torches all ‘dancing’ in the dark and making their way across the city.
Keilidh & Concert in the Gardens
There are 3 main events during the actual night of Hogmanay in Edinburgh. There is the Street Party, Keilidh, and Concert in the Gardens. I spent most of my time in the latter 2, although I did walk through the main street party before and after the bells to soak up the atmosphere. If I was to give any advice if you are going to spend Hogmanay in Edinburgh one year, it is that you should definitely buy a ticket for the Keilidh. This for me was the most fun place to be prior to the run up to midnight. Everybody gets up to dance, there is less queues in there for buying drinks, and it’s just generally a lot of fun!
For the best views of the fireworks my advice is head down to the concert in the gardens for spectacular views of everything going off above the castle. This year we had Simple Minds play us out until the bells. Even for those of us (such as me) who had no idea of the songs they were playing, it was still a really fun concert, and the positioning of the main stage at the bottom the slope means that you can get a good view even right at the back.
If anything made this night worth it though, it was the fireworks! It takes a lot for me to be blown away by a fireworks display, but that is exactly how I felt after watching the fireworks in Edinburgh on Hogmanay. It was truly spectacular!
The Loony Dook!
On the 1st of January every new year, the Hogmanay celebrations are followed the very next day by a bunch of crazies (me being one of those crazy people) jumping into the River Forth in South Queensferry Scotland during the height of winter!!! It’s become something of a tradition in Scotland for around 1000 people to do this every year, usually in fancy dress! Out of all the events held in Edinburgh during New Year’s Day, I knew I had to do this one. So myself and 2 of my blogging buddies took part in the Loony Dook parade and then jumped into the icy cold water along with all the other crazy people! It was honestly so much fun, and a special thanks goes to the Haggis Adventures for getting us there by bus, and to Heinz for sponsoring the event and giving us free hot soup before and after!
So those were the highlights of my Hogmanay spent in Edinburgh this year. These were the 3 things which stick in my head from the event, and the 3 events I would definitely recommend to you.
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