• Jonno Mack

Festivities Return!

Updated: Nov 25

It’s that time of year again. The sights of television adverts clamouring to capture the quintessential essence of yuletide, the sounds of Michael Bublé crooning a warbling warmth - you know what’s around the corner. But did you know that with just over a month until the big day itself, Edinburgh’s Christmas has already begun?

Friday 20th November marked the start of the Scottish capital’s festive celebrations, with 92,446 revellers starting the party early over the opening weekend in East and West Princes Street Gardens. Attractions for all the family included: craft, food, and drink stalls; Christmas Markets; Santa Land (featuring the magical Santa’s Grotto); and the Santa’s Elves Workshop at the heart of the Christmas Tree Maze.

Monday 22nd November also heralded geometric snowflakes lighting up The Mound, as well as the return of ice skating down George Street. After being sorely missed for three whole years, the Lidl GB-sponsored and Essential Edinburgh-partnered rink includes skate-by (yes, really) refreshments like mulled wine or hot chocolate to be enjoyed on the ice.

Edinburgh’s Christmas is here to stay until the 4th January. Tickets for Ice Skating, Santa’s Grotto, The Forth 1 Big Wheel and Christmas Tree Maze are available to purchase through the Edinburgh’s Christmas website. Those with an EH postcode receive 20% off their tickets.

Underbelly Co-Directors, Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said: “Edinburghs Christmas is back! Our opening weekend was a huge success and its been great to see everyone spreading the Christmas cheer – at long last! Were so excited to unveil our spectacular new ice rink on George Street, its set to become an icon for the city and for Scotland of how to celebrate winter.”

We’ll be taking the ice rink for a spin in December, so follow Redhanded Magazine's brand new TikTok Page for a hard-hitting and dazzling performance!

Further to this - and like a carol choir harmonising on your doorstep - Edinburgh locals have a unified voice in singing the praises of the city's Winter Festival. Edinburgh City Council recently released the latest The Winter Festivals Public Consultation Report, which surveyed 8,612 people between February and May this year. Key findings included:

  • Almost 90% being in favour of Underbelly's Winter Festival events

  • 87% being in favour of Edinburgh’s Christmas

  • 86% being in favour of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Wood and Bartlam added: “The views of local Edinburgh residents and businesses are always at the forefront of our planning for Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals so to have nearly 90% approval for our programming is hugely encouraging. In advance of seeing this report and in the planning of this year’s events, we think we’ve taken many of the recommendations on board and based on the response to date, the events are being hugely enjoyed by Edinburgh residents. That said, reports like this are extremely valuable and we shall wait to see how the Council decides to move ahead next year before deciding whether to throw our hat back in the ring.”


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