Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Events

Hogmanay in Edinburgh is not to be missed!  With the Fire Light Torch Procession, Ceilidh’s and of course the famous Princes Street Party. After all that New Years Day in Edinburgh doesn’t have to be a quiet one. Although most of the shops are closed there are a number of great attractions and events taking place throughout the city.

Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party, Scotland: Happy New Year 2016!
Happy New Year 2016! ©MDHarding

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Events, Scotland


One of the great attractions that can be visited is Edinburgh Zoo. A great place to visit for the whole family! For more information on opening times and exhibits please visit the Edinburgh Zoo website.


One of the most crazy Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events of the day is the Loony Dook. Where hundreds gather to bathe in the River Forth in bitter cold water and miserable weather. The event takes place in South Queensferry located just outside Edinburgh. The name Loony Dook is a combination of loony meaning lunatic and dook as in taking a dip or bathe. The tradition started in 1986 when three locals decided to jump in as a New Years Day hangover cure. Now many book and pay for a place to jump into the freezing waters! This year seen in the 30th anniversary with an even bigger following mostly in fancy dress and donating to a number of charities.

We decided to go along and see what the Scot:Lands event had to offer. Seemingly this was the Scot:Lands event fourth year running and what a great event it turned out to be!

Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party, Scotland: Checking in for Scot:Lands event
Checking in for Scot:Lands event. ©MDHarding

First stop was check-in at The Old College located on South Bridge. Once checked in and given our wee passport to all the land destinations it was time to set of by foot exploring some of the many landmarks Edinburgh has to offer. One of the great things about this journey was it was all predicted by the spin of a wheel! Then the guardian of the wheel would give you the lands card with information about your destination. We were full of excitement and anticipation as to what the first destination had in store.

Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party, Scotland: Celebrating New Years Day at the Assembly Roxy
Celebrating New Years Day at the Assembly Roxy. ©MDHarding

Within a few minutes walk we had arrived. The lands destination card stamped upon entering this unknown land. The first destination was Chemikal:Land located at the Assembly Roxy. The place was a hive of activity with live music, the crowd enjoying their Christmas cake/Madeira cake washing it down with a wee dram of Whisky. Fantastic start to this unfamiliar event.

Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party, Scotland: Curious Seed performing at The National Museum of Scotland. ©MDHarding
Curious Seed performing at The National Museum of Scotland. ©MDHarding

There were a total of nine lands that were all uniquely different and entertaining the crowds with live music or contemporary performance such as that performed by Curious Seed, inside The National Museum of Scotland. The two ladies had us bent over in stitches of laughter telling the story of two drunk friends from the West Coast of Scotland after a night out. There white goons (dresses) mockit and manky not too different than their feet, having lost their shoes on the night oot (Out). Fantastic!

Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party, Scotland: Ceilidh at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. ©MDHarding
Ceilidh at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. ©MDHarding

Blue Skye:Land was located at St Giles Cathedral on the High Street. Where there was live music, candles alight, as well as the impressive Christmas Tree. Don’t worry if you missed this event most of the venues mentioned including St Giles Cathedral can be visited throughout the year. Did you know It’s only 363 days till New Years Day once again. Great time to start planning where you will be spending it this year.

Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party, Scotland: Wee passport to Scot:Lands ©MDHarding
Wee passport to Scot:Lands ©MDHarding

Edinburgh is a great city to visit all year round with its many festivals, exhibitions and attractions. Not forgetting it’s a great place to start your tour of Scotland taking in its many castles, scenery and wildlife. I highly recommend booking accommodation and car rental in advance if you’re visiting on Edinburgh New Years Day. As it can become extremely busy throughout the year.

I hope you had an incredible New Years and look forward to inspiring you to see more of our amazing planet during 2016. Happy Travels:) x

About MichelleDeansHarding

Website: http://WWW.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via: www.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

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