A festive day trip to Edinburgh

Last year we didn’t venture in to Edinburgh at all around Christmas and having seen photos I felt that we had missed out. Having dipped our toes in the festivities in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago we decided that we should see exactly what all the fuss is about with a festive day trip to Edinburgh.

Making sure we made could cram in as much as possible we caught the 08.50 ScotRail train from Perth to Waverley. Crossing the Forth rail bridge was going to be a first for Dude so he sat by the window. We chatted about the changing scenery – fields, hillside, golf courses and of course the sea. As with our previous train journey we enjoyed the wildlife too.

Ice Skating

The ice skating rink is located a short walk away from Waverley station on St Andrew’s Square. The first thing to strike us was that it’s not the usual square rink like you see in all the American Christmas movies but more like a doughnut. Very cleverly it encompasses the Melville monument with bridges over the rink to the bar area. As it was still early the rink was quiet and so we were able to find a feet a little before more people came on to the ice. I will admit it brought back a lot of childhood memories of being on my roller boots and although I certainly wasn’t pulling any tricks this time we laughed at each other (and other people, sorry. Not sorry) and once we were used to it there was no stopping us. Thankfully neither of us ended up flat on the ice and it’s amazing how warm you can get going round.

Reasonably priced from £5 – £8 you get about forty five minutes and if I’m honest this will be enough time to wear yourselves out. The downside to this attraction was that the boots are not particularly comfortable and myself and others were regularly re-adjusting the straps.

Photo of people ice skating in Edinburgh.

East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market

Back in the summer when I was working in the city I would often eat my lunch in the gardens and watch the squirrels but for the time being there are few hints of this place. Heaving with colour, noises and so many different smells it really is an assault on the senses. Cleverly split up into different areas it is easy to navigate your way around. Santa Land is full of child and family friendly activities: helter skelter, carousel, Santa train and a Christmas tree maze. The wooden market stall huts are packed with all sorts of goodies from jewellery to dreamcatchers and food, there are plenty of food stalls. Bratwurst, churros, gluhwien and falafel, all smelling divine.

Photo of people queuing at for hot drinks at the Christmas Market

Star Flyer

Of course the one thing you want to do AFTER eating bratwurst with sauerkraut is go on a ride the takes you in a circular motion, sixty metres above the city! Not necessarily recommended but that’s how we roll. Heights don’t bother me at all  but I think the anticipation whilst sitting in our seats waiting for the other thrill seekers to get buckled in was worse. Once up in the air the views are fantastic but we did find it quite difficult to focus on anything because of the initial speed. It does slow down briefly and you do get to enjoy the scenery for a for turns and then back to full speed.

I think we were up in the air for about five minutes and that’s more than enough to be going around in circles having just eaten!

Big Wheel

There are more sedate ways to get aerial views of the city and that is with the big wheel. Enclosed pods which can seat up to six people and travel at a more leisurely pace. You get views that over look the market, Princes Street, across to the castle and Arthur’s Seat too. We had waited until it dusk before we went on the Big Wheel because we wanted to see the lights and it was worth waiting for.

Photo of Princes Street in Edinburgh from overhead

Five Guys Named More – Festival Square Theatre 

Located just on the Lothian Road, Festival Square theatre has popped up! A temporary theatre space where this West End musical is being performed until 7th January. We weren’t quite sure what to expect from the show but once in the theatre it was obvious we would be having fun.

The scene was set as if we, the audience, were in a jazz club (like you see in the movies) with tables on the inner circle of the stage and then rows of seats surrounding the outside.

All the way through the play the music and singing were superb. Tunes such as Choo Choo Ch’boogie and my favourite, I like ’em fat, didn’t fail to get the whole audience head bobbing and foot tapping. What’s not to love about a evening of soul, gospel and blues with a live band and fabulous actors/singers. Lots of humour throughout the story and even some audience participation – how many plays have you been to wear the audience has been led out of the theatre to the bar at the interval by the cast doing a conga? We have and it was brilliant.

I can’t recommend this enough, it really is worth seeing and being a part of.

Photo of stage production of Five guys Named Moe, Edinburgh five guys named moe, Edinburgh, Scottish Travel Guide

We crammed so much into our day we couldn’t possibly have fitted anything else in and yet this is just the tip of the iceberg for a festive day trip to Edinburgh. There’s still the Street of Light, the Scottish market, 24 doors of advent, an ice wall and of course Santa’s Grotto.

Our 22.40 train back to Perth was absolutely jam packed and not what we expected at that time on a Friday night but maybe it’s just a reflection of how popular Edinburgh’s Christmas is.

 Photo of painted horse on the carousel. Photo of Edinburgh's Christmas with the Big Wheel and helter skelter lit up
Edinburgh's Christmas, Edinburgh, Scotland Travel Guide

I was invited by ScotRail to write this blog post in return for train tickets, attraction rides and theatre seats. All views and grand idea’s of eating before being thrown up in the air are mine.


    1. Melanie December 7, 2016 at 16:57

      It really was. And whats not to love about food, drink and Christmas schnizzle!

  1. Kay December 6, 2016 at 17:56

    Oh isn’t Edinburgh wonderful at this time of year? I plan to take a wander through the markets etc. when I’m off next Monday.

    Five Guys Named More sounds fab! I have seen it advertised but wasn’t sure what it was all about.

    I love reading blogs about my home city, so that I never become complacent and forget how good it is.

    Kay x

    1. Melanie December 7, 2016 at 16:56

      I am not a city girl Kay but it is so nice to visit for the day. Thoroughly enjoyed our trip over last week. What I really want to discover is the “local” stuff and pretty places for photos. Maybe you could take me on a tour one day?


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.