I have a confession. Although I have lived in England for 28 years, I have never set foot on Scottish soil! Phew, it feels better to get that out the way, but now I can say, I have popped my Scottish cherry and it felt wonderful.
I have so much to write and show you from my Edinburgh trip so I thought I would start festive. Everyone loves a Christmas Market right? I know I do. Here is a short guide to fully engage your Christmas Cheer.
Essentials of Edinburgh Christmas Market
Free admission to Christmas Markets
Open daily; 10am - 10pm 17th November - 6th January
Mulled Wine £4 and Food starting from £5
Looking for a place to stay, I suggest Eden Locke Apartments if you like affordable Scandi-chic or the Principal Hotel for a more decadent stay, both situated on George Street in the New Town. George Street has it's own small Christmas Market and a short 5 minute walk from the Princes Garden Christmas Market. New Town was my fave area as it was full of restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. Ideal.
East Princes Garden christmas Market
Perfectly located in the heart of the City Centre, off of Princes Street (the main shopping street) and with gorgeous views of Edinburgh Castle above. With Christmas classics belting out in Scottish accents, a lovely touch.
I have to say this is one of my fave Christmas Markets because of the spaced out feeling it had. Usually I get really stressed out walking around because there is no room to throw a cat but they have done a stellar job of spacing the stalls out.
There are fairground rides to entertain little kids and big kids, a particular highlight was the stunning carousel, I didn't get a chance to jump on sadly. The stalls aren't full of naff and usual Market tattery, there are a lot of local artists selling art, crockery, candles, alcohol etc. I found myself buying a beautiful Gin print for £10 (I love Gin)...bargain. You can buy decent presents here which is always a plus.
Here's a wee taster for you (FYI first video I've ever done, so it's no Spielberg but you get the gist)
George Street Christmas Market
On the smaller scale but still very cute and well worth a look around. There are a couple of fairground rides, lots of tasty food and drink and lots of wooden chalets from local artists selling handmade gifts.
It's nice to take a stroll along George Street at night as it is lit up by a huge dome in the central crossroads which is very impressive. Also, a lot of the stores and hotels make an effort with their lights, in particular The Dome, go check it out.
St Andrews Square Christmas Market
Fancy Ice Skating? Head to St Andrews Square at the end of George Street for a whirl around the 360 degree ice rink. It's not the biggest ice rink but it's pretty quaint and there is a bar serving up hot drinks and beverages.
Costs £9 in the Day and £12.50 at night for 30 minutes. Skates are included in the price.
A little sampler for you, I don't want to give everything away! Edinburgh is one cool city and I thoroughly enjoyed myself there, it certainly held it's own against the big European Markets. So if you want to go, book it, you won't be disappointed.
Have you been to Edinburgh Christmas Markets? What did you enjoy? Start the discussion below.