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Take the train to Edinburgh … for Christmas and New Year

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Hop on a train to Edinburgh and experience a city that knows how to celebrate the festive season in style. From its outdoor ice rink to torchlight processions, visitors will be blown away by Christmas and New Year in the Scottish Capital.

Read on for our in-depth guide to Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Capital is famed for its hospitality and boasts an array of festive fun and frolicks which could even put a smile on Scrooge’s face.

• Seasonal attractions in Edinburgh …

Princess Street Gardens Ice Rink
One of Scotland’s best loved seasonal attractions. This outdoor ice rink is one of the largest in Europe, but it’s the backdrop that makes it the most special; you’ll be whizzing along in the shadow of the Scots Monument while enjoying a wonderful view of Edinburgh Castle.

Christmas Fair
Right next to the ice rink there are even more thrills to be had. Each year a spectacular fun fair takes over a large part of Princess Street Gardens. The highlight of the fair has to be the 110ft high Edinburgh Wheel; brave passengers can experience one of the best views the city has to offer.

Christmas Market
The Christmas Market in Edinburgh could provide a welcome respite after the excitement of the Ice Rink and the Christmas Fare. Visitors to the market can shop for quaint Christmas gifts while enjoying some German delicacies such as: fried potato cakes, chunky sausage and the infamous Glühwein.

• Must-see events in Edinburgh …

Santa Run
The annual Santa Run is fast becoming one of the most popular events on Edinburgh’s Christmas calendar. Each year Princess Street Gardens is swamped by a swarm of Santas out running for a good cause. The proceeds of the run go to the When You Wish Upon A Star foundation, which helps fulfil the wishes of terminally ill children. This year the run will take place at 10:30am on 11th December. If you’d like to get involved check out the Santa Run website.

Torchlight Procession
The spectacular torchlight procession will be the opening event of Edinburgh’s 2011/12 New Year’s celebrations. On Friday 30th December thousands of people will gather to create a river of light flowing from the Royal Mile to Calton Hill where the event will wrap up with an amazing fireworks display.

Hogmanay Street Party
One of the world’s greatest New Year Celebrations. Over the years this event has just gotten bigger and better. This year’s party will include a huge gig featuring Primal Scream, Mark Ronson and Friendly Fires. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional you could try the Hogmanay Ceilidh in the Mound Precinct.

• What to sightsee …

Edinburgh Castle
Soak up some history in one of the most spectacular castles in the world. A visit to Edinburgh Castle can be as entertaining as it is educational. Improved and extended over the centuries, no-one really knows how old the castle actually is. However, the oldest parts are generally agreed to date back to at least the 12th century.

Holyrood Park
Edinburgh is one of the few cities to be lucky enough to have its own miniature mountain range. Holyrood Park encompasses Arthur’s seat (the highest peak), the Salisbury Crags and several small lochs. The peaks are relatively easy to walk up and visitors can even stop half-way up to feed the ducks at Dunsapie Loch.

• Where to eat …

The Dome
No other restaurant in the city embraces the Christmas Spirit quite like The Dome. Situated on the City’s trendy George Street, the Dome undergoes a sensational seasonal makeover each year. The bars and restaurants are decked out in opulent over-sized decorations and a huge Christmas tree is erected on top of circular bar.

The Witchery By the Castle
One of the most famous restaurants in the city, the Witchery By The Castle is believed to be situated in one of the most haunted spots in the Edinburgh. Boasting a five star rating from the AA, the food is said to be ‘To die for’.

Why not book some cheap train tickets to Edinburgh on, and check out this festive winter wonderland for yourself?

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