Christmas in Edinburgh
With festive celebrations banned in Scotland from 1640 to 1712 and not completely resurrected until the mid-20th century, Edinburgh can be said to be ‘the city that rediscovered Christmas’. This delightful yule stay in the Scottish capital features a Scottish take on the traditional Christmas market, a special Christmas tour of Mary King’s Close below the Royal Mile and music at the Botanic Gardens. Scottish storytellers regale us with traditional tales of faeries and other ‘wee folk’, as well as accounts of pre-Reformation Christmas merrymaking. The Museum of Childhood invites you on a nostalgic journey back through time with toys that may once have appeared in your Christmas stocking, and the Writers’ Museum shows how the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott incorporated the frowned-upon festival into their novels. Trips to the Botanic Gardens and Arthur’s Seat place us in the heart of the Christmas fun, now thankfully fully restored in Auld Reekie.
Deposit: £500 Single supplement: £240
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Day 1 - Edinburgh
We arrive independently in Edinburgh and settle into our hotel. Our tour starts today with an exploration of the local Christmas market held at East Princes Street Gardens featuring Bavarian style stalls to set the mood for Christmas.
|Hotel||Apex Hotel Grassmarket, Edinburgh|
Day 2 - South Bridge Vaults & Royal Botanic Gardens
This morning we set off to visit the South Bridge Vaults, Edinburgh’s hidden underground relicts, to discover what Christmas would have been like when you had to work underground during the Enlightenment period of the 18th century. Back above ground, a short walk brings us to the famous Museum of Childhood. Featuring toys, games, books and other items, the collections display all aspects of childhood in Britain from the middle of the 19th century up to today. We end the day at the Royal Botanic Gardens exploring a wonderful array of plants gathered from all around the world in a beautiful landscape and experience the after-dark light display.
Day 3 - Mary King’s Close & Writer’s Museum
We descend underground again today at Mary King’s Close, the historic Old Town area of the city just below the Royal Mile, named after one of its former residents. A special Yule tour awaits, investigating traditions particularly influenced (very quietly in Scotland) by the Victorians. A short walk will get us to the Writer’s Museum where we will explore how Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson incorporated the banned holiday into their writings. The collections comprise personal items of the renown authors besides books, manuscripts and portraits.
Day 4 - Royal Mile
On Christmas day we enjoy a quiet stroll down the Historic Royal Mile, an enchanting thoroughfare of the historic centre of Edinburgh which connects Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace gates, hearing tales of old Yule faeries and folktales. At lunch, we enjoy the traditional Christmas Feast. After some free time in the afternoon, either to relax or to explore Edinburgh at own leisure, we gather again for some bespoke parlour games.
Day 5 - Edinburgh
Weather permitting, we take a walk around Arthur’s Seat, the main peak of an extinct volcano belonging to Holyrood Park. Exploring the fascinating landscape, our ascent will be rewarded with excellent views over the city. Here, we hear more tales of the “wee folk”. Alternatively, we will visit the National Museum of Scotland where we can view the famous Lewis chessmen and the Cramond Roman lioness. Our final evening will be spent in the company of a Scottish Storyteller who will enchant with traditions of the pre-reformation Yule and Hogmannay.
Day 6 - Edinburgh
Our tour ends after breakfast and we make our ways back home.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|22 December 2021||AEDX211222||22 December 2021 (Wednesday)||27 December 2021 (Monday)||Elizabeth Cory Lopez||£1,600