At the lastminute.com blog we know you like to party and we know you like to party in style – especially at New Year. New Year’s Eve or “Hogmanay”, as it is affectionately known in Scotland, is a time for huge celebrations and they don’t come any bigger or better than Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2015. So much so that the hard partying Scots get the 2nd January off work as an extra bank holiday – just to recover!
Back in the day, as the bells rang out at midnight, it was predominantly the locals cramming on to the world famous Royal Mile and having a wee jig and snog to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. However, now properly organized and funded, it is arguably the best New Year festival of celebrations and events in the world. The event is in its 22nd year and has grown into a three day festival jam-packed with unique things to do.
The spectacular Torchlight Procession on 30th December – a family event with over 25,000 torch carriers accompanied by massed pipes and drums and led by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa’ Vikings. The route takes them from Chambers Street to the Son et Lumière and a fireworks finale on Calton Hill.
The highlight of the festivities is on 31st December. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party on Princes Street is where 80,000 revellers party it up and countdown to midnight. As the clock strikes 12 there is the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne along with a spectacular fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle. With DJ’s, ceilidh dancing and live music – this is the big event.
Sort out your New Year’s Day hangover and celebrate the start of 2014 by taking part in the truly crazy and breathtaking Loony Dook – a mass plunge into the refreshingly chilly waters of the River Forth under the shadow of the world famous Forth Rail Bridge. Are you brave enough?
Okay, so there are more things to do than physically possible in this great city and you’ll need somewhere to stay. Like any world class city, when there is an epic event on, accommodation is at a premium.
Our top 5 Edinburgh hotels for New Year stays:
The Caledonian – Waldorf Astoria sits at the West End of Princes Street in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. ‘The Caley’, as it is known among Edinburgh locals, is smack bang in the centre of all the New Year action. It embodies the very best in Scottish hospitality.
Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa – for some it’s not all about the partying and it’s more about relaxing in style. With one of the finest spas in Europe, the Sheraton is definitely the place to unwind. A two minute walk from Princes Street means you are super central, so you’re right in the mix if you fancy it.
Edinburgh Marriott is located just 4 miles west of the city centre with superb transport links from the airport and to the city’s festivities. A more wallet friendly option and a perfect base from which to start your Edinburgh adventure. It has loads of free parking and family rooms and the added bonus of leisure facilities including a pool – perfect for tiring out the kids.
Fountain Court – Stewart Apartments offer boutique chic styling in practical serviced apartments. Located in the heart of the New Town and parallel to George Street you could not be more central to the festivities. With all the ‘mod cons’ including a dishwasher, HD TV, blu-ray player, iPod dock, free Wifi plus Sky sports and movie channels, you will feel right at home.
Macdonald Houstoun House sits 12 miles west of Edinburgh in West Lothian and is a perfect choice for those not looking to party the night away. It’s still close enough to Edinburgh to enjoy some of the many side events to the Hogmanay celebrations. Built in the 1600s to host Mary Queen of Scots, this is a hotel steeped in Scottish history.
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