Edinburgh Christmas Cheer

Christmas at the Bailie

Christmas at the Bailie

I went on a wee mindful evening stroll through some of Edinburghs Christmas delights, and thought I would take you with me. I find taking photos of where I am helps me slow down and soak in the little details I might otherwise miss. Instead of rushing through, I pause and experience what’s around me. It began, as do many things in Scotland, in a pub. Not just any pub, but one of my favorites. The Bailie is at the top of Stockbridge, where it feeds into the beautiful Georgian New Town, and it has a wonderful atmosphere with its cozy open fire and its gorgeous circular wooden bar. You can feel as though you have been transported back in time, and its full of local regulars, enjoying the space. The pub is under street level and they had decorated the antique lamp over the stair so beautifully for Christmas, that I was immediately smiling.

Entrance to the Bailie

Entrance to the Bailie

After a little liquid refreshment we headed uptown and passed Britannia sitting resplendent over the entrance to the Royal Scottish Academy (of Art) at the foot of the Mound. She looked fabulous illuminated in festive red….(but I must invest in a better camera for capturing low light images!)

Britannia over RSA in festive red.

Britannia over RSA in festive red.

From here we headed into the Scottish Village and German Market, strung along the top of Princes Street Gardens. It was packed with visitors and locals alike, and everyone seemed to be smiling and having a good time, with cups of mulled wine to warm their hands. There were lots of romantic looking couples, as well as family groups, and this pretty stall was selling yummy hot chocolate and sweet treats.

Hot Chocolate stall

Hot Chocolate stall

In the cold crisp air the fairground lights seemed to sparkle with a life of their own, and I found myself mesmerised with the bright colours set against the black night sky.

Helterskelter fun

helter-skelter fun

It was like being transported back into childhood, and memories of fairgrounds and Christmas seeped into my mind, filling me with nostalgia.

Carousel at Christmas

Carousel at Christmas

This vintage style soldier had me thinking of Christmas visits to see the Nutcracker ballet as a little girl with my Mum and Granny. And this spilled into memories of Swan Lake and all the beautiful swirling skirts, and the ethereal beauty of the ballerinas, who seemed to me as a child to live in a world of impossible glamour. Ahh….Christmas past

Christmas soldier

Christmas soldier

Shifting my attention away from the sparkling lights and music of the fairground I saw the open air ice rink, below us in Princes Street Gardens. It looked beautifully enchanting and otherworldly with it pastel lights and its pristine white surface. It was just about to open, and soon the rink would be filled with the wild screams and excitement of skaters jostling for position on the ice.

Princes Street Ice Rink 2012

Princes Street Ice Rink 2012

It was beginning to rain, and the temperature had plummeted while I was busy soaking in the sights, so it was time to head home to the warmth. Ahead of me, through the light spangled trees, the New Balmoral Hotel was bathed in golden welcoming light…there’s a lovely Edwardian Bollinger Bar tucked in here……

The New Balmoral from the Christmas Market

The New Balmoral from the Christmas Market


About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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13 Responses to Edinburgh Christmas Cheer

  1. Lynne Ayers says:

    It’s been many (many) years since I was in Edinburgh and I never saw it like this. It’s beautiful – a wonderful soak-up of Christmas cheer.

  2. icelandpenny says:

    This is magic, thank you! I haven’t even finished my first cup of Monday-morning coffee, and I’ve already had a romp through Edinburgh…

  3. Oh so homesick! Thanks for this!

    Sent from my iPhone

    • My pleasure…..are you living a long way from home?

      • Well, yes and no, depending upon how you look at it. I’m American born and live now in CT (not my first choice), but I visited Scotland a few years back and it was like coming home for the first time in my life…a sensation I have never before experienced. I spent ten short days in Scotland and only fell more madly in love than ever. Hope to go back soon.

  4. westseventhfreelance says:

    This is all so lovely…I was last in Edinborough 40 years ago (SO young!!!) 🙂 I think it is time to think about a visit…

  5. Northern Narratives says:

    It looks so festive. I like the carousel 🙂

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