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Explore Winter in Edinburgh

Our beautiful city has so much to offer from our local venues, experiences and sights – before taking into account the vast number that travels to Edinburgh, to make its winter celebrations so unique.

Here’s a list of our top 5 ways to spend your winter in Edinburgh, this year:

Visit a Pride of Lions, at Born Free Forever.

International wildlife charity Born Free “work tirelessly to stop the exploitation and suffering of individual animals living in captivity or in the wild.”

To help with this fight, they have brought 25 stunning life-sized bronze lions to Edinburgh, in a beautiful exhibition on display in the Meadows. Each of the lions represents a unique issue that lions face across the world. Visit the lions in the meadows, learn their stories and admire the incredible artistry required to sculpt them. A special ‘mini pride’ is also on display in St. Andrew’s Square.


Experience Christmas Magic at the Royal Botanical Gardens

Join the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh again this winter, for ‘Christmas at the Botanics.’

This is a magical experience running from the 17th of November to the 30th of December. The Gardens’ 17,000 species of plant are being lit up every night, with immersive colour and patterns, for over a month; in a spectacle, you won’t want to miss. Including a scented fire garden, a tunnel of light and thousands of pea-lights wrapped around trees, get your warmest winter coats on and cameras at the ready, for some insanely cool family and romantic snaps.


Feel the True Warmth of Christmas in the City Center

Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals bring Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay together in a magical explosion of twinkling lights, enchanting sounds, mouth-watering flavours and lots of fun and laughter. Enjoy panoramic views of the capital from the top of the Big Wheel, spin around on the charming carousel in East Princes Street Gardens or brave a twirl on the 60-metre-high Star Flyer.


Find Santa Amongst the Animals at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is an 82-acre non-profit zoological park. Built in 1913, and owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, it receives over 600,000 visitors a year, which makes it Scotland’s second most popular paid-for tourist attraction, after Edinburgh Castle.

On selected dates from the 2nd of December, visitors of the incredible park will be able to visit Mr and Mrs Clause at their workshop. The zoo is also offering a range of Christmas activities for children of all ages, including Santa’s wreath-making workshop and a Christmas breakfast!


Get Your Skis on at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre

Formerly ‘Hillend’, the Midlothian Snowsport Centre is the longest dry ski slope in Europe, situated a few miles from Edinburgh. It is used for skiing, snowboarding, and snowblading, and social use includes lessons for adults and children occurring all year round. This makes the perfect, winter-themed, day out for the whole family.


Whatever your Christmas wishes are this year, Edinburgh has a way to make all dreams come true!

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