Day 4. Edinburgh Christmas 

Our final morning in lovely Edinburgh and the time has sped by so quickly. we’ve had so much fun.  After checking out of our hotel, the Queen Street Travelodge, we left our luggage to collect later in the day and went off to a nearby pub for breakfast.

JD Wetherspoon Standing Order, Edinburgh
Standing Order Pub, George Street, Edinburgh

A little later on, we returned to Queen Street to visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.  I’ve walked past here so many times but never been inside so on this frosty Sunday morning, we decided to take a look.  The exterior of the building is red sandstone and resembles a neo-gothic palace.  It was built in 1889 as the world’s first national portrait gallery.  The interior boasts galleried landings with elaborate arts and crafts styled friezes.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
Interior of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

After viewing each of the galleries and admiring portraits of Mary Queen of Scots, Robert Burns et al, we wandered downhill to the lovely, new town district of Stockbridge.  No visit to Edinburgh can take place without our stroll around this elegant suburb, especially if it’s a Sunday morning when the weekly Stockbridge Market is taking place.  It’s crammed full of little stalls selling organic produce, street food, handicrafts and much more and is always popular with locals and visitors to the city.

Stockbridge Market, Edinburgh
Stockbridge Sunday Morning Market, Edinburgh

Exploring the market completed, it was then onto the high street to peruse the collection of small, independent retailers and admire their festive windows.  Amongst them you will find Mellis’s Cheesemongers, an old fashioned cheese emporium stocking a vast selection of cheese displayed on marble slabs.

Edinburgh Christmas Lights
Edinburgh Christmas Lights

Some time later and weighed down with shopping bags filled with Christmas gifts, we stopped off for a late lunch at the Stockbridge Pizza Express branch where we had a window table overlooking the Waters of Leith.

Street of Light, George Street, Edinburgh
Street of Light, George Street, Edinburgh

Reluctantly it was then time to return to our hotel to collect our luggage and then pop to a cafe for hot drinks before my son had to return to Edinburgh airport for his flight home.  Travelling by train, I still had a little longer to enjoy the city before my train departed.

Edinburgh Christmas Market
Edinburgh Christmas Market

I headed to George Street and joined thousands of other people along the street, just in time to watch the Edinburgh Christmas lights switch on.  A huge stage had been erected at Charlotte Square and it felt very festive listening to the Edinburgh Festival Choir singing traditional Christmas favourites.  Then at 5.00 pm the Scottish Olympic cyclist, Callum Skinner turned on the 2016 Edinburgh lights and we were treated to a splendid firework display.  It was then back to Waverley Station where my train departed at 6.30 pm after another wonderful weekend in one of my favourite cities.  If you are interested in taking part in the Edinburgh Christmas festivities in the future, they commence in mid November and continue until the first week in January.

Christmas decorations in Edinburgh
Christmas decorations in Edinburgh

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55 thoughts on “Day 4. Edinburgh Christmas 

  1. Pingback: Day 1. Edinburgh at Christmas – Love Travelling Blog

  2. Loved reading about your time in Edinburgh, the Christmas market is always the beltway to get into the Christmas spirit. The next time you’re up this way you would visit Dunbar on the East Coast or South Queensferry and The Forth Road Bridges. Ive done a little post on each of them over on

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my Edinburgh post. I’ve been over the Forth Road Bridge but not stopped off at South Queensferry. It did look pretty and I would like to visit there sometime. I’ll definitely check out your blog for ideas.


  3. How lucky for you to catch the Christmas Market and the turning on of the lights! Christmas truly was magical and now I’ve started decorating for the New Year! That means all the red can go, I even made the tree into a New Years tree by removing all the red decorations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely time you had! The decorations look beautiful this year, and I’ve never been inside the National Gallery either, so that’s on the list for another day. Love your twinkling tree! How did you do that? Trade secrets 🙂 🙂 Happy 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. THAT is some pub! Thanks for the look inside the Portrait Gallery, a place I’ve only visited in Alexander McCall Smith’s books. A Merry Christmas to you. No flaming plum pudding this year, but that memory of my Yorkshire-born grandmother’s tradition is always with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandra, Thank you for your kind words – I’m pleased you were able to enjoy the Edinburgh festival and Fringe, there’s so much to see and do in Edinburgh throughout the year. In Google photos, settings, there is a button you can press that will make any snow or Christmas tree photo come to life during the festive period. It only needs to be turned on once and then each year you can have falling snow and twinkling fairy lights!! Kind Regards and Happy Christmas!


  6. Edinburgh during the festive period is the best time to visit. The city looks even more beautiful at this time of year. If you haven’t done the Street Party for Hogmanay before you should make sure you do at some point – it’s so much fun. Have a lovely Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Merry Christmas! It’s a lovely post. We had plans to visit Edinburgh this weekend, but may decide against due to the weather-cold, rainy and windy! Any ideas on where to spend Hogmanay? Besides Edinburgh 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words and a very Merry Christmas to you as well! I live in northern England and we’ve woken up to strong winds here, too. Edinburgh is definitely the most popular place to celebrate Hogmanay but there will also be smaller parties in other Scottish towns and cities. Have fun !

      Liked by 1 person

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