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HOGMANAY???

Hello Everyone!!
I am super excited to finally realize that I can go this year to Hogmanay 2020 in Scotland!!!!! :-) In an effort to make it the best experience possible (single female traveling alone) I have a couple questions.

1) Of the three starting points for the Procession (I plan to buy tickets to walk with a torch) where is the best (St Giles, North Bridge, or South Bridge)?

2) Also, does anyone know where the Up Hely Aa Vikings will be positioning themselves (I would love to walk near them, as the area of the Shetland Isles is actually part of my ancestry)...

3)Lastly, Where is the best place to locate oneself for a hotel/airbnb? I'm thinking after the procession ends at Holyrood Park, there will be a huge mass of people walking around, so I'm thinking that staying in city center might not be the best, as it may be an interesting and long affair to get back there....lol!!

Any and All help with my questions would be greatly appreciated!!!
Jen :-)

Posted by
6 posts

The torch procession is a fabulous experience. I believe St. Giles area is the starting point. The "Vikings" lead the procession, so if you want to walk near them, you need to be at the starting point. So, get out in the street early, because it will be crowded. Things may have changed, but I remember the procession ends at Carlton Hill, where there will be a bonfire. There is a hotel very near the beginning of the walk to Carlton Hill. I don't remember the name, but you could do a Google search. The Scots are very polite, and orderly people. I don't think you will have any problems getting around in the city center after the event ends. I didn't then or at a huge fireworks display at the end of Fringe Festival. Have fun. Hogmanay was an experience I often look back on.

Posted by
39 posts

Thanks so much for the reply afmck!!!!! :-)

Posted by
3318 posts

We went this past December and LOVED Hogmanay! Probably the most memorable New Year's Eve we've ever had.
The torchlight procession is pretty cool...we entered the route via the north bridge. I liked this spot because we were about at the middle of the entire procession. After you enter at your designated place you pack in with everyone else to the front of that section of walkers. It really doesn't matter where you are BUT if you want to be near the Vikings you will have to figure out where they are...I have no idea. A while before it starts, they light the torches at the front and everyone just passes the flames back to those behind them. It's amazing to see the glow of literally thousands of torches illuminate the street ahead of you getting closer and closer. As you walk make sure to look behind you up the Royal Mile...it's truly amazing! Holyrood Park was fairly anticlimactic...there was a large stage with not-very-good bands. There was an attempt to have everyone stand along some pre-marked outlines on the grass with their torches to form the shape of Scotland to be photographed from the air but I think that was a bust!
You are right...the hoards of people after the procession trying to get back to their places of lodging is a logjam. The buses are packed full of them and it's nearly impossible to get on one. We had to walk all the way back to Leith that night because we couldn't get public transport. I would find a place to stay just east of the Royal Mile unless you plan to attend the massive street party around the Princess Street Gardens. On New Year's Eve in particular it's almost impossible to cross to that side of the city because much of it is blocked off to everyone except ticket holders to that event. After midnight you can cross over to that side but it's filled with people who are hammered, passed out, vomiting, and the whole place is generally a mess. Friends carrying friends, trash everywhere, and such. We had to do that as we were staying out in Leith and I would not want to repeat that experience.
Make sure to go to the Christmas Market set up in the Gardens...one of the better Christmas markets I've been to in Europe.
The New Year's Eve fireworks over the castle are NOT to be missed. We were right under them at the entrance to the castle forecourt.
Also, some of the other concerts that happen in the days leading up to Hogmanay are worth checking out. We saw Capercaille play and they were just amazing!
And if you want a splurgy meal, eat at The Witchery. It's in a 16th century house right on the Royal Mile and it's very festive at the holidays!
You will LOVE going to all of this...so fun!