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THE FEISTY & FESTIVE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND

The Feisty & Festive Christmas Spirit Of Scotland

From bustling Christmas markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow to Christmas workshops and a mad dash by thousands of Santa's, you'll find plenty of Christmas attractions in Scotland during the festive season.

Written by Linda Jackson

Thousands of torch carriers walk the streets of Edinburgh to mark the opening of the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations - four days of street parties, spectacular events, concerts and ceilidhs to celebrate the New Year in Scotland.

Not to be missed. It’s a time of year when revellers are guaranteed to have the time of their life over this mad party period. But... are they in danger of not seeing the wood for the trees? 

It’s time to think out of the four-day Hogmanay ‘box’. Festive fun is not just for Hogmanay - it’s here in Scotland from the end of November to the beginning of January every year when you’ll find special Christmas activities galore for families lucky enough to be taking a winter break in Scotland. Temperatures might be cooling down in Scotland at this time of the year but activities for the Scottish festive season are definitely hotting up.

One such opportunity is at Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, on the west coast of Scotland, where you can celebrate Hogmanay in style with one night’s accommodation on 31st December, a Champagne reception, a five course black tie dinner with live music and a rousing Beat the Retreat at midnight.  The following morning you will enjoy a full Scottish breakfast.

Available from £595 per room for one night, based on two people sharing classic accommodation.

>> trumpturnberry.com

To immerse yourself fully in the city lights and bustling Christmas activities,
stay in a Luxury Scotland hotel in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

From bustling Christmas street markets in Edinburgh and Glasgow to fairground rides, ice rinks, Christmas workshops, choirs, mulled wine, Scots ceilidh (couples dances performed in a ring) and a mad Santa Dash, you’ll find a plethora of Christmas activities for the family.

To enjoy the best of both worlds why not opt for a two-hotel break in Scotland?  Spend two or three days enjoying Christmas shopping and fun activities in the city, then sink into the refined luxury of a Scottish country hotel with all its welcoming Christmas comforts. One such elegant Scottish country hotel, legendary for its Christmas celebrations in the finest Scottish tradition and for the style of its Scottish New Year luxury breaks is Gleneagles

Located right in the heart of Scotland and considered the Gateway to the Highlands, Gleneagles is already geared up to make this festive season an extra special one.  Imagine log fires burning, Christmas trees with twinkling lights, Christmas decorations adorning the walls, snow falling on the trees, moonlight walks, and endless activities for children (and adults) to get excited over.

Gleneagles Christmas break: from £3,085 per room for three nights, including all meals, entertainment, and VAT @ 17.5%, based on single or double occupancy, and a fourth night Bed and Breakfast free.

Gleneagles New Year luxury break: join the three night house party from 30 December to 2 January, from £3,760 per room for three nights this includes all meals, entertainment and VAT @ 17.5%, based on single or double occupancy, and a fourth night Bed and Breakfast free.

For all bookings and any queries please contact Resort Sales on Freephone 0800.704.705 (UK) or 1866.463.8734 (USA), www.gleneagles.com.

4,000 Santas in Glasgow and Christmas Markets galore and Scottish Dancing ...
celebrating New Year and Hogmanay at luxury Scotland hotels

Roasted almonds, candies, unusual Christmas gifts, hand-crafted toys, and candles in every shape and size will be found on the 30 or so stalls at the Traditional Christmas Market held in St Enoch’s Square in Glasgow up until 23 December 2010.

Get into the jolly Christmas spirit, or rather a jolly Christmas suit, and join thousands of others who are donning a Santa suit for Glasgow’s Santa Dash - a fun and colourful five kilometres charity run. Over 4,000 participants are expected to participate and raise money in this worthwhile event, so if you or your children have never seen Santa... now’s your chance.

Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens is transformed every year into a magical winter wonderland for five weeks (25 November to 4 January). There’s a fairground with carousel rides, a helter-skelter, a special Children’s Christmas Corner, a Bungy Snowdome (a bouncy giant snowball), and a 33-metre span Christmas wheel which gives an exhilarating view over Edinburgh. You’ll also find hot food stands selling mince pies, shortbread and mulled wine, and a picturesque ice rink with Edinburgh Castle as its dramatic backdrop.

Another Edinburgh highlight is the ever popular German Christmas Market located next to the National Gallery of Scotland at the foot of The Mound. Running until 24th December it comprises over 25 quaint wooden stalls selling crafts, unusual gifts, hot food and mulled wine.

There’s a Highland Village Christmas Market this year too at East Princes Street Gardens, open until 4 January, where you’ll find crafts, food, jewellery and whacky Hogmanay hats.

As for Scottish dancing... what better time of the year to enjoy an organised ceilidh,
than during the festive season?

A Scottish ceilidh is a feisty occasion with Highland dancing and music provided by a ceilidh band comprising fiddle, accordion as well as guitar flute and whistle. A 'caller' is often centre stage to call out the steps and make sure everyone joins in the dancing. These are jolly, lively where good company and a wee dram or two of the finest Scotch whisky can instill long lasting memories of Scotland. Exercise your Scottish country dancing skills with the lively ceilidh band playing until the bells at midnight. For a more relaxed occassion try sumptous and historic Inverlochy Hotel.


The biggest and best of Scotland’s festive season celebrations is Hogmanay. Tradition held that it was unlucky to welcome the New Year into a dirty house and so the last day of December in the ‘old days’ would be spent cleaning and scrubbing in readiness for Hogmanay.

Pieces of mistletoe and rowan tree would be placed above doors to ward off illness and bring good luck. Holly, hazel and yew would be dotted around to protect the house and inhabitants; juniper burned (a pungent fragrance, burned as an antiseptic), and doors left open to ‘freshen’ the house and to welcome in the New Year.

The tradition of ‘first-footing’ began - immediately after midnight - when gifts such as coal, whisky, shortbread and black bun (a type of fruit cake) were traditionally brought by neighbours to bring luck to the householders. This very Scottish tradition is carried on today, whisky and shortbread being at the forefront.  Throughout Scotland’s cities and villages, as the bells ring in the New Year, crowds of thousands will cheer and celebrate in the time honoured way by linking arms with friends old and new, and singing “Auld Lang Syne”, written by Scotland’s own renowned poet and lyricist Robert Burns.

 

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne."

Wishing you and yours a very warm and happy New Year

Luxury Scotland
Tel: +44(0)1786 821 860 
Fax: +44 (0)1383 825 700
E: dorothy@luxuryscotland.co.uk

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