|Celebrations around Scotland will include traditional bonfires. // Photo by Freeimages.com/Mike Maears|
The Daily Telegraph, December 29, 2015
A guide to celebrating New Year in Edinburgh, Glasgow and other destinations in Scotland, with details on tickets, street parties, concerts, and performing acts, plus hotel and train bookings
Up to 150,000 people are expected to attend Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh during three days of events to welcome in the new year.
Celebrations will begin with the Torchlight procession on December 30, which last year saw 30,000 people walk through the Scottish capital, and continue through to the 30th “Loony Dook” on New Year’s Day, which sees hundreds of people in fancy dress plunge into the freezing River Forth in view of the renowned bridges.
Tickets are selling like hot cakes for this year's Hogmanay party - have you got yours yet? Fanelli's are sold out;...Posté par Merchant Square sur mardi 15 décembre 2015
How do I get there?
Virgin (0871 977 4222; virgintrains.co.uk ) has services from London Euston to Glasgow Central on the west coast line via Preston, Lancaster and Carlisle. Scotrail’s Caledonian Sleeper (08457 550033; scotrail.co.uk ) is a comfortable way of travelling overnight, with duvets and breakfast in bed. Leaves Euston at 2300, arrives Glasgow Central 0718. Book early for amazing value of ‘bargain berths’.
Glasgow uses a park and ride system to minimise the bunfight in the city centre. For a map and more information on driving in the city, visit: spt.co.uk/park-ride
British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com ) flies from Heathrow and London City, easyJet (0843 104 5000; easyjet.com ) from Bristol, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted; Flybe (0871 700 2000; flybe.com ) from East Midlands, Exeter, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, and Southampton. CityJet (0871 666 5050; cityjet.com ) flies from Cardiff. Citywing (0871 200 0440; citywing.com ) flies from Isle of Man Apr-Oct.
Where to stay?
Our Glasgow expert has picked the best hotels in the city - but you need to book as soon as possible as demand for the Scottish New Year is high.
Fire festivals are a renowned part of Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland. Enormous bonfires are lit as a traditional way to see in the year to come. The most famous are:
Stonehaven Fireball Festival, Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire - 45 participants swing blazing balls of fire above their heads before throwing them into the sea at the harbour. From 6pm, December 31.
Biggar Bonfire - this large fire in the Borders town of 2,000 people dates back to pagan times, when the celebration of light and warmth was believed to ward off evil spirits. The fire is lit at 9.30pm in the High Street, at the Corn Exchange.
Flambeaux Procession - Comrie in Perth and Kinross sees an annual procession during which torches made from long thick birch poles and tarred rags are carried through the village before being thrown in the River Earn. Generally from 6.30pm - see website for more details.
The small town of Dornoch - once famed for advertising toilets as a tourist attraction - has tasteful celebrations that span three days, starting on December 31. Expect whisky, ceilidhs, plenty of music, plus a New Year's Day dip in the sea.
Out on the Isle of Lewis, local musicians lead the celebration into 2016. Arts centre An Lanntair has Willie Campbell alongside Colin MacLeod, Jane Hepburn, and Iain “Spanish” Mackay. Tickets £12, event 11pm-2am December 31. Visit lanntair.com for more information.
The east coast city's celebrations will centre around the Schoolhill area from 7.30pm-12.15am, with free entry. There will be a battle of the bands and attractions from the Christmas Village, such as an open air ice rink, German market stalls and funfair rides. A fireworks display at midnight will top things off. For more information, visit aberdeenchristmas.co.uk
A "Red Hot Highland Fling" - despite the raunchy name, this is a family-friendly event that will include comedians and music followed by midnight fireworks. Scotland's largest free Hogmanay celebration, things kick off at 7.30pm at the Northern Meeting Park. Visit invernessfestivals.com for more information.
VisitScotland has full listings of Hogmanay events going on around the country - for more, see visitscotland.com/info/events
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