Scotland: A Delightful Winter Getaway for Families

View from a Scottish Hillside (Photo taken by my daughter Amanda)

Scotland is one of our family’s favorite destinations – it’s a truly astonishing place, with majestic glens and spectacular lakes, as well as some of the warmest and most welcoming people on any continent. Our family last visited Scotland in the winter and took advantage of the great winter festivals and events that take place every year across Scotland, so we wanted to share some of the details of our favorite Scottish events.

Edinburgh’s Christmas is a month-long festival which runs from late November through late December, offering festive celebrations with fireworks, markets, Christmas lights, entertainment and the iconic Winter Wonderland. The Big Wheel will provide stunning views of the city, and the Highland Village-style market will showcase food, clothing and jewelry from all over Scotland. (

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay takes place over four days at the end of 2008 and will include a Torchlit Procession, the Night Afore Celebrations and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, culminating with the concert and fireworks to mark the New Year. Downtown Edinburgh will be buzzing with processions, street theater, live music and ceiledhs.

Isle of Skye (Photo taken by my eldest daughter, Amanda)

Celtic Connections takes place in Glasgow from January 14 through January 21, 2010. The music festival includes leading names in folk and world music performing at venues across the city, and is Britain’s premier Celtic music festival featuring more than 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks and workshops. (

On the 25th of January every year, people in the four corners of the globe mark the Bard’s (or Robert “Bobbie” Burns) birth with poems, music, merriment and of course haggis. But for the ultimate cultural experience, travelers should head to a Burns Supper in his hometown of Ayr; Dumfries, where he lived and died; Edinburgh (or Auld Reekie as he referred to it), where he made his name, or indeed Glasgow, which houses the largest collection of Burns artifacts in the world. On Burns Night, restaurants and hotels will offer special menus and traditional entertainment. (

So escape to Scotland this winter, check out and for more great ideas for winter escapes!


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