China’s giant lanterns to light up Edinburgh

China’s giant lanterns to light up Edinburgh

For centuries, the Chinese have celebrated the start of their New Year in late January or early February by displaying multicolored lanterns in a range of shapes and sizes. Along with marking the pending arrival of spring, the custom also serves as a showcase of Chinese artistry.

Traditionally, lantern-makers crafted their works of art from bamboo and paper, but these days, Chinese artisans are creating modern-day versions out of metal, silk and energy-efficient LED lighting. Through Jan. 2, Ohioans can experience these works on the Ohio Expo Center grounds, thanks to Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival operations and logistics manager Huiyuan Liu and her team.

This year, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is home to The Giant Lanterns of China, an installation of over 450 dazzling giant lanterns that will illuminate the Zoo for 50 awe-inspiring nights. There is 211 large scale animal-themed lanterns including 30 giant pandas, 12 lions, 30 native birds, 15 snails, 20 penguins and 25 flamingos alongside detailed backdrops of flowers, fauna, insects and Chinese heritage symbols such as signs of the zodiac and traditional archways. One of the highlights will be a 19-foot high and 115-foot long Chinese dragon, majestically guarding the Zoo until the event ends at during the Chinese Spring Festival.

Be wowed by Chinese performers, enjoy wintery hot food and drinks, and shop at the marketplace featuring hand-made crafts from Chinese artisans.

Walking through this lantern gateway really enhanced the journey and gave one a sense of awe.

Download the map here

Book your tickets here

Advanced online booking discounts are available. Tickets are priced from £17.50 per adult and available at

Spectacular humpback whale in front of Edinburgh Castle

Spectacular humpback whale in front of Edinburgh Castle

Picture by Adrian Plumb

The moment a humpback whale breached from the water in front of Edinburgh Castle has been captured by a photographer. Birdwatcher Adrian Plumb got more than he bargained for when he caught an “image of a lifetime” while looking for a tiny bird. Birdwatcher snaps surprise whale shot in front of castle. The mammal was spotted surfacing against the striking backdrop in the Firth of Forth. He managed to capture spectacular pictures of a humpback whale in front of Edinburgh Castle. The huge mammal was swimming in the Firth of Forth while Adrian looked on from Kinghorn in Fife.

A number of the huge mammals were pictured in the Firth of Forth over the weekend, with some sightings also reported on Monday.


24 Doors Of Advent: Edinburgh’s Locked Doors Open To The Public

24 Doors Of Advent: Edinburgh’s Locked Doors Open To The Public

The free event 24 Doors of Advent returns from 1 – 24 December, allowing you to peep behind usually closed doors throughout the city during advent!

Discover an exciting new place each day, as this real-life advent calendar takes you through a different door throughout December, as Edinburgh opens its doors to showcase the unique buildings in the city.  So forget the snowman-shaped chocolates in paper calendars and enjoy the new discoveries. Check out the list below to reveal information on the site opened each day and make your countdown to Christmas even more fun than usual!

This year’s doors include John Sinclair House, Victorian School Room, McEwan Hall, Trinity House, Burns Monument, Mansfield Traquair, BT Murrayfield and Lauriston Castle.

Please note that some events and tours must be booked in advance.

1 December – Historic Environment Scotland
2 December – Dovecot Studios
3 December – The Victorian Schoolroom
4 December – Lady Haig Poppy Factory
5 December – McEwan Hall
6 December – Dance For All Studio
7 December – Heart of Midlothian, Tynecastle Park
8 December – Trinity House
9 December – Robert Burns Monument
10 December – Mansfield Traquair Centre
11 December – BT Murrayfield Stadium
12 December – Stills
13 December – Scottish Storytelling Centre
14 December – Georgian Antiques
15 December – Holyrood Park Education Centre
16 December – The Scottish Parliament
17 December – Edinburgh Printmakers
18 December – Edinburgh Festival Theatre
19 December – Lauriston Castle
20 December – St Cecila’s Hall and Music Museum
21 December – National Records of Scotland, HM General Register House
22 December – Drumsheugh Baths Club
23 December – Filmhouse
24 December – Church of St John the Evangelist

*Guided tours available at some locations

20 Things to do & see on the Royal Mile

20 Things to do & see on the Royal Mile

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is the heart of Scotland’s historic capital. A short walk away is the Grassmarket, an area steeped in the city’s colourful history. The Royal Mile runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, connecting the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a base of volcanic rock, with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse, resting in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. The Mile is overlooked by impressive, towering tenements, between which cobbled closes and narrow stairways interlock to create a secret underground world.


The Edinburgh Santa Fun Run and Walk

The Edinburgh Santa Fun Run and Walk

Once more, Scotland’s fundraising Santa’s will run, walk and stroll around West Princes Street Gardens, raising money to grant the Wishes of children for When You Wish Upon a Star. Come along and enjoy time with family, friends and work colleagues and help them continue granting the very special Wishes for children who are living with a life threatening illness throughout Scotland.


Sunday 10 December at 11am, Scotland’s fundraising Santas will run, walk and stroll a two lap course around West Princes Street Gardens. The 2.5km event will start at 11am after a special Christmas warm up. Special prizes for the best dressed pushchairs and best dressed dogs.

A woman smiles as she takes part in The Great Scottish Santa Run in Princes Street gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland on December 12, 2010

Entry fees are as follows:

  • Adults –  £10 (12yrs and over); includes FREE Santa Suit and medal to keep
  • Juniors – £5  (5yrs to 11yrs); includes FREE Santa Suit and medal to keep
  • Children – £2.50 (2yrs to 4yrs); includes a FREE Elf Hat and medal to keep
  • Infants – FREE and Dogs – FREE

Click Here To Register

For more information or to registrer, please visit  or call 0131 273 4344

St Andrew Square Ice Rink

St Andrew Square Ice Rink

Get your skates on and glide all the way round the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square on the beautiful elliptical ice rink.

Skating in Edinburgh

Since Friday 17th November and until Saturday 6th January you can enjoy ice skating in the city centre! Day slots start every 45 minutes from 10.15am to 11.45am, and then every 30 minutes until 9.30pm. The ice rink is cleared completely up to twice a day for cleaning so please check the website or at the box office for up-to-date timings.

Ice Skating


  • Adults £9 / £12.40
  • Children (4 – &5 years) £5 / £8
  • Family ticket £20 / %35 (admits 4, maximum 2 adults)
  • 20% off for EH postcode holders

Please arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled start time to collect your skates. Skating aids are available.