We Scottish folk are a competitive bunch. We might not be the best at football, or rugby – although we have beaten England three times out of our last three games, just saying – but when any competition comes our way, we always put our best foot forward. Sometimes, it even sticks.
Take Christmas markets, for instance. Now, okay, you might not think Christmas markets are a competition. But over the years, cities across the UK have been making their markets bigger and better, with numerous “best of” lists ranking them each time the season is out. So, it is a competition, and let us tell you, Bonnie Scotland is winning it!
At least, that’s what Google says. But we wouldn’t disagree. If you type into Google: what is the best Christmas market in the UK? Edinburgh is right there, front and centre.
This is where you’ll be going to pick up one of our Scottish motorhomes. For years now, we’ve made our base in Edinburgh, and it’s the perfect city to kick off your Scottish tour in style, especially now that Christmas is around the corner. So, what exactly can you get up to at the Edinburgh Christmas market, and is it really the best Christmas market in the UK? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
The Edinburgh Christmas Market
The Edinburgh Christmas market is positioned in Prince’s Street Garden, New Town, and the entrance is underneath the beautiful Scott Monument. This year, the market was launched on 17th November, with hundreds of Christmas-lovers queuing along Waverley Bridge to get a taste.
It’s a large market, split into two parts – although the second part is a little more of a secret.
The first and most popular section is the one that begins at Scotts Monument and travels to the National Gallery of Scotland. The second section can be reached after walking past the National Gallery and travelling down the steps toward the Ross Band Stand. Encompassing the stand and the famous Ross Fountain are more Christmassy delights, away from Prince’s Street and the hullabaloo of the main market.
The Pros Of The Edinburgh Christmas Market
We’re going to be very neutral here. Well, as neutral as we can be. We’ll discuss both the positives and the negatives of this market, as there are negatives, and we think you should know about them. Starting with the positives, this market looks amazing. If you’re thinking it’ll just have a few stalls, Santa’s Grotto, and maybe a ride or two, then think again.
On the left side of Scott’s Monument, a huge Ferris wheel is erected every year, with bright multi-coloured lights lighting up the gardens below it. On the right side, there is an even bigger drop tower, which travels higher than Scott’s Monument itself. At ground level, there are dozens of cabins selling everything from candy to tacos, drinks, to woodcraft to jewellery, and much, much more.
For adrenaline seekers, there are even more rides in the second section, including a helter-skelter, bumper cars, a swing ride, a carousel, and a lot of smaller, kid-friendly rides too. Oh, and Santa’s Grotto. Of course!
The Cons Of Edinburgh Christmas Market
When it comes to the negatives, you need to be aware this is one of the most popular places to visit in Scotland during Christmas, so it’s going to be busy. Nearly every day of the Christmas market, there’s a long queue which travels down Waverley Bridge, and the rush can still be felt when you’re inside the market itself.
It can be a little difficult to take a good look at the stalls, as there are often large groups of people wanting to take their own look. The Christmas Market is also expensive, with some pints of beer costing as much as £9. Also – and this is the most serious problem – we went last year and there wasn’t a cheese stall. No cheese! In a Christmas market! Scandalous.
The Best Christmas Market In The UK?
If any of those negatives put you off, don’t worry too much. As we mentioned in the “pros” section, one of the best things about this Christmas market is how beautiful it is. Even from afar, the market sparkles against the night sky, and there are plenty of gorgeous light displays that you don’t need to go into the market to look at. There’s also the second section of the market. Not as many people know about that one, which makes it a lot easier to walk around and enjoy.
If you’re still unsure, you don’t even have to experience anything market-related. Across the city, there are plenty of Christmassy Edinburgh activities to sink your teeth into and get that festive fix. But if you do want to experience it, then we can safely say that, yes, Scotland gets another point for this one. Edinburgh definitely has the best Christmas market in the UK!