30 Dec 2015 - 02 Jan 2016
I have always wanted to go to Hogmanay as it is meant to be the best New Year celebration and it didn't disappoint. I met some lovely, fun people to share the celebrations with and had a great time with a mixture of culture and partying. the accommodation was basic but clean and really close to the celebrations.
I watched the torchlight procession and the fireworks on Chalton Hill on the first night and it was really traditional but lovely with all the lights. I had been to Edinburgh before so I decided to do the optional trip to Stirling Castle and the William Wallace monument which was interesting as I like history but there are a lot of stairs at the monument.
The New Year's Eve street party was great and we went to the cheesy pop music stage so lots of old classics. You can bring your own alcohol (if in cans or plastic bottles) so that saves a fortune. I would recommend wrapping up with lots of layers though as it is freezing. On New Year's day, we went to the Looney Dook where loads of people jump in the freezing cold water for charity. I was cold enough just watching. The optional activity was a 3 course meal which was delicious and well worth the money. We also had traditional bag pipe music so a different experience.
I would recommend Edinburgh and Hogmanay it is a beautiful city. This trip is short but enjoyable. There is a fairly long coach journey from London to Edinburgh and back but even that is ok as our tour leader showed films and TV shows and it is an opportunity to chill out or sleep if you want.
Review written Feb 2016event 0.3
30 Dec 2012 - 02 Jan 2013
Having been to Hogmanay before, I knew what to expect but had such a fantastic time the second time around too.
My travel buddy and I were in the spirit of the festival and meeting people and enjoying the atmosphere, trying to collect random bits and pieces for her costume for Loony Dook the next day.
The hostel was one of the best I have been in. Granted it was a hike to the city and it was all uphill, it made getting home at the end of the night easier.
We had a fantastic tour manager Evana and Andy our driver was great too. So much knowledge and experience.
The visit to Stirling Castle was great - the walking tour made the history come alive, Edinburgh itself is an architectural wonderland, where old meets new and there are hidden stories around every corner, such as Mary King's Close. A must see for all history fanatics.
The Scottish Evening was pretty good. I think some people didn't realise what they were ordering and were a bit taken back when they got their chicken and it had haggis in it but the entertainment was funny and the location was lovely.
Whilst not personally participating in Loony Dook, I did go to watch and take pictures. It was hard to see things but I guess the town isn't really built to accommodate that many people trying to swim in the freezing water with thousands of spectators on one tiny beach trying to watch the crazy one's swim. It was a fun atmosphere and I am glad I went.
All in all, this was a nice finish to our European holiday and you haven't really done New Years until you have been to a street party with 100,000 other people trying to get the best location to watch fireworks, sing auld lang syne and try to get an alcoholic beverage from a street vendor.
Should be on the to do list for any traveller :)
Review written Jun 2013event 0.3