Christmas is fast approaching, faster than most of us would like! If, like me, you are not quite prepared, live almost in the middle of nowhere and rely on online shopping to sort it all out for you, maybe its time for a change. This year I decided to take a trip to one of the bigger Scottish cities to help get me in the spirit.
Edinburgh has been host to a European Christmas market for some years now. This years runs from November right until the 5th of January. I thought it would be great to go the market, get in the mood for Christmas and do some shopping all at the same time. Run by Underbelly (a UK live entertainment company) the Edinburgh Christmas experience has a lot to offer both grown ups and families. From the Big Wheel to ice-skating and a ride called the Star Flyer, there really is something for everyone.
With Gluhwein, an array of merchandise to peruse and buy, and a santa train for the kids, the market makes for a really fun day out. This year Underbelly have extended the market to St Andrews Square, where you will find a market aimed at children. There is craft making and a gingerbread decorating workshop. I have to say though, and maybe its because I was child free this visit, that the kids market seemed a little underwhelming. But I am sure had my kids been there, they would have enjoyed it. Things can be expensive though, so be (financially) prepared.
Then of course, there is the shopping that Edinburgh offers, which ranges from the regular chain stores to independent and niche shops for those looking for something a little more individual. I had a great time wandering around with a friend, looking at things, having the odd cheeky glass of mulled wine, a slice of cake and some lunch. Our day flew by pretty quickly, but we clocked up the miles walking about seeing everything.
I travelled to (and from) Edinburgh by train. East coast rail to be exact! They have very recently featured in a program on Sky, and I thought looked fun. So my friend and I travelled first class, making the most of our child free day out. The service was impeccable. We were offered drinks and breakfast within minutes of setting off. And on the way back we were offered a range of sandwiches, cakes and wine. It made the perfect end to our day. Sometimes train staff can be a little tired and maybe even grumpy towards the end of the day (and maybe quite rightly after dealing with the public all day), but the staff on East Coast were brilliant. Jovial, up for a bit of banter and just more than happy to help.
So as a nod to Scotland, and what it has to offer the Christmas shopper, I wrote this little snippet of Edinburgh. East Coast run from London to Aberdeen, so really, where-ever you are, why not come up, or down, and have a wee wander around town and get festive.