This article has been written with the support of Raymond Gubbay.

Dazzling light displays and festive cheer are promised as Christmas at the Botanics returns

Dazzling light displays and festive cheer are promised as Christmas at the Botanics returns

'We can't wait for visitors to see what we have in store for them this year'

Promising to cast a magical spell over what could be an otherwise challenging festive period, Christmas at the Botanics returns for its fourth year and what will be its longest run yet, as it celebrates the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's 350th anniversary.

Delivering dazzling, after-dark illuminations across a beautiful botanical trail, backed by a soundtrack of festive favourites, the Botanics are proud to be welcoming guests back in style after a tough year. This year's event is set to spread much-needed cheer across 32 nights, running on selected evenings between 26 Nov 2020–3 Jan 2021.

With health and safety a top priority, visitors can book with confidence knowing that the trail has been carefully designed to be Covid-secure. Amongst other measures, there are restrictions on the number of bookings, the route has been revised to reduce the need to queue and to manage visitor flow, and there will be hand sanitisation stations in place. The situation will be monitored and responded to should things evolve.

Although alterations have been made to protect and reassure guests, this year's mile-long route could be its most sensational yet. It takes in popular installations – including the Cathedral of Light and Laser Garden, and a festive finale projected onto Inverleith House – with brand new attractions, like a projected light show across the Front Range Glasshouses, and a large-scale installation of twinkling LED stars by audio-visual designers Art AV, dubbed Starfield.

And it's not just about bringing a whole lot of light into your lives, attendees will also be helping to fund vital plant research and conservation, and supporting a beloved institution during an extremely difficult time. As Simon Milne MBE, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh points out, 'The work of the Botanics has never been more important globally in protecting the environment, human lives and economies.'

With other options limited, this centrepiece of Edinburgh's festive calendar is sure to form an even more essential part of the city's Christmas experience this year and will certainly be adding some sparkle to those winter nights, with Santa Claus himself due to make an appearance. Giving visitors the opportunity to walk amongst tree canopies bathed in colour whilst warming themselves with a mulled wine or hot chocolate, for those looking for a safe and spectacular way to spend their time this festive season, Christmas at the Botanics sounds absolutely ideal.

Tickets for this year's show are on sale now and available to book online only. For further ticket information, pricing and timings, please visit


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Christmas at the Botanics

A one mile illuminated trail that winds its way through the garden. Wander beneath the tree canopies bathed in seasonal colour, enjoy the sounds of the Choir of the Trees and keep an eye out for Santa and his elves. There's spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm you up.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Thu 25 Nov

£20 (Children £14) / 0131 248 2909

Fri 26 Nov

£20 (Children £14) / 0131 248 2909

Sat 27 Nov

£20 (Children £14) / 0131 248 2909

…and 29 more dates until 2 Jan 2022

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