A guide to the best winter events 2014

A guide to the best winter events 2014

Edinburgh's Christmas

Including Glasgow Loves Christmas, Scotland Street Santa School and Glasgow Comic and Toy Fair

After an ever more successful return year on year, Edinburgh’s Christmas (various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 21 Nov–Sun 4 Jan) is now bigger than ever, with fairs, markets, ice rinks, and theatre shows focused on St Andrew Square and the surrounding area. Something similar – although not on quite as large a scale – will be happening in Glasgow too, with Glasgow Loves Christmas. Highlights include a switch-on of the Christmas Lights (Sun 16 Nov), skating at Glasgow on Ice (Thu 27 Nov--Wed 31 Dec) and the annual Santa Dash (Sun 7 Dec). The capital will be having its own Christmas light event with Edinburgh’s Christmas Light Night (George Street, Edinburgh, Sun 23 Nov).

For something a bit more out of the ordinary, head along to the seasonal edition of the Glasgow Comic and Toy Fair (Renfield St Stephen’s Church, Glasgow, Sat 6 Dec) for more than 30 tables of sellers and a chance to meet Super Santa, or A Royal Christmas (Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Sat 6 Dec–Tue 6 Jan) for a taste of how Christmas was presented by the royals in the 1930s.

Wassailing and Carolling (Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, Sat 6 Dec) will combine historical education with song, while Scotland Street Santa School (Scotland Street School Museum, Glasgow, Sat 6--Sun 21 Dec, Sat & Sun only) invites kids to learn St Nick’s skills in case of a Christmas emergency. Edinburgh will host a Christmas Run, Walk and Toddle (Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, Sun 7 Dec) and a bunch of fairs in both cities will include the large-scale Country Living Christmas Fair (SECC, Glasgow, Thu 20–Sun 23 Nov).

Edinburgh's Christmas Light Night

The capital's Christmas lights are switched on in unison, kicking off the official opening of all Edinburgh's Christmas attractions. There's live entertainment courtesy of choirs and dance groups from Edinburgh, including Little Voices Big Stars, Edinburgh Rock Choir and Edinburgh Ballet. Hosted by Fortth One JD Arlene…

Edinburgh's Christmas

Six weeks of winter wonderland, with Edinburgh transformed by a fairground, a host of colourful lights and the fabled European Christmas market with dozens of stalls selling traditional trinkets and crafts as well as delicious Teutonic treats (and, of course, glühwein).

Glasgow on Ice

A chance to perfect your pirouettes (or at least let go of the side) as George Square's open air ice rink returns for another year. There are funfair rides (including the return of the Big Wheel), warm drinks served in the double deck bar and free kids entertainment every weekend with Santa Storytelling, art workshops and…

The Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair

The fair returns bringing with it over 300 exhibitors showcasing the finest in crafts, garden and home accessories, jewellery, clothing and homemade food and drink. Demonstrations and tasting sessions also take place each day.

Glasgow Santa Dash

A five kilometre fun run dressed as jolly old Saint Nic. As well as working off some of those festive mince pies the race raises funds for worthy causes such as Beaston Cancer Charity.

Glasgow Loves Christmas

Festive celebrations in Glasgow city centre. Watch the centre be lit up at Glasgow Christmas Lights switch-on, race 5k dressed as Mr Claus at the Santa Dash, watch the parade at the Style Mile Carnival and enjoy not one but two festive markets.

Glasgow Comic and Toy Fair

More than 30 tables selling comics, graphic novels, back issues, games, DVDs, trading cards, indie and small press creators, Anime and table top gaming. There's also free activity sheets, face painting and the chance to meet Super Santa.


Learn about wassailing – the tradition of singing and drinking the health of apples hoping they'll be just as healthy next year. Plus, some traditional carols to round things off.

A Royal Christmas

The State Apartments in the Palace are given seasonal decorations, with the table in the Royal Dining Room laid with a silver service that was presented to George V and Queen Mary in 1935 to mark their Silver Jubilee.

Edinburgh Christmas Run

Raise funds for a range of worthy charities with this festive 5km or 10km run around Inverleith Park. Times and positions are recorded, plus there are first, second and third place prizes and a medal/goody bag combo for all runners.

Scotland Street Santa School

Learn some crucial Santa skills, just in case there's a Christmas emergency. Make your own Santa beard, learn how to shake your belly like a bowl of jelly, learn how to control a sleigh and make some yummy reindeer food for Rudolph and the gang. All participants get a certificate. Please note Santa is too busy in the…