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Christmas sculpture in St Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh

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View of St Andrew’s Square from the Fourth Floor restaurant at Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh

We’ve been loving all the Christmassy events and markets over these last few weeks.  Now that Christmas is nearly upon us, we thought we’d share a few of our highlights.

 A real Christmas treat if you live in Newcastle is a day trip up to Edinburgh for some Christmas shopping and just generally soaking up the atmosphere of our favourite capital city as it goes festive.  We always try to think ahead and snap up some ridiculously cheap first-class train tickets as soon as they’re released, then before we know it, we’re on our way! It’s a great day out – there’s nothing like emerging from Waverley station into the chill air and hearing the sound of bagpipes from the kilted man at the top of the ramp – you definitely know you’ve arrived in Scotland!

 This year a few of us went on our annual outing and splashed out on lunch at Harvey Nichols – their fourth-floor restaurant has a fabulous panoramic window that on one side takes in Edinburgh Castle up on the hill, then it scans right round to the Firth of Forth on the other side.  It’s a spectacular skyline at any time, but at this time of year as the light fades and darkness falls, the sight of the Christmas lights coming on is enchanting.  It helps that Edinburgh has all sorts of interesting architectural outlines which form a romantic backdrop.

 After an amazing lunch and a wander round the deli shop full of too tempting Christmas goodies, (we did look at the clothes as well but they’re a bit on the pricey side, we prefer Lily Ella!) it was back outside to look at Harvey Nichols’ lively lemon and lime themed Christmas windows. 

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One of Harvey Nichols’ Christmas windows

Then to the ice skating in St Andrew’s Square, where we spotted this witty tree which was outside the temporary police cabin. 

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Spot the ribbon on the Police tree…

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Skating fun on the circular rink

Then down George Street where some of our favourite stores are.  We didn’t get too far with the Christmas shopping though as The Dome was looking so amazing, we found ourselves drawn inside for a festive cocktail to follow our lunch!

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The Dome on the outside

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And The Dome on the inside…

Our lazy day’s shopping was topped off with a walk back along the Christmas market which really comes alive at night, so much bustle and a wealth of stalls.

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One of the festive stalls on the Christmas market

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part of the Christmas market

We love Edinburgh, it’s a compact, very walkable city with an atmosphere all its own, it makes the perfect day trip from Newcastle.


Back on home turf, there are so many Christmassy themed events, which is especially great for people with young families.  As a complete contrast to the Edinburgh Christmas market, we enjoyed a low-key woodland setting for the Christmas market at Northumberlandia.  We wish we’d wrapped up in a few more Lily Ella layers – it was truly freezing!

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Northumberlandia is a rather unusual female landform sculpture which is a quarter of a mile long and was created within the last 10 years.  It’s become a popular free attraction and last week the lake surrounding it was totally frozen over.  It’s just north of Newcastle.

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The ‘face’ of Northumberlandia next to the frozen lake, with people walking up the track.

Back in town, Newcastle quayside is looking festive and prettily illuminated.  Geordies revellers are famous for their hardiness, and even in the current plummeting temperatures there are outdoor bars along the river, heated by brightly burning logs in braziers and yes, men in T shirts and girls wearing not much at all!


Wherever you are this Christmas, we hope you will have a happy and peaceful time. Here is our little mascot Freya sending her best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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