A guide to Scotland’s Hogmanay ceilidhs

The Royal Edinburgh Tattoo Highland Ceilidh Dancers. Picture: Jane Barlow

The Royal Edinburgh Tattoo Highland Ceilidh Dancers. Picture: Jane Barlow

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IF you’re spending New Year in Scotland, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking for the best places for a ‘guid knees-up’ before the bells.

Luckily, it’s hard to move for ceilidhs across Scotland on December 31st. Naturally the majority are in Glasgow or Edinburgh, but that’s not to say there aren’t a number of events up and down the country over the New Year period.

Traditionally, ceilidhs start three to four hours before the bells at midnight, carrying on until 1am or 2am when folk begin to head home for a few hours sleep before carrying on the New Year festivities the following morning.

Here, we’ve selected just a few of the larger ceilidhs taking place across Scotland at New Year.

GLASGOW

Glasgow’s Hogmanay Ceilidh in St Andrews in the Square kicks off at 7pm on New Year’s Eve, lasting until 1am on New Year’s Day. With music provided by The Ardoch Ceilidh Band and a piper, you can bring in the bells with a dram and haggis.

7pm – 1am, St Andrews in the Square

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The Merchant Square Hogmanay Party includes a ceilidh with legendary contemporary/Celtic fusion band Callanish on hand to add a touch of Scottish tradition to the night’s entertainment. The band, formed in 1992, will also see out the night following the bells.

7pm – 1am, Merchant Square

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Or if that’s not your thing, you can welcome the new year at the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor, who are putting on their own Hogmanay Ceilidh Ball. With champers and canapés provided from 7pm in the Terrace Lounge, dinner is served in the ballroom at 8pm, followed by a variety of entertainment including a New Year ceilidh, with music from The Jiggers, as well as a piper and DJ.

7pm – 2am, Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor

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The Cottiers Theatre Hogmanay party gets going at 5.45pm but the ceilidh doesn’t kick off until 9pm, with Scottish pies served at 11pm, before bringing in the bells with more dancing at midnight.

9pm – 1am, Cottiers Theatre

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If you’re looking for a child-friendly Hogmanay bash, then the Highland Piping Centre in Glasgow is the place to go. Their ‘Wee Hogmanay Party’ at 6pm on December 29th is aimed at children and families, with ‘kiddy cocktails’, party food, ice cream and a special bells celebration.

Or for those of more advanced years, the Highland Piping Centre is providing a Hogmanay ceilidh on December 31st – tartan trews essential.

Click here for more info or visit the Highland Piping Centre’s website here.

Alternatively, The Ferry are throwing their own Hogmanay Ceilidh, with music from The Gary Blair Ceilidh Band.

9pm – 1am, The Ferry

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EDINBURGH

The Keilidh at the Street Party in Edinburgh is the UK’s largest outdoor New Year ceilidh and is for everyone, from seasoned ceilidh dancers to curious tourists, with a professional ceilidh caller helping the newcomers. With a food village, bar and huge outdoor dance floor, this event will also offer rather spectacular views of the fireworks to bring in the New Year.

9pm – 1am, Mound Precinct

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The Assembly Rooms are hosting their own Hogmanay bash, with a ceilidh as part of the event. Aberdeen-based Ceilidh Stomp will be leading the music, with festivities coming to an end at 1am.

9.30pm – 1am, The Assembly Rooms

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The capital’s self-styled ‘best indoor party’, Hoot Live is held at Edinburgh Corn Exchange, with room for over 1000 people to attend.

The Scott Leslie Ceilidh Band are on hand to provide the music, with the added bonus of live pipes and drums later on in the evening.

Times TBC Click here for more info

ABERDEEN

Those in the Granite city looking for a ceilidh may want to make their way to Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom for the Hogmany Ceilidh, where local group Clachan Yell will be helping loons and quines bring in the new year. And if that’s not enough, the Bucksburn Mini Pipe Band, a piper, bubbly and stovies will be available.

7.30pm – 1am, Aberdeen Beach Ballroom

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STIRLING

Scots singer Moira Kerr will host the ceilidh festivities at Stirling’s Albert Halls this Hogmanay, with dinner, dancing, entertainment and a full bar all included.

7.30pm – 1am, Stirling Albert Halls

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PITLOCHRY

The Perthshire town’s New Year ceilidh actually takes place on January 1st and not Hogmanay, but it’s still worth mentioning as it draws a number of people to Pitlochry.

Starting with the Vale of Atholl pipe band at 1pm, the ceilidh lasts for three hours, compered by Eddie Rose with music provided by Jack Delaney’s ceilidh band.

Plus there’s a hog roast available from 12-4pm – the perfect pick-me-up after a good couple of hours of dancing.

1pm-4pm, Atholl Road

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INVERNESS

The Highland capital’s Hootananny event sees one of the country’s only instances of a ceilidh spread over two floors. Traditional Scots tunes from The Scone Fairies on the ground floor and the Big Fat Electric Ceilidh offering an alternative, electric/trad fusion the floor above.

8pm – late, Hootananny, Church Street

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