A guide to Scotland’s major Christmas markets

Edinburgh's Christmas is set over several main locations scattered on or around Princes Street. Picture: Edinburgh's Christmas

Edinburgh's Christmas is set over several main locations scattered on or around Princes Street. Picture: Edinburgh's Christmas

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With only nine days left until Christmas, get yourself in the festive mood by visiting one of these festive markets

ABERDEEN

Following the lead of Scotland’s two biggest cities, Aberdeen has added its first-ever Christmas market to its existing Winter Festival attractions including. The Christmas Village runs from 26 November until 3 January on the city’s Union Terrace.

As well as the Christmas market staple of an ice-rink, visitors can browse and buy traditional gifts from the German Market such as wooden toys. Hot drinks and festive snacks can be purchased on-site, while an entertainment marquee hosts live comedy and music events.

The biggest attractions are likely those offered by local amusement park Codona’s. The Bomber offers customers the chance to be swung 50 metres into the air at speeds of up to 90mph, while those looking for a more sedate experience can take a seat on the spinning Cups and Saucers attraction.

Free entry with attractions priced individually, Aberdeen’s Christmas Market is open daily from 11am-10pm weekdays and 10am-10pm weekends (opening times per attraction vary). www.aberdeenchristmas.co.uk

Skaters enjoy the rink in Glasgow's George Square. Picture: Glasgow Loves Christmas

Skaters enjoy the rink in Glasgow's George Square. Picture: Glasgow Loves Christmas

EDINBURGH

One of the capital’s biggest festivals after the yearly Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh’s Christmas is to many the defining festive event in Scotland. Alongside over 20 year-old favourites such as the Christmas Market, the capital’s Christmas celebration over several city-centre locations includes the 60-metre high Star Flyer in St Andrew’s Square to offer great, if chilly, views over the city.

The whole event runs from 20 November until 4 January, giving kids plenty of time to visit the Grotto in Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens to ask for their Christmas gifts. The Princes Street and oval ice rink make their return, allowing skaters to circle round the Melville Monument, while the Spiegeltent offers a variety of festive shows including cabaret and comedy.

Attractions include a Helter Skelter, Ice Wall, rollercoaster and a Christmas Tree Maze, with the Royal Mile hosting the Virgin Money Street of Light - made up of 60,000 illuminated bulbs.

Christmas markets are on offer across all three of the country's biggest Christmas festivals. Image: Norman Adams

Christmas markets are on offer across all three of the country's biggest Christmas festivals. Image: Norman Adams

Free entry with attractions priced individually, Edinburgh’s Christmas is open daily from 10am-10pm (with specific opening times for each attraction). http://www.edinburghschristmas.com/

GLASGOW

Despite poor weather resulting in the cancellation of the Christmas lights switch-on earlier this year, the six weeks of festive fun for the city between 15 November and 31 December is now well underway.

As well as the expected catering stalls, shoppers can experience the Christmas market which returns to St Enoch Square and has artisan traders from Europe, Ecuador and Russia. Skaters can twirl around George Square while spectators can stay warm in the nearby Winter Lodge offering live music on Thursday to Sunday nights.

The Bomber is already proving a popular attraction at Aberdeen's Christmas Market. Image: Norman Adams

The Bomber is already proving a popular attraction at Aberdeen's Christmas Market. Image: Norman Adams

Shoppers looking to get the last of their gift-hunting completed can do so from the hundreds of independent boutiques or department stores on the Style Mile around Buchanan Street, Argyle St and Merchant City. Those with a loftier budget can also visit the Argyll Arcade to find watch or jewellery from any one of 30 upmarket jewellers.

Free entry with attractions priced individually, Glasgow Loves Christmas is open daily from 10am-with each attraction operating their own opening hours. www.glasgowloveschristmas.com

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