The joy of Christmas is fast approaching! It’s a wonderful time of year as we begin the seasonal celebrations, and embrace the festive spirit in our local town of Dalkeith, as well as Edinburgh.
With so many wonderful Christmas events and activities taking place it can be hard choosing the right one for you and your family. The illuminated cobbled streets of Edinburgh come alive with Christmas magic, and the historic town of Dalkeith is a hub of heartwarming celebrations.
We’ve put together our recommendations of the best events and local markets, including where to savour a delicious cup of mulled wine and sample some decadent festive food, all the while enjoying beloved holiday traditions. Let’s unwrap the Christmas joy….
What is there to do in Dalkeith for Christmas?
One of our favourite places to pass the time of day is Dalkeith Country Park, and during the entire month of December, it’s transformed into a winter wonderland.
The programme of festive events is jam-packed for kids of all ages, big and small. For the little believers, there are kids’ workshops happening in Santa’s workshop (of course!), and for the big kids, there’s a super selection of seasonal activities. Try your hand at making a Christmas wreath, candle pouring or creating your own perfume. Could be next year’s presents sorted!
In the heart of Dalkeith Country Park is the Restoration Yard, and it’s the perfect retreat for nourishment, refreshment and retail therapy.
The ‘store’ is filled with handpicked collections of fashion and beauty treats, as well as homewares and not forgetting the food hall – a gourmand’s heaven, complete with cheese counter, olive bar and bespoke chocolatier. If you’re looking for gift inspiration, you’re bound to find something here.
What is there to do in Edinburgh during Christmas?
Edinburgh is a vibrant city year-round, but during the holiday season, there’s a shift in its magic. The historic cobbled streets light up, illuminating the city centre in a warm soft glow. Christmas trees stand tall and the sweet scent of gingerbread and roasted chestnuts fills the air.
The city hosts an exciting programme of events and activities, one of the biggest highlights is the Edinburgh Christmas markets, taking place from late November through early January. This is your pass into a world of yuletide joy, not only is it great for gift ideas but you won’t be stuck for choice when it’s time for a delicious serving of mulled wine or a decadent sweet treat.
If you’re visiting with children there’s a great variety of fun stuff to do. For those with a head for heights jump aboard the Big Wheel, worth it just for the views. The Kids Christmas Zone is home to fairground rides, perfect for thrill seekers. Santa Land in St Andrew’s Square is where the little ones and ‘believers’ get to meet their Christmas hero and his team of elves, and if ice skating is your festive sport of choice head to the enclosed Ice rink on George Street. There’s hot chocolate and treats to keep cosy and energised!
Admission to the Christmas market is free.
Edinburgh Castle of Light 2023
Edinburgh Castle, always a grand sight, transforms into a technicolour fortress during the holidays. It’s history in a whole new light – literally!
Expect an historical adventure unlike any other. With audio-visual wonders, dazzling light displays, and playful projections, narrated by the infamous red lion Rex the Castle’s hidden treasures are revealed. It’s a must-see for the whole family.
Christmas at the Botanics 2023
If you’re looking for an activity away from the city’s hustle and bustle, Christmas at the Botanics is for you. The Royal Botanic Garden turns into a winter paradise, a peaceful and serene escape.
As you stroll, follow a mile-long path adorned with over a million twinkling lights. The Glasshouses shine with vibrant festive hues and keep an eye out for the larger-than-life incandescent flowers and glowing tree sculptures. You may just see Santa and his merry elves make a magical appearance too! Perfect for the kids of all ages.
A Christmas stay at The Old Millhouse is a special moment in time, guaranteed to be remembered for years to come. It’s that feeling of ‘being home’ from the moment you step inside your favourite tipple is already poured, the house is filled with the aroma of freshly baked treats, and outside the private gardens twinkle under the stars and pretty lights.
‘Tis the season for choices. Stay indoors and snuggle up by the fire, sipping cocoa while enjoying the cosy comforts. Or don the woolly hats and scarves, embrace the chilly outdoors, and go exploring, maybe even in the snow. The holiday spirit is yours to enjoy!
Join us for an exquisite Christmas stay with all the luxury trimmings at The Old Millhouse
We found the property online. We travelled with 4 adults and 2 children. The house was modern and spacious. The grounds were amazing and plenty of room for large parties to spread out. The highlight of the property is Sally who owns and manages the property. She was our concierge for the week and can arrange golf, private chefs and transportation. We highly recommend and will be back.
6/4/2023 at 8:29 PM
Such a lovely home in a beautiful location. Picture perfect and minutes from Edinburgh!
Our family had an amazing stay at the The Old Millhouse. A stunning property located just minutes from Edinburgh and decorated to perfection. Our host Sally could not have been more accommodating and accessible for us. She graciously arranged for provisions prior to our arrival and made our life so easy. There are not enough Thank You’s for the opportunity to stay in such a lovely, peaceful property during the Christmas holidays. We hope to make it an annual trip!
1/1/2023 at 6:03 PM
Do Yourself a Favor and Stay Here!
The house and property are stunning. It is it’s own oasis which I cannot recommend more! Johanne was helpful and responsive in the booking process and checking in was as easy as it comes. If you stay, use Wilbur’s services! He was funny and sweet, and made getting around effortless. So happy to have found this listing on vrbo!
11/13/2022 at 5:00 AM
Thank you so much for your warm and generous hospitality when we visited two weeks ago. We fell in love with your beautiful home at The Old Mill house and the timing of our trip was perfect in so many ways.
We have admiration for ll that your have achieved and for the exquisite deatil you have applied, not only in the restoration, but also in the interior design and d ecor throughout. Your beautiful personality and warm hospitality make this the perfect enterprise. Our little Scottish respite was just the oasis we needed. Thank you. There’s no doubt that we ll be back to visit you again sometime, hopefully with our family so that we can introduce you to them.
Our grateful Thanks Stella & Jess E 28 June 2023
Stayed almost 3 weeks & still didn’t want to leave. A house that feels like a home. We loved it & will be seeing you soon.
Allen & Chris C April 2023
Fabulous weekend break for The family . A beautiful place to stay &we were so lucky with the fantastic weather. Thank you sally xx C& A families June 2023
Superior stay at The Old Mill house! Our family came from Florida so our teenage son could participate in a Junior World Golf Event. The grounds at the home are amazing ! Our 9 year old son enjoyed gathering the eggs and the entire family appreciated the quiet surroundings. Sally is the most welcoming hostess and was a joy to get to know during our stay. We look forward to coming back in the future.
Brian W. June 2023
The bottle of Champagne is a small token of our appreciation for the incredible hospitality and exceptional efforts you put forth to ensure that our vacation stay was nothing short of extraordinary.
From the moment we arrived at the house, we were welcomed with open arms and made to feel like cherished guests. Your genuine enthusiasm set the tone for a truly memorable stay. You went above and beyond to make every aspect of our vaction wonderful. Your attention to detail and thoughtfulness were evident in every interaction we had with you.
Moreover your insightful suggestions for activities, coordination and unexpected willingness to provide transport demonstrated a level of care that surpasses our expectations that made our experience truly special.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your outstanding hospitality. We look forward to the opportunity to return in the future !
Todd,Scott, Kristi, Greg, Barbara Lynn. June 2023
2019 & 2022
The Old Millhouse
40 Newmills Road
Dalkeith EH22 2AQ
0782 477 3060
2019 & 2022
The Old Millhouse
40 Newmills Road
Dalkeith EH22 2AQ