Walking along Princes Street yesterday I saw signs that its nearly time for the annual Winter Wonderland in Edinburgh.
This is a wonderful festival to bring some light to a city that can be incredibly dark and cold in winter.
Every year the Winter Wonderland commences with a firework display which always attracts huge crowds to Princes Street gardens.
The festival always has a Big Wheel, Chair-o-Planes and Helter Skelter, along with smaller rides for smaller children and an ice rink for the hardier, and fitter, amongst us!
The Big Wheel offers some amazing views over the city centre and is something you should try both in daylight and at night, when you can enjoy the wonderful Christmas lights.
There is also a German Market, selling some wonderful confectionary, ornaments and gifts for Christmas along with, of course, some mulled wine.
You pay per ride for the attractions at the Winter Wonderland and it can get very busy at peak periods, but its something I visit with my daughter every year.
To get touched with some magic in winter, you cannot miss it!
Big wheel, ice rink, plethora of stalls selling all things Christmas & liquid Christmas cheer. What's not to love about the Winter Wonderland. Yes, it's mobbed but surely that's the point.
There is a fair bit of repetition amongst the stalls but it's laid out better this year compared to last. I like the fact that the ice-rink is st the top & I much prefer the new style big wheel (pods to shelter in rather than being open to the elements).
A great way to while away a few hours with friends on a wintry afternoon.
Maybe it's because I'm getting older but I loved the Winter Wonderland this year. With the addition of the Speigal tent it was a great addition to Edinburgh's Christmas celebrations.
Here's to Christmas '09!
The winter wonderland opened this weekend - woo hoo!
Visiting the WWL is the start of christmas. We always wait until we get a nice cold crisp evening and get our hats and coats and gloves on to really enjoy the experience.
there is a lovely Christmas market, ice rink, big wheel and a lovely food market. We always start here and get a big mug of mulled wine and a plate of something warm and filling. Then we have a wander round all the attractions.
Defo great way to start christmas :-)
So much to see and do in Edinburgh Princes St Gardens this past festive season. I had a ball.
Fun factor no.1 REINDEER
The real live Reindeer (would make my reindeer-obsessed auntie bawl her eyes oot!). I have never been in the presence of a real Reindeer before and I was extremely excited to see these lovely little furry antlered beautiful beasts. I've always had an idea in my head they weren't or shouldn't be real (being attached to such a mystical figure an 'all) - and yet every time I am reminded they are Im filled the ole forgotten feeling of being young and believing it ALL......a lovely wee bit of magic. They looked quite unphased and relaxed to be plonked in the centre of Edinburgh too which made them all the more pleasing to see.
Fun Factor no.2 ICE SKATING
As it has been years I thought I would spend most of the time on my rear but no it was all kosha. The stewards were very satefy conscious yet un-obstructive and the background dated techno tunes made for a bit of a cheesetastic time. The outdoor rink looked lovely lit-up at night from the road above too.
Fun Factor No.3 SANTA EXPRESS
Although this trip of a lifetime is clearly meant for kids, myself and the boyf hopped into the front seat no less. It was awesome and a lovely a wee trip around the gardens, picking up and dropping, off, tooting and waving. The christmas tunes were pumping and those kids were loving it - Santa was too, I've never seen such a happy Santa! Oh bless...
Fun Factor no.4 MARKET
I don't need to say much about this other than the clobber on offer was lovely and a tad on the pricey side. The food was tasty and the hot drinks (alco and non) filled a need to get a wee bit cosy on the cold windy days!
Fun Factor No. 5 AMUSEMENTS
Although a bit disappointed to have not experienced the big wheel - which Im sure would have been awesome, we did go on the huge fairground swings. What a mixed bag of delight and sheer terror. You feel like yer wee flippers are gonna get ripped from the ankles right in front of your eyes when you see how close they get to stationary objects on the ground and in the sky. AMAZING!!!!
All in all a brilliant time (and I haven't even covered everything!), I wasn't feeling to christmassy before I went but it sorted me right out!! Go in 2008, you won't regret it!
I love Edinburgh at Christmas and this is one of the reasons why. It's always freezing outside but no one cares here as they're filled up on hot chocolate or mulled wine from the German Market and are making the most of the rides. Has to be enjoyed at some point if you're up here!
2007 marks the tenth anniversary of this hugely popular winter festival. Hosted in the east-side of Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens, it offers a beautiful outdoor ice-skating rink, a host of stalls offering everything from hand-crafted Christmas decorations to hot mince pies and German mulled wine, and various rides guaranteed to thrill children and parents alike.
This year will mark the debut of an under-7's skating arena, where double-edged skates can be hired, making skating much easier.
One of the main attractions, of course, is the big wheel. This revolves fairly quickly so the queues are never arduous. It is well worth the wait, as the canopies lift you towards the summit of the adjacent Scott Monument. There can be a few breathtaking moments near the top as stationary canopies shoogle in the breeze while further passengers are loaded hundreds of feet below. But once the wheel begins rotating you are in for unparalleled views of the wonderland below, and the city's festive lights in general. Ahead of you the galleries at the foot of the Mound and the Castle beyond are floodlit and resplendent. Take your kids to the mini rollercoaster on the lower slopes of the gardens. Older kids and adults will appreciate the 'whirligig' roundabout which sends you on dizzying revolutions, with the optical allusion that you are about to crash into the traffic and Scott Monument columns
The wonderland is having a spectacular opening gala on Thursday 22 November 2007, starting at 5pm. This will include amazing ice dancing from some of the country's finest talents.
get in the Christmas spirit and head for Prices Street Gardens in December to experience winter wonderland.
Shows,German market,food stalls, reindeer,santa iceskating +++
The Winter Wonderland is a fabulous winter attraction here in Edinburgh and is not to be missed, even if you're just people-watching, which is something I love to do! Fairy lights strung out across the trees of Princes Street Gardens, they turn the east end of the gardens into an open-air ice rink and the atmosphere, especially at night, is incredible. There is a Fairground ride set up, and Santa and his reindeer usually grace the opposite end of the gardens. The annual German Market is irresistible for Christmas shopping for me, I love it because there are always such lovely unsual gifts to be had here and stall holders all seem to be lovely people!
Personly my favourite year round event. I love to go here but it is very expensive. My favourite attractions are the helter-skelter and the ice rink. There are also things like duck-shooting, prize winning games and all other sorts of shops and stalls. Great for a day out with children or with some friends!
Winter Wonderland at Christmas is great. It makes the place feel so festive with all the lights, german markets, ice rink, and the shows. Its a cheery place to be, and everybody is always in the festive spirit. This starts at the end of November and continues for a month.
This is a nice winter wonderland right in the heart of the city centre. There is a German Christmas market, ice skating rink, and fun fair rides. The big spectacular is a massive ferris wheel.
There is a big opening event which has Santa coming down in the ferris whee, much to the delight of the children, and there are dancers and singers performing on the ice rink.
The stalls are little wooden huts which sell traditional German Christmas things, and it is all wonderful. Wooden toys, glass candle holders, Christmas decorations and home knitted hats. You can even buy German steak sandwiches and mulled wine.
It is all lovely and really Christmassy, the only problem it is so busy that it is hard to maneuver around in there to even get a look at all the stalls. It is also quite expensive and I can never seem to afford much when I go there.
It is definitely worth a look, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go here if I wasn't staying in Edinburgh already, it gets so busy that its hard to get a look at everything!
Good fun for young and old alike. The fair is a bit pricey ( the ice-rink is extortionate!) but hey, it's only once a year.
If you go along at night-time make sure you wrap up well ... especially if you fancy a trip on the Big Wheel.
Highly recommend the mulled wine to warm you up.
it really is amazing.very busy but all the lights and so much going on is amazing.it can get a bit pricey but its all worth it.very child friendly too and lovely little and big things in the german market.
I love love love the Winter Wonderland! It's so festive and pretty with the lights on. There's an outdoor ice rink and this year they're having a kiddies ice rink too and a huge snow slide for sledging down. You can warm up with mulled wine and browse the stalls selling crafts, jewellery, knitwear, cheese, mince pies - all sorts! The German Market is nearby on the Mound and sells lots of yummy treats. There's also the ferris wheel next to the Scott Monument which is quite scary, you feel even more high up when you look down into Princes Street Gardens! The Winter Wonderland just lights up the centre of town and is wonderful couldnt be more Christmassy!
Winter wonderland is the wonderland which comes every year to Edinburgh city centre in Princes Street Garden. When you see this appearing you know that Christmas is coming. The wonderland consists of a German Christmas market which has lots of little wooden sheds selling traditional German gifts, jewellery, Christmas decorations and mulled wine. There is a big outdoor ice skating rink which is always really popular. There are also various fun fair rides with the main attraction being a big ferris wheel. I have never been brave enough to go on the Ferris Wheel although I am sure it would give great views across Edinburgh.
it'l soon be apon us again, this is an amazingly tasteful event. there is lots for all ages, genders to do. whether it be dashing around the ice rink which can be pricey at peak times but well worth it or sipping coco listening to some fantastic stories about christmas. if none of this is your kind of thing perhaps the german market with its many trinkets will catch your eye, or if ur a little more adventurous then the big wheel is the place for you. This event is all its cracked upto be bringing a true sense of christmas to edinburgh. my family and i have a fantastic time when we do go, doing our best to try everything (well i avoid the wheel coz am a scardey pants). can be expensive depending where you buy things and what you want to buy, my advice look around before spending. This will bring a smile to anyones face
Edinburgh is the perfect christmas city! Every decemeber the princes st gardens gets a holiday makeover. It's such a wonderful place to shop (German Market) or do some activities (ice skate).
a wonderful night in the centre of edinburgh. Remember two things though, your winter woolies and your wallet, it is expensive but worth every penny.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.