Updated: Nov 17
As the nights draw in, it feels magical with candles flickering and fairy lights decorating windows. Did you know many of the lights you now see in windows across Scandinavia, Pennsylvania and Ireland have come from traditions, such as lighting the way home for seafarers, lighting the way to church or visiting neighbours? Today you can enjoy enchanted evenings across Scotland including forests, historic buildings, landmark gardens and more. Here are some you might like to visit.
Enchanting Autumn & Winter Illuminations In Scotland
One of my favourites has to be the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry. This year celebrating their 22nd anniversary. The dates have already been released for next year! Tickets are now on sale. It will take place between the 3rd October - 3rd November 2024. Are you as excited as I am? With over 650,000 visitors in the past two decades enjoying this magical event, be sure to get in there quickly for your tickets.
Edinburgh Zoo's Chrismas Nights At The Winter Village
Make your evenings merry and bright this festive season with a magical journey through Edinburgh Zoo! Meet Mr & Mrs Claus at the Festive Grotto, go ice skating at The Rockhopper Rink, Support locals at the Christmas market and get crafty with a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop. Open 1st December until 7th January,
Find out more and secure your tickets at: https://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/events/christmas-market/
Wondrous Woods at Gosford House
Set within the beautiful mystical hidden gardens of the unrivalled Gosford House, near Edinburgh, come and join us for a magical evening out and enjoy your journey through the stunning creative lighting and installations that create the winding wonderful pathways of Wondrous Woods event. Open now until 19th November.
Castle of Light: Magic & Mystery at Edinburgh Castle
Prepare to see Edinburgh Castle transform this festive season as Castle of Light returns for a fourth fantastic year. Delve into “Magic and Mystery”, as a tapestry of all-new projections dances across the walls. Let immersive illuminations and enchanting installations guide you through the castle grounds in a sea of twinkling lights and colourful displays. Enjoy spending time with friends and family as you experience unmissable moments, extraordinary lighting displays, and discover some mysteries along the way. Conjure a charming start to your festivities with a magical night at the castle!
Tickets must be booked in advance. The event takes place outdoors and there is no visitor access to interior areas of the castle, excluding an indoor catering area.
Taking place from 24th November 2023 through till 3rd January 2024. For more information and to book your tickets please visit: https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/whats-on/castle-of-light
Christmas At The Botanics
Discover huge seed heads floating high into the sky, a lawn of larger-than-life crocus glowing in the dark, brightly coloured pampas, sparkling tunnels of light and the Inverleith House projections with a botanical theme filled with all the colours of the rainbow, just some of the new displays to see this year. You can also enjoy a tasty treat! These include winter warmers such as hot chocolates and marshmallow toasting. Yum!
Open now until 30th December 2023. For more information and to book your tickets please visit: https://www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/christmas-at-the-botanics-2023/
Beecraigs Festive Forest
Following last year’s record-breaking 2022 event, Beecraigs Festive Forest is back for 2023. The original & best – bigger, brighter, bolder and more spectacular! Featuring one of the UK’s most powerful laser shows, stunning lighting effects – delivered by one of the UK’s leading light and production company’s. This atmospheric and magical event is a perfect family experience.
Set deep within the woods of Beecraigs Country Park near Linlithgow. Ideally located for the whole of Central Scotland with panoramic views over the Forth bridges, Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, Beecraigs is simply a perfect setting for this very special event!
Open 1st - 23rd December 2023. For more information and to book your tickets please visit: https://beecraigsfestiveforest.com/event/
A supernatural dimension has opened in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens. Drop everything. Dust off your proton packs. Channel your inner Egon. It's SLIME TIME!
This October, the UK's biggest Halloween event returns to Glasgow's Botanic Gardens with another epic 60-minute outdoor blockbuster.
You might have missed this year, why not pop a reminder in your diary for next year!
Enjoy a new route for 2023, where an illuminated trail leads you around the grounds of our 16th-century castle, shining a light on the fascinating nature that surrounds our beautiful estate.
Flora and fauna will be showcased through light, projection and sound on a charming after-dark walk through our Playful Garden, Shrubbery and woodland.
There will be a delicious selection of street food and hot drinks available at the Brodie Van including slow-cooked Brisket Buns, Chili Nachos, Hot Dogs and Fries. Vegan and GF options are available. The Playful Café will also be open for Hot Drinks and Sweet Treats.
You can purchase some light-up keepsakes in the Welcome Centre to enjoy around the route and make sure you visit Sugar Skull Body Art at the pink gazebo which is offering UV face painting for only £3 per design.
Wrap up cosy and bring your friends and family along to Brodie this November for a colourful and captivating evening.
Brodie Illuminated 2023 runs over four evenings each week (Wednesday to Saturday) from Thursday 2nd November until Saturday 25th November.
Five Sisters Zoo Autumn Nights
The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down, Five Sisters Zoo will once again illuminate the zoo for another year and there are plenty of new surprises in store.
Enjoy toasted marshmallows around our fire pit, and sip on hot chocolate or mulled wine while you stroll around our fairyland of twinkling lights.
The Five Sisters Zoo illuminations will run from 17th November – 23rd December. For more information and to book your tickets please visit: https://fivesisterszoo.co.uk/zoo-illuminations-2023/
I hope you have enjoyed reading and are inspired to visit one or more of the above sound & light shows taking place around Scotland.
As always, I love to read your comments and answer any questions you may have. You can reach me in the usual ways via email at enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Until next time, happy wandering.