Winter is fast approaching and with that comes Christmas Markets and festive events aplenty.  Nathan, from the SYHA Hostelling Scotland team, is here to tell you all about what’s happening near our youth hostels this festive period!


Glasgow at Christmas/Image Credit- Michael Lemiski/Flickr

Scotland’s second city has many great events taking place throughout the season including two winter markets located in St Enoch Square and George Square, the perfect start to any night out in Glasgow this winter!

George Square is a major player in the city in terms of winter activity with the traditional carousel and Big Wheel, plus many stalls selling all the favourites including mulled wine and German sausages.

The St Enoch Square market is much smaller but certainly isn’t lacking traditional Glaswegian charm, or German sausages!

The Style Mile Carnival

This jovial carnival comes to Glasgow on Sunday 26th November and is the family event not to be missed, as many festive characters take to the streets of Glasgow to bring you plenty of holiday fun! The carnival route sets off from St Enoch Square and finishes at George Square, taking the scenic route around the city centre.

Glasgow Santa Dash

The Santa Dash has become a staple of the Glaswegian holiday calendar and is another event that the whole family can get involved with. Taking place on the 10th December, the Dash is a charity 5k through the city centre starting off at George Square and is a hilarious start to a winter Sunday. The event costs £15 which includes rental of a Santa suit so you don’t even need to have your own red and white attire to join in on the fun!

Glasgow Youth Hostel

Located in the west end of the city, Glasgow Youth Hostel is within easy reach of Kelvinbridge Subway Station.  From there, St Enoch or the Buchanan Street stops will ensure you are right in the middle of Glasgow’s festive events this winter!


Edinburgh Christmas

Princes Street Christmas Market/Image Credit-Nicola Bova/Flickr 

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market is one of the busiest in Scotland, giving you Christmas markets within Princes Street Gardens and also in George Street. Much like Glasgow, these markets offer you all the traditional fare such as Mulled cider or wine and confectionaries such as festive gingerbread!

St Andrews Square

St Andrews Square is home to the amazing ice rink for all the avid skaters amongst us, if you are looking to take in one of the more modern traditions of Christmas then this is the place to be, also there is a bar to warm you up after a session on the ice.

Princes Street Gardens

The Christmas Market within the Princes Street Gardens is by far the busiest part of Edinburgh’s Christmas 2017. This is due to the vast amount of market stalls that sell traditional Christmas grub alongside stalls selling quaint trinkets and gifts for that special someone!

Santa Land

Santa Land is situated in the bottom of the east section of Princes Street Gardens and has many features to entertain all ages including a Christmas Tree Maze, the Santa Train and rides for all the family including a Helter Skelter, Reindeer Rider and also a Rollercoaster. 

George Street

Edinburgh is filled with Christmas Markets this year with another one being located on George Street! The Christmas Markets are usually quite busy within Edinburgh so having so many to choose from means that you won’t be disappointed with your trip to Edinburgh. Whilst you are walking through the market in George Street, it’s always a good idea to pop into The Dome – a venue well known for their amazing Christmas decorations. You could even stay for a cocktail or two.

Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel

Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel is an ideal for a winter getaway to Edinburgh. Close to main public transport links and around a 20-minute walk to many of the Christmas attractions. Edinburgh Central’s licensed café Haddington Place offers a variety of craft beers and wines to get you into the festive spirit too.  


Oban at Christmas/Image credit-Oban Winter Festival

Oban Winter Festival

The Oban Winter Festival comes to Oban for ten days from Friday17th to Sunday 26th November. The first major event is the Christmas lights switch on which takes place on Saturday 18th, a great event for all the family. The festival also has a Distillery Market and a Victorian Market to get lost in!

The Festival closes on the 26th with lots of events such as the Haggis Festival, the Grand Ceilidh with Oban Pipe Band and also the Final Parade.

Oban Youth Hostel

Oban Youth Hostel, just a 15-20 minute walk from the centre of town, is the perfect location to wind down after the Winter Festival. Oban Lodge (adjacent to the youth hostel) is also a great option for our Rentahostel service if you are bringing large groups of friends!


Winter Wonderland @ Whin Park/Image Credit-

Inverness Victorian Market

The Victorian Market in Inverness is great to wander around and look at the unique shops. During Christmastime the market is decked out in all the typical festive fare making a visit at this time of year a special treat! On Friday 1st December and Saturday 2nd December, Elf on the Shelf will be invading the Victorian Market with lots of Santa’s elves hiding in shop windows. The whole family can join in on the fun trying to find them all.

Winter Wonderland

Whin Park in Inverness is turned into the ultimate Winter Wonderland for one weekend only (Friday 15th to Sunday 17th December) where you can meet Santa and all his reindeer pals, walk around the illuminated trees and get lost in the joy of the fairground rides. Great fun for the family, especially toddlers!

Inverness Youth Hostel

Inverness Youth Hostel is perfect for a short winter getaway to the Highlands.

The youth hostel is around a 15-minute walk to the Victorian market so is easily accessible. Whin Park is around a 40-minute walk, so public transport or a car is recommended if visiting the Winter Wonderland.  

Biography for SYHA Hostelling Scotland

Scotland's best known network of youth hostels in stunning city & rural locations. Go on a #SYHAdventure! As a not-for-profit organisation, we encourage guests to join SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including dual membership of Hostelling International, providing access to more than 4,000 youth hostels in over 90 countries worldwide. Membership and guest overnight income supports our charitable youth programmes and the maintenance of the hostelling network, particularly in rural Scotland.

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