It’s the middle of autumn, and as the weather becomes more miserable and the nights continue to draw in, thoughts inevitably turn to the Christmas and New Year period. While Christmas is all about celebration, the thought of seeing out the end of 2012 in style is something that millions may be planning for. Some people will want to have a party at home, while others might go down to a friend’s house, but to celebrate New Year’s Day in style, where better to go than Scotland.
The famous Hogmanay celebrations are perhaps the best excuse to spend a few days in Scotland, but what makes Hogmanay so special, and how is it separate from other New Year festivities? Its origins lie in Norse winter solstice celebrations, which were held towards the end of December, while the Gaelic celebration of Samhain also influenced the occasion. Hogmanay wasn’t properly celebrated until the end of the 17th century when the Protestant Reformations ended, and to this day, the holiday has been celebrated all over Scotland.
Perhaps the best Hogmanay celebrations can be found in some of Scotland’s biggest cities, most notably in Edinburgh, the capital city. Every year, they have live performances from Scottish bands near Edinburgh Castle, have stalls serving local food and local drinks such as whisky. Hogmanay celebrations tend to be more unique and memorable than those in England, and attract visitors from all over the world who find great accommodation with www.scottish-cottages.co.uk to stay in for a few days.
If you want to fully enjoy Hogmanay in Scotland, there are so many places to celebrate it in style. You could visit Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness where the parties are loud and lively, or if you want something more sedate and relaxing, there are always rural areas such as the Highlands, the Hebrides or perhaps somewhere further south like the Borders in towns such as Galashiels and Kelso. Meanwhile, if you want to spend more than just one night in Scotland, there are so many great things you can see and do there.
For those of you who want a little adventure, you could go hiking, mountain climbing or even skiing in the highlands, as the weather’s perfect for a trip down the slopes of Aviemore and Ben Nevis. Meanwhile, there are a number of brilliant visitor attractions to explore during your stay, not least in Edinburgh, where the Castle, Royal Mile and its various museums are perfect for taking photos and learning about the history of the northernmost part of the UK.
You might even want to venture elsewhere, taking in the scenery of Loch Lomond or, weather permitting, maybe play a round of golf on one of the Ayrshire coast’s many top-class links courses. Whatever you decide to do around Hogmanay, you won’t be bored.