Celebrated throughout Scotland, Hogmanay is an iconic New Year’s event. In Edinburgh, the celebrations envelope the historical city with festivities and excitement for the coming year.
Travelling to this momentous event has never been easier, especially when you're aboard an Avanti West Coast train. Here's how you can best get there, and what to expect when you arrive.
How to get to Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Travelling by train is convenient with Edinburgh's Waverley train station. As soon as you arrive, you will be right at the heart of the festivities.
As a popular and well-connected destination, there are many cities with direct train services to Edinburgh.
If you travel from London Kings Cross, there are regular services to Edinburgh that take under four and a half hours. For those travelling from the Midlands, Birmingham New Street offers a direct connection in just over four hours.
Once you arrive in Edinburgh, the Hogmanay events are within a 10-minute walk.
What to do at Edinburgh's Hogmanay
The following Hogmanay events are taking place during Edinburgh Hogmanay in 2023. However, every year offers similar fun.
The Torchlight Procession has returned to mark the opening of the 30th anniversary of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. Partnering with homelessness charity Social Bite, participants will carry a torch through the streets of the Old Town.
Starting at The Meadows, attendees can experience an array of entertainment. There will be street theatre, fire performers, pipe bands and drummers. The procession will culminate in a visual river of fire through the city centre.
Each torch sold will go towards addressing homelessness in Edinburgh and across Scotland.
The Night Afore Disco Party is the start of the more vibrant Hogmanay celebrations across the weekend. It will feature the talents of pop sensation Sophie Ellis-Bextor and special guests Altered Images.
It is perfect for disco enthusiasts of every age and is a family-friendly event that ensures everyone can celebrate in the lead-up to New Year's.
The evening will begin with a Candlelit Concert at St. Giles’ Cathedral. But as the night progresses, attendees face a choice in how they wish to usher in the New Year.
Afterwards, the City Centre comes alive with the Hogmanay Street Party. This iconic event is filled with entertainment, street performers, and fireworks.
At the same time, there is the Concert in the Gardens at West Princes Street Gardens. This offers a musical performance against the majestic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
This choice of events allows attendees to welcome in 2024 in their own style.
About Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Hogmanay has its roots in Scottish culture and tradition. Its origins, while not clear, come from Norse and Gaelic winter solstice festivities. For many, it overshadows even Christmas as the premier winter celebration.
The Protestant Reformation in the 1500s discouraged the celebration of Christmas in Scotland. This led to the prominence of Hogmanay. Since 1993, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has magnified this tradition, drawing thousands every year.
Customs such as singing "Auld Lang Syne" and 'First Footing' are still central to the event. Believed to bring good luck in the new year, these traditions are still upheld in modern celebrations.
Ways to save on your train ticket to Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Choosing an Avanti West Coast train offers both convenience and cheap prices. With no booking fees, you will receive the best prices by booking with us.
Download Avanti’s app
Discover cheaper tickets, select your ideal seat, and rearrange your journey if plans change. Opt for e-tickets for seamless integration with Apple Wallet or Google Pay and enjoy a smarter way to travel.