Edinburgh named top New Year travel hotspot

The guide advises tourists to avoid the castle at midnight. Picture: Jane Barlow
The guide advises tourists to avoid the castle at midnight. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Edinburgh has been named by a top travel guide as among the six best ‘hotspots’ to see in the New Year.

The Scottish capital shared the list with New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Madrid and Berlin.

Travel magazine said the main Hogmanay concert had sold out long ago “but it’s a scrum any way.”

It said at midnight “avoid the castle,” but Heights, at the top of the Apex International Hotel, has “fantastic views of the exploding skies over the castle - and you won’t get trampled.”

Up to 150,000 people are expected to attend Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh during three days of events to welcome in the New Year.

Celebrations will begin with the Torchlight procession on December 30, which last year saw 30,000 people walk through the Scottish capital, and continue through to the 30th “Loony Dook” on New Year’s Day, which sees hundreds of people in fancy dress plunge into the freezing River Forth in view of the renowned bridges.

Biffy Clyro, the band that formed in Kilmarnock, will headline the sold-out main concert in Princes Street Gardens on New Year’s Eve, while other revellers can join the Street Party, with live bands and DJs in the city centre.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Fireworks will see in the new year at midnight on December 31.

The celebrations, which have been overhauled this year, will also include a new “Old Town Ceilidh” that promises to combine traditional music, food and drink in the old part of the city.

Richard Lewis, Edinburgh city council’s festivals and events champion, said: “The countdown to this New Year will have a distinctly Scottish feel with scores of home-grown musical talent and the striking Old Town featuring as the setting for the new ‘Old Town Ceilidh’, where revellers will be tested to perform the longest Strip the Willow dance in the world.”