Thousands enjoy first night of Edinburgh’s Christmas

Chris and Louise Bridgeman with kids Lyra  and William enjoy the attractions. Picture: Greg Macvean
Chris and Louise Bridgeman with kids Lyra and William enjoy the attractions. Picture: Greg Macvean
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CHRISTMAS hit the Capital last night when East Princes Street Gardens and St Andrew Square burst into celebration, with lights, music, mistletoe and mulled wine.

Thousands of people descended on the city for its first night of festive cheer, with many riding on the star flyer and carousel, while others browsed the Christmas ­markets.

Despite the chilling temperatures, hundreds of people queued along Princes Street, eagerly awaiting the gates to this year’s festivities opening at 5pm.

The Kynaston family, travelled all the way to Edinburgh from Huddersfield, in Yorkshire, especially for the first night of Edinburgh’s Christmas, They said they were impressed with this year’s entertainment.

Julian, 48, said: “It took us five and a half hours to get here but we wouldn’t miss it - nobody does Christmas like Edinburgh.

“It just has a mystical feeling about it, a feeling we don’t get at Christmas time anywhere else.

“We just love it here, this is one event we wouldn’t miss for the world.”

While the Kynaston family were enjoying the climbing wall and the snacks on offer, the Bridgeman family were having fun on the Carousel.

Louise, Lyra, four, and William’s, six, mum said: “Everything looks great so far this year from what we have seen.

“We are all having a great time – it’s a great place for families.”

On Sunday, the city’s official Christmas lights will be switched on by global superstar Susan Boyle, where she will be accompanied by more than 50 community groups from across the city.

Ashley and Murray Syme, from Corstorphine, enjoyed a stroll around East Princes Street Gardens last night with their two-year-old son Mason.

The family said they came to Edinburgh’s Christmas last year, but Mason wasn’t old enough to understand.

Ashley said: “This is Mason’s first year of understanding what is happening around him. He’s been having great fun on the rides.

“Everything is laid out extremely well this year.”

But while the families were enjoying themselves, a group of teenage boys who were there for a “fun night out” said they were disappointed with the prices.

Otto Neckal, 16, from Newbridge, said: “I’m enjoying the atmosphere tonight, it’s really Christmassy already.

“But the prices are far too extreme. My friend just bought a pick and mix from one of the stalls, it was £3 and he only had about five sweets in his bag. It’s put us off buying anything else, but apart from that, everything is great.”

Edinburgh’s festivals and events champion, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: “Edinburgh at Christmas is an amazing experience.

“The attractions provide a huge draw to the city centre and this year’s packed programme looks set to be just as popular.

“Residents will be cheered to see the return of our Edinburgh’s Christmas 20 per cent discount just for EH postcode holders.”