Edinburgh Christmas 2022: Research reveals Scottish capital is UK city feeling glummest about festive season

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Holidays are coming! But it seems that Christmas cheer isn’t for people across Edinburgh this year

Christmas eve is one month away, and new research run by Virgin Experience Days has given a closer insight into the mood of Brits and how positive they are feeling towards Christmas this year, with Edinburgh coming in at the bottom of the list.

While Edinburgh could be considered the Christmas capital of the UK with people travelling from across the nation and beyond to visit their iconic Christmas market, it seems the Christmas cheer hasn’t rubbed off on Edinburgh locals. The research was carried out across the UK’s most populous cities, canvassing a nationally representative sample of 2,001 people. The amount of people who were asked about their feelings towards Christmas this year was equally weighted across the cities analysed.

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The study  suggests  the festive feeling is missing across northern parts of the UK this year. Our neighbours in Glasgow and just across the border in Newcastle, are also low on the list of people ‘more excited for Christmas this year than last’.

After two years of disrupted Christmas plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that northerners are still waiting for the festive cheer to kick in. The research revealed that people in London are feeling most festive, with 61% of residents saying they’re more excited than last year.

The findings also revealed how Brits in different cities will celebrate Christmas. Despite feeling a bit downcast about the festive period, people in Edinburgh are most likely to see family on Christmas day, with 61% saying they plan to visit relatives. People in London, Bristol and Cardiff are the least likely to show up at grandma’s house this year, with only 40%, 41% and 41% voting the same.

Commenting on the research, Richard Hurd-Wood, CEO of Virgin Experience Days, said: “The pandemic created two very strange Christmases, so it’s no surprise to see many people looking forward to the festive period more than last year – but there are some big regional disparities.

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“Despite the cost-of-living crisis, gifting is still a huge priority for people, with most Christmas budgets going towards treating families and friends. This is good news for the economy – and hopefully lots of small businesses and suppliers around the country who rely on Christmas for trade, including our 1,500 suppliers and experience providers.

“At Virgin Experience Days we are committed to helping people find the perfect gift for their loved ones. There is clearly an appetite for gifts that allow people to spend time together while we make up for the past two years – especially during Christmas.”

The Big Wheel returns next week. Picture by Andrew O'Brien.The Big Wheel returns next week. Picture by Andrew O'Brien.
The Big Wheel returns next week. Picture by Andrew O'Brien.

So, how low is Edinburgh on the list of cities with the most festive cheer? Here’s the full list of places and how they are feeling about Christmas this year.

The UK cities least excited about Christmas:

The findings revealed that Geordies and people in Edinburgh are looking forward to Christmas the least, with only 39% and 37% respectively more excited than last year. Here are the top Christmassy-feeling cities in the UK in order of those looking forward to Christmas most:

  1. London (61%)
  2. Birmingham (60%)
  3. Southampton (56%)
  4. Manchester (54%)
  5. Nottingham (53%)
  6. Leeds (52%)
  7. Cardiff (52%)
  8. Plymouth (50%)
  9. Brighton (50%)
  10. Sheffield (50%)
  11. Liverpool (50%)
  12. Norwich (50%)
  13. Bristol (49%)
  14. Glasgow (48%)
  15. Belfast (47%)
  16. Newcastle (39%)
  17. Edinburgh (37%)
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