VIDEO: Sneak peek first look at the dazzling all-new Christmas At The Botanics 2018

LET it glow, let it glow, let it glow...

Promoted by Christmas At The Botanics
Saturday, 24th November 2018, 3:48 pm
Feast Of Light

If you're dreaming of a bright Christmas then the top of you Santa list is right here in Edinburgh.

And there are more than a MILLION reasons to visit.

Christmas At The Botanics is back bigger, better and brighter than last season's debut with over a million lights in an all-new trail of jaw-dropping festive installations/

This dazzling event, set to seasonal and classical music favourites, is an enchanting adventure of hypnotic beauty and not to be missed at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - open now until December 29.

BUY TICKETS: Advance tickets are from £14, children from £8. Tickets will be dearer on the day. See booking website for a calendar of peak and off peak days and prices. Children under four and carers go free. Full details, times and prices at

VIDEO & AUDIO: Watch our exclusive brand new highlights video at the top of this page and listen to our exclusive guided tour, with top tips on how to get the most out of your visit, with Creative Director Zoe Bottrell talking to Graham Walker - CLICK HERE.

The glittering star of this year's show is the truly brilliantly built Cathedral Of Light - a 70 meters long and seven meters high towering cathedral inspired walk-through tunnel made of 100,000 individual pea lights by Australian artist Mandylights.

Feast Of Light

The installation, never seen before in Scotland, runs alongside the famous Beech Hedge and is one of three big finales.

The Botanic's iconic buildings - the Glasshouse and Inverleith House - have been magically transformed with stunning new light and sound projections.

VIDEO: Watch the fabulous Dear Santa animated video short, made uniquely to project onto Inverleith House, hosted here on our embedded YouTube player or CLICK HERE.

Along the way you get to stroll past an avenue of electric trees, walk through a scented fire garden, a vortex tunnel - which will turn your senses upside down - and a full copse of singing Christmas trees.

Christmas At The Botanics

There are lots of moments to stop for tranquil reflection on this mile-long winter wonderland walk, brought to life with 20km of cable and real flames, where fairytale meets fantasy.

Glowing larger-than-life incandescent flowers rise high into the night sky leading you on a path towards illuminated tree sculptures with delicate beads of light clinging to each branch. There are hidden surprises too – shards of light, frosty snowflakes, stars and baubles, marching reindeer and gingerbread men where you least expect to see them.

Inspired by the Garden's world famous conifer collection, the attraction this year also includes a fun lit conifer trail with lots of information to make a trip educational and fun young visitors.

Christmas bells and festive music fills the air, along with the mouthwatering smells of roast chestnuts, toasted marshmallows, spiced cider, mulled wine and hot chocolate.

The brilliant and towering Cathedral Of Light

More that 70,000 people went Christmas crackers and snapped up tickets for the after dark experience last year. Organisers are bracing themselves for huge crowds again as it helps to further put Edinburgh on the map as one of Europe's must visit Christmas destinations.

Culture Creative, working with Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes, promised a greater immersive experience for all ages at this year's event promoted by Raymond Gubbay Ltd.

They have delivered in spades. Snow spades.

The Garden’s profits from this event help to support its global and national plant research and conservation work.

Emma Henderson, Associate Producer of Culture Creative, said: "There's over a million lights in the garden itself. So I guess you've got a million reasons to come and see us.

"One of this year's big highlights is Cathedral of Light a 70 meter long tunnel with over 100,000 lights, In the shape of a cathedral - so it's like an optical illusion you start at one end and you walk right the way through it to the other end and it feels like you're going down through the beautiful cathedral.

Vortex - a twisted tunnel of lights

"Also new this year is the projection that we're doing on to Inverleith House. It transforms it into a doll's house. So it's really magical. We've lit up trees, filled the landscape with colours and sounds. We've even got Santa and there are plenty of places to eat - all kinds of good things and lots of mulled wine.

"So come and have a great night out. You can stay as long as you want and go around as many times as you want. It's probably in total just over a mile long. So it will take you over an hour to go around anyway, but just take your time and enjoy."


First up is the Carbonium, a dazzling avenue of electric carbonium trees are by French company Tilt, who designed last year's huge Epidermis.

Next is Starry Skies, a huge canopy of light that swings above your head before you enter the mind-boggling Feast of Light, an immersive experience walking through an installation of hanging strip lights, by artists Squidsoup.

Then discover the Conifer Tree Trail map - a great way to discover a number of key conifers around the trail.

The trail then really hots up with a new scented Fire Garden - with real flames and a 4.5 meter high Christmas tree taking centre stage, all designed by artist Pa-Boom.

A tranquil, low lit area, follows with Lily of the Valley - beautiful sculptural plants designed by artist Tilt.

Then on to the first of three big finales. First the Glasshouse Show, a dazzling lights and classical music installation with changing coloured lights projected onto the iconic building in time with a stirring soundtrack.

Worship the craftsmanship at the Cathedral of Light with its 100,000 pea-lights designed by Australian artist Mandylights.

Father Christmas and his elves then put on a show especially for the young ones, by the acclaimed Walking Theatre Company.

Heading back towards Inverleith House you walk through a Vortex - a twisted tunnel of lights that make you feel a bit wobbly, as you feel your perspective constantly turning and changing.

And then a Dear Santa Show - a big finale of Christmas surprises projected on the front of Inverleith house - the work of Scottish-based designer Ross Ashton, famed for his work at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, London’s New Year’s Eve, The Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations and the FIFA Football World Cup.

That just leaves a Mistletoe Moment with your loved ones to share a traditional Christmas kiss on your way out.

The event runs to December 29 (closed November 26 and 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11 and 25). There are 11 entry times to start your trail, every 20 minutes from 4.40pm, with last entry 8pm. The Garden will close at 10pm on event nights.

Christmas At The Botanics is an evening outdoor trail that takes place after the Garden closes and does not include entry into the Glasshouses.

Dear Santa Show - a big finale of Christmas surprises projected on the front of Inverleith house
Santa and his elves make an appearance
Christmas At The Botanics runs to December 29, 2018