Five things to do in and around Edinburgh on New Year's Day

New Year's Day is usually spent with family and friends, most likely recovering from the celebrations the night before.

Promoted by Musselburgh Racecourse
Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:13 pm
Musselburgh Racecourse is to host a memorable start to 2020

But whether it is a day for nursing a hangover or starting the new year fresh, there are plenty of events in and around Edinburgh that will ensure a fun-filled and memorable start to 2020.

1: Musselburgh Racecourse raceday


In East Lothian, start the year in style at the Betway New Year’s Day raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse, where the packed programme will include something for everyone.


The five-star venue’s hotly-anticipated event is the 110-metre New Year Sprint, which is said to be the most historic athletic event in the world and brings together amateurs and professionals as they compete for a cash prize.


There will be heated marquees as well as bookable VIP Yurts for up to 12 people, complete with wood-burning stoves.


Live entertainment including a DJ set from Funkwagen and a winter fashion competition will make this event unmissable.


Tennis coach Judy Murray OBE will be attending and said: “I’m so looking forward to spending New Year’s day at Musselburgh Races again.


“It’s always a great day out and the very best way to welcome 2020 with friends, family and a bit of healthy competition.”


Last year’s event was a sell-out, so early booking is advisable.

Edinburgh Evening News readers are being given the chance to win an exclusive New Year’s Day package for four people. Enter here.


To find out more about the raceday visit the Musselburgh Racecourse website.

2: Loony Dook


The more adventurous among us should look no further than the Loony Dook at South Queensferry.


For more than 25 years, around 1,000 costume-donning and scantily-clad dookers have braved the freezing temperatures as they dive into the Firth of Forth for charity.


A parade is led by the Edinburgh-based percussion group The Noise Committee through the town's High Street before the plunge.


The check-in for this year's Dook opens at 12.30pm, near the Forth Railbridge Viewpoint.


More information can be found here.

3: Message from the skies


For a warmer experience, bibliophiles and art lovers alike are sure to enjoy the spectacle of Message from the Skies, which returns to the Capital on New Years Day until January 25.


Edinburgh's iconic landmarks will illuminate with ambient colours and a collection of inspiring letters by six writers reflecting on Scotland's relationship with its seas, waters, coasts and maritime heritage.


The free project entitled Shorelines features celebrated writers Charlotte Runcie, Irvine Welsh, Kathleen Jamie, Kayus Bankole and Robin Robertson.


It has been developed in partnership with Edinburgh City of Literature and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, with funding from Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government's Festivals EXPO fund.


From New Year's Day, the downloadable Messages from the Skies app will allow users to read or listen to the stories and will provide directions to the locations of each projection, which are yet to be announced.


For more visit the organiser's website.

4: Eddi Reader


Later, an evening with Eddi Reader will he held at the Capital's stunning 19th-century McEwan Hall.


The three-time Brit Award winner, who has released nine albums, will perform songs from throughout her 40-year singing career of pop, folk and jazz.


Tickets to see the former vocalist of Scottish soft rock band Fairground Attraction are priced at £38 for standing and in the raised stalls.


More information can be found here.

5: New Year's Day parkrun at Portobello


Should the festivities over the last week or two have been a bit too indulgent, or there is a yearning to kick-start a New Year's resolution, or simply a run in the fresh air sounds appealing, then the Portobello New Year's Day parkrun 2020 is for you.


The free annual run, organised by a dedicated team of volunteers, starts at the Figgate Park from 9.30am.


It is a timed 5k event and is suitable for all levels of ability.


If a full 5k doesn't grab you but getting outside and sourcing some inspiration does, why not sign up as a volunteer for the day?


To do so, visit the Parkrun site here.