Summer may be round the corner – but Christmas at the Botanics announces 2021 return

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) has announced that their annual winter spectacle, Christmas at the Botanics, will once again return for five weeks from November.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:55 am

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The one-mile after-dark illuminated trail will run for more than five weeks from November 25 to January 2, featuring a series of new installations.

The first installations confirmed for 2021 include Meadow of Light - a newly designed Fire Garden and a shimmering Field of Light.

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Christmas at the Botanics – the botanical festive spectacle – will once again take up residence at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh this winter.

Meadow of Light is an enchanting installation featuring thousands of fibre optic lights covering the ground which when caught by a breeze will mesmerize all who pass by.

The Fire Garden returns to bring serenity and calm and is themed around pinecones this year to reflect seasonality and the environment.

The new Field of Light is an exciting light show containing hundreds of LED light strands set across the ground that shoot up the surrounding trees, creating a dazzling display.

As ever, the trail will feature the eye-catching Cathedral of Light and the Festive Finale projection at Inverleith House which has a new narrative for 2021.

Despite restrictions in place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the trail attracted over 66,000 visitors during its five-week run.

With the current easing of restrictions, should these continue into the winter months, it is hoped that more people than ever before will be able to attend and experience the spectacle under the stars.

Regius keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Simon Milne said: “While the summer solstice may only be around the corner, planning is in full swing for our popular Christmas event. I am so pleased to announce the return of Christmas at the Botanics, a highlight of Scotland’s winter.

“Last year, more people from the city than ever before visited the event where they enjoyed a magical light show set within one of the world’s greatest plant collections.

“The benefits of Christmas at the Botanics go beyond the festive season as ticket sales help to maintain the garden and continue our work in plant research, conservation and education.

“At a time when the role of botanic gardens has never been more important to society – on a global scale – this event provides us with a wonderful opportunity to engage new audiences with the work we do to for nature, human health and a sustainable economy.

“Health and safety is at the forefront of our minds in planning the trail, and we will continue to have measures in place to ensure all visitors feel comfortable and to enjoy the trail safely.”

Jonathan Marks, Director at Raymond Gubbay, a division of Sony Music, which promotes the event, added: “Christmas is a time of joy and restrictions allowing, we can’t wait to be able to extend an invitation to Christmas at the Botanics to everyone from Edinburgh and beyond. With new and popular returning installations, we’re aiming for the 2021 trail to be brighter than ever. We are also now able to accommodate larger groups and so we hope that more people can come to enjoy the magnificent experience.”

Tickets for this year’s show are on sale now.

For further ticket information, pricing and timings, please visit

A timed entry system will remain in 2021 with visitors encouraged to book now to avoid disappointment.

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