At the start of the year Edinburgh had a dusting of snow which for me highlighted one positive of the pandemic lockdown.
Princes Street Gardens would usually be full of the Christmas and New Year festivities, including the fun fair land of markets and rides which takes up almost all of the gardens each year.
As the markets and fairgrounds were cancelled this year it was lovely to see this scene, with the only people in the gardens those sledging down the slopes or building snow men under the snow covered trees.
I love how the sun is just reaching over the buildings of the high street and highlighting those on Princes Street.
This sketch highlights the gardens in winter and I hope in future years we still get to enjoy the gardens as a space to have fun in the snow.
This week the Sketcher clan took a trip through Santa’s Wonderland in the Princes Street Gardens before warming up with some very fine Asian cuisine at Wagamama.
Its at least an annual visit to Edinburgh’s Christmas markets and kids fun fair for the Sketcher family, we love having a go on the rides, watching the kids get so excited when they see the candy house and remembering how fast the little rollercoaster is when you jolt around the corners!
I think Christmas is my favourite time of year and I love the colours, decorations, music and silliness which takes over the city centre and enjoy spending time with the family and seeing them get so excited by it all. And there is no better place to do that than in Santa’s Wonderland. The Sketcher Twins (aged 6) highlights were the Reindeer ride with falling ‘snow’ and of course the beautiful Helter Skelter, always a favourite.
We spent the afternoon soaking up the festive spirit, and a mulled wine for Mum and Dad before heading up onto Lothian Road for dinner at Wagamama.
Being Gluten Free myself the Japanese inspired restaurant chain is a familiar place for us, with a good choice of dishes for all. And the slightly spicy selection recommended to us by our helpful waiter was just the thing to warm us up on a frosty Edinburgh evening.
This morning whilst walking from the old to new town I noticed Princes Street Gardens is once again busy becoming a Christmas Wonderland.
On a rainy day in Edinburgh with the leaves still changing from green to orange to red is it perhaps hard to imagine the city in it’s Christmas guise, but the season will soon be here.
If you are in town during the next few days you will notice the transformation taking place ahead of the grand opening on the 17th November. Find out more about all the shows and attractions on over the festive period via the link below.
As night fell on Edinburgh last Friday evening the Sketcher twins, my wife and I all entered the gates of a place we thought we knew well…
The Botanic Gardens are one of my favourite places in Edinburgh, an ever changing world of colour, peace and beauty, with stunning views over the city. Since the twins arrived four years ago we have visited often and like to think we know the gardens well, stunningly beautiful yes, but perhaps not surprising any more.
That was until we entered ‘Botanics Lights 2015 – Seasons in Colour’, a magical evening of light, sound and nature combining to create a wonderful journey for both young and old. Designed by leading Scottish lighting artist Grant Anderson working with composer Claire McKenzie to create a unique night-time experience, including interactive light shows and hypnotic displays throughout the gardens.
Following the pathways we were all in awe, the children especially; the ‘magic house’ (Inverleith House, above) and the lightning tree were amongst their favourites, as was jumping over the swinging spot lights. For me I could of watched and listened to the illuminated Glasshouse and its orchestral rhythms for hours.
These are my sketches from the evening, some hastily scribbled in the dark, others from memory whilst sipping a mulled wine in the warmth of the gardens restaurant.
Botanics Lights 2015 runs nightly until 22 November, an adult ticket costs £14 but you can get a family ticket for £38. For more information follow the link below.