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Heading to Scotland for Hogmanay, Haggis, and Highland Hijinks!

Posted on December 20th, by Peter Parkorr in Britain, Scotland, Video Adventures. 10 comments

With less than a fortnight of 2012 left, and only one day until the ‘end of the world’ according to the Mayan calendar, I’m getting prepared to break in the New Year in style. The ‘end of the world’ is a complete misnomer, actually being the predicted date of a new and better age for humanity (we’ll see), so I’ve got plans to see out the old year and bring in the new at Edinburghs Hogmanay celebrations. Myself and a group of bloggers are invited to Scotland’s capital to enjoy, among other things, Europe’s biggest street party and a tour around wider Scotland.

Edinburgh Hogmanay Blogmanay

The well-organised festivities are all on Unique Events’ Hogmanay website, and they have a page just for #blogmanay to show off the impressive group of bloggers they have enticed!

Kilt and Bagpipes at a Cousins Wedding

As well as visiting Scotland many times to see family over the years, I was also recently in Edinburgh for a tweetup. Flying directly onwards to shoot a video for a rock climbers’ B&B left me with only 3 days in the city, and in the end I spent a fair amount of it hibernating in my hostel! Not only did I decide to enter a last-minute travel video competition (a trip to Brasil was at stake) but I’d agreed to make a video for the owners of Haggis Hostels too.

Edinburgh Buildings Skyline

Edinburgh’s buildings, always beautiful, and a peek of the Forth too

Chris & Alan, owners of the hostel, run a friendly place in a top location (literally next to Waverley train station, on Princes Street) and with great cooking facilities it’s the kind of hostel you can comfortably stay for longer at. I’m looking forward to visiting them in Edinburgh again in January, and you can check out the video I made for them below (in HD, if you please).

The list of things to do at Edinburghs Hogmanay is enormous, from loads of live music to going for a splash in the Forth, or how about checking out Dogmanay?! Personally I’m really looking forward to seeing bits of the city by chance on Your Lucky Day, catching Reverend and the Makers live on one of several stages at the street party, and some traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay Midnight Fireworks Cityscape

After Hogmanay itself, the trip goes into overdrive from January 2nd, with Haggis Adventures taking us ‘away off roond aboot the place’ for three days (and No, I will not be able to resist repeatedly breaking into a scottish accent). Journeying through Stirling, Glencoe, and the Great Glen, we’ll be spending our nights in Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness. Day 2 will see us exploring the Isle of Skye, its Red and Black Cuillin Mountain ranges and Eilean Donan Castle on the way back. On the final day we’ll visit Inverness, Culloden Moor, and Dunkeld, before driving back over the Forth Road Bridge to head back to the ‘burgh. I’m also hoping we will pass the aptly named Loch Lochy en route for a photo!

EH2011 - The Loony Dook Parade crowd credit Lloyd Smith

The Forth Road Bridge behind the Dooking of last years’ Loonies!

To make sure I’m ready to soak up as much of Scotland as possible, I’ll be paying attention to #scotlandhour on Twitter from 9-10pm GMT on the 26th December. The #scotlandhour hashtag is arranged monthly by several tweeters involved in Scottish tourism, founded by Dougie Baird with help from others, to promote tourism by making it simple for visitors to discover and learn about choices across Scotland. You can find local equivalents for other regions too, like #northeasthour for the North East of England. And to help me soak up even more of Scotland, quite literally, I’m expecting a couple of books to be delivered any day now that look just like these…

The Wee Guide to Whisky

Great Whiskies Around The World


So here’s to the weather holding off, looking forward to all the celebrations, and experiencing the best Edinburghs Hogmanay has to offer! Followed by discovering lots of Scotland’s cultural heritage. And seeing Nessy. And Whisky.

Peter Parkorr

Torchlight Procession Finale credit Lloyd Smith