The main event: The Scottish capital’s famed three-day Hogmanay extravaganza usually kicks off on 30 December, with a Viking-style torchlight procession along the Royal Mile. The big night itself features a Scottish music programme including Dougie McLean, Eddi Reader and Breabach, which wraps in time for gig-goers to catch unequalled views of midnight fireworks over Edinburgh Castle. Celebrations continue on New Year’s Day with the traditional fancy-dress dip in the freezing Firth of Forth (known as ‘the Loony Dook’). For more information on the many events that normally take place, visit edinburghshogmanay.com.
The local view: You probably won’t spot many Edinburgh natives at official Hogmanay festivities for one, entirely rational, reason: they know to be sceptical about the weather. Instead, find the Scots hedging their bets with indoor jollities before bagging a free spot to watch the castle’s midnight display. Smart, boho Stockbridge has a wealth of great pubs: stop off for a wee dram or two and folk music at basement joint The Bailie Bar, followed by a trip to Inverleith Park, which offers the best free view of the countdown fireworks in the city.
Where to stay: The Balmoral is the grandest hotel in Edinburgh, and the most comfortable place to recover from Hogmanay celebrations. For something more affordable but no less down to earth, Eden Locke, in a New Town Georgian townhouse, offers a perfect storm of millennial pink and Elephant’s Breath, brass detailing, wicker chairs and tropical plants. For a private stay, takeover this grand yet cosy loft Airbnb with a spectacular location that overlooks the Royal Mile.