What's On in Edinburgh This Autumn

It’s an old city, of grand stone buildings and sharp spires, flanked by summits. It feels like a northern frontier town, beyond which are swirling mists, and endless hill country. It’s certainly beautiful, but atmospheric too, in a pull your coat around you, sip on a whisky way.

With the first hints of wood smoke in the air and auburn leaves skittering the streets, Edinburgh is a moody and romantic place to be.

Cheese Fest - 9 November

As the nights draw ever closer and thermometers drop, we naturally enter hibernation mode. Of course, we do not head for the nearest burrow and bed down. We light fires and without thinking start upping our calorific intake.

Yes, autumn and winter are a time for comfort. Cheese falls firmly into this bracket. We may eat it all year round, however, who’d want a cheese festival in the sweltering summer? That’s if the cheese didn’t melt. No thank you.

Cheese Fest is a first of its kind travelling cheese fair. Here you can indulge in the finest artisan cheeses from around the country, drink fine wine and ale, and meet Wallace and Gromit. The Oscar winning Aardman Animations will be there—celebrating 30 years in business. More cheese Gromit?

Radical Book Fair - 14 to 17 November

his is Scotland’s leading alternative political and literary festival, held at the Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh each year. For 20 years this has been a stage for diverse writings and voices, exploring the issues of the past, the present, and the future.

This year will be focused on some varied subjects including— creative resistance to patriarchy, feminist law, refugee experiences and homebuilding, going green, justice & the state, democratic deficit and more. Read more here

Castle of Light - from 14 November

900-year-old Edinburgh Castle, towering above street level on an extinct volcano is worth seeing (not that you can miss it) any time of year. It needn’t seduce you to visit, although with it’s epic seasonal light show, it’s doing just that.

You’ll experience amazing light displays within the shadowy depths of the castle walls, influenced by its long and colourful history. The team responsible for Edinburgh’s Castle of Light have previously worked their magic on the Sydney Opera House.

This makes the perfect end to a fresh November afternoon spent shopping on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Afterwards you could hole up in a little whisky bar with some live fiddle music, a very Scottish, and very pleasant evening. Book tickets here

Princes Street Christmas Market - from 16 November

Log cabin style European markets are all the rage in the UK now and rightly so. We may think over the pond we know how to celebrate Christmas, and we do, it’s just our Christmas markets have been lacking. Even those who identify with Ebenezer Scrooge lighten up with a few mulled wines, and a wander round some festive makers stalls.

The wild north is naturally a perfect place to ruffle up the festive feathers. Therefore, the Edinburgh Christmas market could be the best you ever visit.

Also know that Edinburgh is a pro at public events. It never puts in minimal effort. Simply look at the Fringe, the largest performing arts festival in world or Hogmanay. Find out more here

Christmas at The Botanics - from 22 November

You can do both, but if an illuminated castle doesn’t take your fancy, perhaps some pretty gardens will? Or vice versa. The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has been around since the days of enlightenment and is one of the most important ecological research centres in the world.

With it’s wonderland of strange plants and creepers, it’s an ideal backdrop from some remarkably creative light displays.

This year you’ll be able to experience a striking laser garden, an illuminated flotilla of tiny boats, a towering tunnel of light, and scented fire garden. Each distinct part of the Christmas trail is sure to give you a unique memory.

The Snow Queen Ballet - from 7 December

The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen are so ingrained in our consciousness we sometimes forget that a person sat down and wrote them. Like folklore, or Greek myths they seem to simply exist. Amongst the most famous of his 3381 literary works are The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and The Pea, and of course—The Snow Queen.

To close its 50th anniversary year the Scottish Ballet is putting on a spectacular production of The much loved Snow Queen. Choreographed by Christopher Hampson, designed by award-winning Lez Brotherston, and set to the enchanting music of Rimsky-Korsakov—this is a show not to be missed. Book tickets here.

Do Edinburgh in Style Galore

There’s nowhere quite like Prestonfield. A five-star baroque mansion, adorned with cosy nooks and crannies to chatter the night away, serving exquisite cuisine created from the best Scottish produce. You’ll not be far from Edinburgh’s centre, but amongst the seclusion of our 20 acres of grounds you’ll feel a world away.