The thought of Christmas shopping is often one that fills people with dread. Rubbing shoulders with hundreds of shoppers as they trail down the high street to find the perfect gift isn’t a particularly romantic idea, however that can be changed.
Helping Londoners to transform their Christmas shopping experience, Caledonian Sleeper has compiled a list of quieter festive markets that can be enjoyed in the heart of Edinburgh and reached easily from London. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, unique arts and crafts or handmade textiles, one of these markets is sure to have the perfect gift.
What’s more, the overnight rail service is currently offering a ‘festive returns’ discount providing guests with half price tickets on the second legs of their journey across all routes throughout November and the first half of December. With this offer, passengers can travel home for only 50 per cent of the original price.
East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market
Edinburgh’s most well-known Christmas market returns from 18 November until 6 January.
Based in the city centre in Princes Street Gardens, the market offers a wide variety of stalls including crafters, artists and food and drink suppliers. Browse the many international stalls while enjoying a fresh waffle or hot chocolate before taking a trip to the nearby traditional fairground.
Highlights include handmade wooden toys for children, glassware and cosy knitwear such as sheepskin hats and gloves.
Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair
Look no further than Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair for the perfect gift for a vintage lover.
Held on Sunday 10 December in the Assembly Rooms on George Street, the festival offers the chance to browse over 40 stalls filled with vintage items including clothes, accessories, jewellery and shoes.
Now in its ninth year, Lou Lou’s is the largest travelling fair in the UK as well as the winner of ‘Best Vintage Fair’ for three years running.
Indoor Christmas Market
When Scotland’s rainy weather strikes, head to the indoor Christmas market at Surgeon’s Hall.
Taking place on Sunday 26 November, the market features everything needed for a festive day out. Take a look around the many stalls selling unique gifts before enjoying festive food, sipping mulled wine, visiting Santa’s Grotto and listening to live entertainment. There are also a number of children’s activities taking place throughout the day to keep the little ones entertained.
The event is raising funds for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity with 50p from each £2 ticket sale being donated to the organisation.
Taking place every Sunday in the picturesque area of Stockbridge, this market is the ideal place to pick up a range of artisan products from local farmers and businesses.
Dunkeld smoked salmon and Tanny Gill’s cheese selection are perfect for Christmas luxuries while chocolate, confectionary, shortbread and chutneys make for ideal gifts.
There are also a number of craft, jewellery and beauty stalls which can be browsed while local musicians play in the background. And when the weather gets chilly, enjoy a well-earned break at one of the many nearby coffee bars.
To learn more about Caledonian Sleeper or to book your trip, please visit www.sleeper.scot.