Edinburgh Hogmanay – Torchlight Procession

It was frosty and dark when I set off around 5pm to see the Torchlight Procession. I’d bumped into a friend and fellow blogger and we set off for the very end of the route at Carlton Hill. This would allow us to see the torchlight procession coming along the road and turning up to the hill then we would also be in a great position to see the fireworks. My biggest tip is to get there early and take layers of warm clothes. Hats, scarves, gloves and good shoes are necessary!

The route of the torchlight procession comes over the famous George IV bridge along part of Princes Street and up to Carlton Hill (see map below). I would expect to start heading to your point at around 5pm and the event ends around 9pm. The route is accessible for wheelchair users and we met a couple of people spectating and taking part in wheelchairs.


torchmapMap courtesy of Edinburgh Hogmanay

So what’s special about this nice walk with torches? Well apart from the beautiful almospheric glow, there are also vikings. Who doesn’t love a viking?!! Bagpipes and bands play as the procession walks stopping just before the climb at Carlton Hill. Its a great visual and audible experience to see the warm glow of the torchlight procession and the unmistakable sound of bagpipes.

Torchlight Procession Edinburgh

The stream of golden torches glowing

Torchlight procession Edinburgh

Some handsome Scotsmen in kilts were among the procession

Historians believe that vikings brought the pagan celebration of Hogmanay and the firework display and torchlight procession in Edinburgh is reminiscent of the ancient customs at pagan parties hundreds of years ago. Its wonderful that this tradition is still preserved and a very rich heritage is maintained alongside the modern merry-making.

We spoke to a lot of people walking up and in all honesty warmed our hands near their torchlights! Everyone seemed in good spirits and children were enjoying the procession too. As the last torches disappeared from sight, the sky filled with bursts of colour as fireworks were set off to music. A great end to the torchlight procession and to another great day in Edinburgh.

Fireworks at torchlight procession

Fireworks set off from the tower on Carlton Hill


Fireworks at torchlight procession

Tower on Carlton Hill lit up by fireworks


Fireworks at the torchlight procession

So beautiful


Colourful fireworks at torchlight procession

Such a colourful display!

Have you been to Edinburgh during Hogmanay? Did you go to the Torchlight Procession?


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