Christmas at the Botanics

24 November to 30 December 2017

As night falls, join us at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for a magical, botanical outdoor trail of light celebrating Christmas.

Follow the trail along the Garden’s paths through the trees and landscape which will be spectacularly lit and all aglow. 

There’s something for everyone at this festive event, a one mile illuminated trail that winds its way through the world famous Garden providing a magical experience after dark and fun for all the family. 

As twilight falls, let the magic begin...

Fire Garden  Prepare to be mesmerised by the hypnotic beauty of the flickering Fire Garden, a circular carpet of dancing flames.

Choir of Trees  Enjoy the sights and sounds of a woodland grove of ‘singing’ conifers.

Crystal Lawn  Walk through the enchanting lawn lit by a thousand spheres of light.

Beech Hedge  Pause at the magnificent beech hedge illuminated by flashes of sparkling light.

Santa Claus  Look out for Santa and be sure to give him and his elves a wave! Please note that Santa will be busy on the night so there won't be the opportunity of a one-to-one with children.

Festive Fare  Enjoy spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate. Gather to toast marshmallows and enjoy other traditional fare before browsing the Garden’s festive gift shop.

Event Details

The event runs from Friday 24 November to Saturday 30 December (closed 27, 28, 29 Nov and 4, 5, 11, 12 and 25 Dec).  There are 11 entry times to start your trail, every 20 minutes from 4.40pm (last entry 8pm).  The Garden will close at 10pm on event nights.

This is an evening event that takes place after the Garden closes.  It is an outdoor trail and does not include entry into the Glasshouses. Keep cosy by wearing warm and waterproof clothing and footwear


Advance tickets from £14 (£10 for children).  Tickets will be dearer on the day.  See booking website for a calendar of peak and off peak days, and prices.  Children under 4 and carers go free.

Booking and Booking fees

To buy your tickets, book here.

Alternatively, call 08716 207 051 (calls cost 13p per minute plus your network access charge)

Tickets are subject to the following transaction charges:

  • Print at home - £2
  • Tickets sent by first class post - £2.50
  • Tickets booked and collected in person at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh or at the Gateway – no charge

 Enhance your visit with a dining experience

Make your evening extra special with a visit to the Garden’s Gateway Restaurant. Why not treat friends and family to a festive dinner, selected from the restaurant’s exclusive Christmas Dinner Menu?  Prices start at £16.95 for adult and just £4.95 for children for two courses.  Available on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the event run, between 4pm and 8pm.  Book here.

Group Bookings

Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or over.  Bookings can be made through SEE Groups on +44 (0)844 412 4650.

Helpful Information

The trail has been designed for visitors of all ages to enjoy.  We welcome all visitors, whatever their specific requirements.  For further details about accessibility, please refer to our FAQs.

Planning your visit

When buying your tickets, you will be able to enter from the West Gate entrance on Arboretum Place (EH3 5NZ) or the East Gate entrance on Inverleith Row (EH3 5LP).

  • If you are travelling by car or taxi, please choose West Gate tickets.  Please refer to our Event Access & Parking Map.
  • If you are arriving by bus, please select East Gate tickets.  This entrance is well served by buses 8, 23 and 27.  Please refer to the Lothian Buses website.

No event parking close to the East Gate, please.  This entrance is intended for use only by visitors arriving by bus or on foot.


RBGE welcomes photographers who capture and film their experience on cameras and smart phones for personal use and sharing via social media #christmasatthebotanics. If using photography equipment and tripods please adhere to our Photography Guidelines to ensure that you do not obstruct or diminish the enjoyment of others at the event.

Event Enquiries

If you have a ticket related query after you have made your purchase, please contact the relevant agency, details of whom are here.

For any other queries, email us at  If you do not have email, please leave a message on 0131 248 2942.

For all media enquiries, please contact Debbie Hughes at Clark Communications on  or 0131 225 9596.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)