Are you looking for a New Year’s Eve filled with music, fireworks, and tradition? If so, then Scotland is the place for you.
Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the old year and typically refers to a range of celebrations spread over three days.
Whether you recently moved to Scotland or are visiting for the holidays, there’s something for everyone. From big cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow to smaller, surrounding areas, there is a range of celebrations to choose from. The good news is that you don’t need to do the research to find the perfect Scotland new year celebration - we’ve listed a few of the top places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Scotland to get you started!
Tip: We’ve also got a list of the best Christmas markets in Scotland should you be spending your holidays here.
Top New Year's Eve Scotland 2023 Events
Ready to welcome the new year in Scotland? Here is a list of the top events and celebrations.
Three-Day New Years in Edinburgh
Thinking of visiting Edinburgh for new year? Did you know that Edinburgh is home to one of the biggest celebrations in all of Scotland? Kick-starting your Scotland NYE festivities, West Princess Street Gardens will be hosting a party on December 30.
After a short recovery period, the annual Hogmanay Street Party will be held against the breathtaking backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. It’s here that you will welcome in the new year admiring the fireworks display and taking part in the traditional Auld Lang Syne.
If these events have tired you out, wake yourself up by taking a dip in the River Forth for the fancy dress Loony Dook.
Hogmanay in Glasgow
Wondering, “where should I go for New Years Eve in Scotland? Glasgow is a good option. Spending Hogmanay in Glasgow means that you’ll find something for everyone.
Starting with the Baby Disco at the Alphen Bar, families will be able to dance the day away together. As the sun sets, Gunna will provide live music and entertainment for those who want to keep the party going.
If you’re wanting to explore a little more, there will be a number of other parties held across George Square and the rest of the city as well.
Stonehaven’s Fireball Parade
One of the top New Years Eve events Scotland has on offer is the Fireball Parade. The Fireball Parade is a tradition in Stonehaven and has been going for over 100 years. Taking place on December 30, it’s believed that the flames burn off any evil spirits from the past year. As the piper leads the parade, others follow swinging balls of fire above their heads.
If 2023 hasn’t been the year for you, maybe this parade will ensure that 2024 is!
Biggar Bonfire Festival
The people of Biggar in South Lanarkshire enjoy welcoming the new year in with a huge bonfire. While the flames can be found on High Street, their glow can be seen from the surrounding areas. With fire being an important symbol in Scotland, this seems like the perfect way to start a new year.
Unique celebrations in Dufftown
Smaller towns typically celebrate Hogmanay in Scotland in the same way but Dufftown is the expectation.
After the typical social gathering at a local hotel for music and entertainment, everyone makes their way to the Dufftown Square. Here, you’re given a complimentary glass of whiskey and a piece of shortbread. Then, together everyone raises a glass to the last day of the year.
Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness
If your budget is a little tight this year, then you’ll want to make your way to Inverness for the Red Hot Highland Fling. Held at the Northern Meeting Park, this is the biggest free Hogmanay celebration in Scotland. The festival allows people to start the new year on a festive note, no matter their financial situation.
Go Dancing At A Hogmanay Ceilidh
A “ceilidh” is a traditional event in Scotland with live folk music and many people dancing in couples or groups. The New Years Eve event also includes plenty of food and drinks, and sometimes storytelling. The event happens throughout the year; however, it’s an especially great way to welcome the new year.
You’ll find ceilidhs throughout Scotland, from the bigger cities to the smaller towns. You’ll also find many places selling tickets for New Years Eve.
Have A Memorable New Year in Scotland
When it comes to New Years Eve, Scotland knows how to throw a celebration. The festive season is unlike any other, especially when it comes to decorations. This means that you’ll need a safe and reliable place to store them during the year once January arrives. The good news is that you can find the perfect storage solution at Len's Self Storage, with storage units available in a variety of sizes.