Christmas at the Botanics 2018

Submitted by edg on Sun, 30 Sep '18 12.19am
Time & place

After selling 70,000 tickets in its first year in 2017, Christmas in the Botanics returns with new light installations and visual effects.

The one-mile, after-dark trail will weave through the historic buildings and horticultural features of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

New in 2018 is the Cathedral of Light, an immersive installation comprising of more than 100,000 pea-lights that will run for 70 metres alongside the massive Beech Hedge. The installation is created by Mandylights, a group of artists from Australia, and has never seen before in Scotland.

A new Scented Fire Garden by The Pond will provide moments of tranquility and reflection for visitors.

Large light installations by both UK-based and international artists will be positioned on the trail at various locations, among them the Garden’s magnificent Victorian Temperate Palmhouse.

As part of the Christmas offering, there will be a Santa show and seasonal food and drink along the way.

The event will conclude with a Festive Finale, created by Scottish-based designer Ross Ashton. His light spectacle, Presents, will illuminate the façade of Inverleith House in time to much-loved Christmas classics. Ashton’s work has featured at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, London’s New Year’s Eve, The Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations and the FIFA Football World Cup.

While the gardens are normally free to visit throughout the day, special events like "Christmas at the Botanics" generate income for the organisation's plant research and conservation work.

In previous years, similar light events have included ‘Botanic Lights’ which took place in October and November and the one-nighter Botanic Frights on Halloween night, 31st October.

Times and ticket prices

There are 11 Christmas at the Botanics time slots which depart at 20 minute intervals from 4.40pm to 8pm on select nights between 23rd November and 29th December. The trail is a mile long.

Access is by both by the John Hope Gateway West Gate and the East Gate on Inverleith Row.


  • Adult £14-£16
  • Child (4-16 years old) £8-£10
  • Infant (under 4) Free (but still require an event ticket).
  • 2x Adults & 2x Children £42-£48
  • Carers for paying ticket-holders go free
  • There is a £2.00 transaction fee for E-ticket (Print-at-home) or £2.50 for Standard Delivery. The fee is per transaction, not per ticket.