Christmas at the Botanics, Edinburgh. [Credit: Phil Wilkinson  / Christmas at the Botanics]
Christmas at the Botanics, Edinburgh. [Credit: Phil Wilkinson / Christmas at the Botanics]


Christmas at the Botanics has opened to the public at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, featuring new installations and a reimagined route inspired by the magical world of plants.

The annual light show is a calendar highlight for Edinburgh residents and tourists alike, and this year the illuminated trail is bigger and brighter than ever before. The one-mile route weaves through 72 acres of landscaped gardens and uses the Botanics’ historic buildings as a backdrop for spectacular light displays.

This year, visitors will be treated to firm festive favourites including the Christmas Cathedral (a 30-metre-long tunnel with 35,000 individual twinkling bud lights). Santa is also on hand to greet the wee ones, while Christmas food and drink stalls serving mulled wine, hot chocolate and marshmallows are dotted along the trail.

Christmas at the Botanics 2023, Edinburgh. [Credit: Phil Wilkinson / Christmas at the Botanics]

New installations for 2023 include: a meadow of 2,000 white roses; illuminated dragonflies, suspended over the Botanics Pond; a grove of beautiful pampas; 100 crocuses, measuring over a metre high; and a spectacular rainbow hedge. Displays are accompanied by an array of Christmas music tracks including O Holy Night by Il Divo, Hallelujah by Alexandra Burke, and Winter Wonderland by Michael Bublé.

Raoul Curtis-Machin, Director of Horticulture and Visitor Experience at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, said: ‘Christmas at the Botanics is a fantastic way of introducing our visitors to the Garden landscape after dark, a chance to experience what might be familiar from a whole new perspective, and to enjoy a spectacular and fun trail.

‘I’m delighted that this year’s trail is inspired by all things botanical, acknowledging the amazing conservation work undertaken by the Garden around the world and our vision to build a positive future for plants, people and the planet.’

Inverleith House is lit up by a beautiful light show. [Credit: Phil Wilkinson / Christmas at the Botanics]

All the installations are low in energy and have been selected to be sympathetic to the Botanics’ environment. Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Simon Milne said: ‘Part of the joy of the trail is for visitors to be in the Garden after dark and to experience and enjoy a new perspective on our plants and landscapes.

‘The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a Scottish charity, and tickets sales from Christmas at the Botanics help to fund our international plant research, conservation work and education programmes.

‘We are more mindful than ever that the festive season can be costly, so the introduction of off-peak lower-cost tickets this year will enable event more people to join us for this fabulous show without breaking the bank.’

The event runs for six weeks from now until 30 December.

Organisers have introduced off-peak tickets on selected evenings in November and December.

Tickets for this year’s show are available to buy now. Attendees are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment. For further ticket information, pricing and timings, visit

The spectacular Christmas Cathedral returns this year.