Christmas has well and truly landed in Edinburgh, as eighty-metre-high attractions scrape the skyline, market stalls glow invitingly, delicious smells waft on the breeze, and Christmas tunes blast from every door as shoppers go about their festive business. Not only is Princes Street bedecked to the hilt – but George Street and St Andrew’s Square are stuffed to the brim with everything you could need to make the festive season just that little bit more festive. This years’ Christmas in Edinburgh has been taken over by the Underbelly (you’ll know them from the Fringe) and don’t we know it. With an easy twenty-two attractions strewn about the city you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed in Lapland instead of our fair capital city.

Old favourites like Santa’s Grotto and the Carousel still take pride of place in Princes Street Gardens, but you will now find new attractions such as the Ice Wall and the Drop Tower (eighty metres high and no warning of when you’ll plummet) to tickle your fancy. One such attraction is the Ice Adventure: A Journey through Frozen Scotland. An immersive experience aimed at adults and children alike, you’ll need to wrap up for this one, as the room temperature is a nippy – ten degrees. It’s quite a novelty to walk around a twinkling winter scene in sub-zero temperatures, a perfect backdrop for the array of ice sculptures showcasing our history and folklore. Iconic figures from the past stand amidst fabled beasts, all of which are brought to an impressive life-likeness from the huge blocks of ice from which they are coaxed, by supremely talented hands. You’ll find life-size antlers locking in a gleam of incandescent light; faces of old brandishing their weapons as they spring from the fairy-lit trees; and modern landmarks and figures throughout. Kids will especially love sitting on the thrones in the ice castle, complete with towering wall and guard standing by.

The Underbelly has thought of everything, and what better way to warm the cockles against the cold than an Arctic Toddy from the Ice Bar, handily placed in the middle of the trail. Add to that the exit being on the other side of the toy-stuffed gift shop… and you might find your pockets considerably lighter than before you went in.

With tickets starting at £7 (over-two’s need a ticket) a visit to this attraction can mount up to an expensive day out for the family – perhaps a little too expensive for the ten minutes it takes to get round the trail.

Photo courtesy of Roberto Riciutti.

For more information and tickets click here.