Why Hogmanay in Edinburgh is the Best Way to Celebrate New Year’s

Written by: Dave Owen

You don’t need to travel far to enjoy the biggest and best New Year’s Eve party in the world. Hogmanay in Edinburgh is a wild, spectacular way to greet the New Year, an epic all-night street party that brings together multiple festival stages, fireworks displays, carnival rides, and more.

While the celebrations officially kick off on December 30 and last for three days, many experience Hogmanay in a whirlwind 24 hours by joining the Stoke Travel Hogmanay Party Express – a nonstop madness tour that rings in the New Year in style.

edinburgh cityscape hogmanay fireworks

What’s so special about Hogmanay?

No other country in the world goes as crazy for New Year as Scotland. This blowout tradition goes all the way back to the Vikings, so you know it’s going to be wild!

The Hogmanay festivities kick off on December 30, when thousands of flaming torch-bearers descend on Edinburgh’s historic streets, along with a crew of modern day Vikings bringing the noise with pipes and drums. The march creates a river of fire along the famous Royal Mile, the whole city coming alive as the procession builds to a spectacular fireworks display on Calton Hill.

New Years Hogmanay Party Express from London

From: £190 / 1 Days

Hogmanay is Scottish word for the last day of the year, and we’re here to celebrate on Stoke’s 24/hr whirlwind New Year's Eve trip to Hogmanay on our private party train from London to Edinburgh.

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That’s just for starters. When New Year’s Eve arrives, it’s back onto the street for a massive range of live entertainment – this year including a performance from Franz Ferdinand – across four stages, a range of outdoor bars to keep you warm, and hourly fireworks displays leading up to the big countdown, all set against the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. When the bells toll midnight, there’s even more fireworks, accompanied by the loudest rendition of Auld Lang Syne you will ever hear. After that, it’s all about starting the New Year as you mean to go on – partying until the sun comes up!

If you wake up with an aching head (or never make it to bed at all) on the first day of the New Year, the January 1st Dookers Parade is the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs. Get glammed up in your finest fancy dress, parade through the city to wake up any slackers, before taking a freezing cold dip in the River Forth! The freezing shock is the ultimate hangover cure.

Why celebrate Hogmanay with Stoke Travel?

Party people from all over the world come together to join Stoke Travel’s New Year’s Hogmanay Party Express for 24 hours of carnage.

You’ll gather in London to meet your fellow revellers, before jumping on a private party train to sip champagne all the way to Edinburgh.

When you hit the city in the afternoon, you’ll have full access to Stoke’s exclusive venue to start the party early, or a few hours to yourself to go sightseeing around Edinburgh’s famous hotspots. Just make sure you’re back in time to kick off the street party at 7pm sharp!

Once the New Year has well and truly arrived (but before a headache can take hold), you’ll hop back on the Stoke Travel Express, the journey home doubling as an epic after party. Why only celebrate once when you can ring in the New Year for the USA, Canada, and South America too?!

Finally, you arrive back in London, a whole bunch of new friends and the greatest NYE of all time under your belt. Until next year, anyway.


Party-goer Wade Gravy on his Stoke Travel Hogmanay experience:

“New Year’s Eve sucks! And New Year’s Eve in London is no exception. Long lines, extortionate club entry, impossible mission home in the cold at the end of it all. I made my first London NYE mistake a while ago and have vowed to do something different ever since.

“Hogmanay in Edinburgh isn’t really all that new for anybody living in London – it’s long been a firm feature on most people’s bucket lists – but getting there and finding somewhere to stay was such a nightmare. Honestly, unless you’re planning a ski trip or something, as far as New Year’s celebrations go Hogmanay is the best. It’s super traditional, but with plenty of live music, DJs, street performers and all of that. And you’re partying with Scots, who are definitely adept at raging.

stoke travel hogmanay train

“Stoke Travel runs a party train from London to Edinburgh, arriving the evening of the Hogmanay street party and returning the morning after. The party was private, so there were no shushers and plenty of new party friends to get festive with, and Stoke gave us a bottle of prosecco for the trip, which was a nice compliment to the bottles of spirits we brought with us.

“By the time we got to Edinburgh and into the pre-party venue that Stoke had organised everybody was going full steam. We raged there for a while, then hit the streets and spent the night in a blur – I think I saw the fireworks? But I know we danced and drank and really got into the whole Scottishness of the event.

“I’m not going to lie to you, by the time the train left Edinburgh the next morning for home I was broken, but so was everybody else, so the trip home was quiet and I totally crashed out. Woke up with a hangover, but so what, that’s New Year’s Eve. Hogmanay with Stoke was so much better than paying a fortune in London and a pretty convenient way to see a new city during its craziest party of the year.”

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