The festivities kick off in Edinburgh with a spectacular 8,000-strong torchlit procession down the Royal Mile, led by the Up Helly Aa Vikings and accompanied by some of the country’s finest pipers and drummers. The flaming procession creates a jaw-dropping, ‘river of fire’ as it winds its way through the ancient streets of the city to Holyrood Park.
Attracting around 35,000 people each year, the event culminates in a breathtaking light show, live music and, as the bell strikes midnight, the world-famous Hogmanay midnight fireworks.
For a luxury bolthole just minutes from the city centre and the festivities, The Glasshouse Hotel is hard to beat. Quirky but effortlessly cool, the hotel lobby is the Gothic facade of a formal chapel, but go beyond the impressive frontage and this contemporary bolthole is all curvaceous lines and glass-to-ceiling windows.
The rooms are an on-trend cocktail of wood, marble and Japanese styling and many boast glorious views of the city skyline and beyond – superior rooms have private balconies with urban views, whilst others open onto the roof terrace. The Snug offers all-day dining on Scottish fayre and the Brasserie sources its meat from a butcher with a Royal Warrant.
The wow-factor, though, has to be the two-acre rooftop garden, a landscaped urban oasis of mature trees, real grass and contemporary planters. With views over Carlton Hill – where the fireworks take place – it’s an ideal spot for watching the festivities from afar.