Christmas events across the South of Scotland

by Sara Barton, 14th November 2023
Christmas tree & lights| Selkirk
Christmas events across the South of Scotland

Nestled amid the breathtaking landscapes of the South of Scotland, a magical holiday season unfolds with an enchanting charm all its own. As winter’s frosty grip takes hold, there is a medley of Christmas festivities that captures the essence of this joyous time of year. From twinkling lights festively strung through our historic towns to Santa’s grottos and crafting experiences, join us as timeless traditions and modern merriment intertwine to create a holiday season like no other.

Say hello to Santa

A key highlight of a Christmas visit for the young members of the family could be a visit to see Santa and ensure that special list is carefully delivered. Luckily Santa can be found across the region this December. Do be sure to book a slot as Santa is a busy man! Santa will be hanging out across the region – you can find him at Caledonia Park at Gretna, Paxton House near Berwick, have breakfast with him at Abbotsford House and even see if he is planning on swapping any of the reindeer for alpacas at Beirhope Alpacas near Kelso.

Have breakfast with Santa at Abbotsford House.

Wreaths and crafting

Slightly older children are sure to enjoy a Christmas themed activity. Dalkeith Country Park has a wide selection from Gingerbread House decorating to making Christmas crafts. And while the kids are busy with that, adults can do their own workshops from candle making to wreath creation. If you fancy something different for your wreath this year there are plenty of opportunities to create your own at Drumlanrig, Bowhill, Abbotsford and GG’s Yard too.

Make your own wreath at workshops across the South of Scotland such as this one at Dalkeith.

Musical interludes

For some it wouldn’t be Christmas without a Pantomime – oh yes it would – and community troupes are providing some excellent opportunities such as Cinderella which will be on in Whithorn, while Aladdin is on at the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles. To truly get into the Christmas spirit, Paxton House is hosting a community Christmas Carol service in its Picture Gallery. And if you relish a break from the Christmas jingles and carols, head to the Vault in Newton Stewart where on successive Fridays there will be a selection of Jazz and Blues starting with the Waves Blues Band which will pull you into the electric world of Chicago and Delta blues.

Sparkly trainers with the word Cinderella above it. A poster for a pantomime that is one of the Christmas events across the South of Scotland this year.
Head to a Pantomime this December.

Don’t miss the markets

Drumlanrig Castle will play host to a Christmas market at the start of December so be sure to go along for some festive spirit on Friday and Saturday.  From Langholm to Kelso and places in between there are local food and producers markets taking place throughout December offering a selection of delectables which could be great as gifts or to take the pressure off your own to do or make list. Some of the markets are combined at the start of the month with the switching on of the Christmas lights singing and in some cases a wee drop of festive cheer. Your accommodation provider is sure to know about local events, so be sure to ask so you don’t miss out.

Marquee in front of Drumlanrig Castle lit up in red and green - a Christmas market is one of the Christmas events across the South of Scotland this year.
Drumlanrig will have a Christmas market at the beginning of December.

Grand house visit

See how some of our grand houses would have appeared in days gone by this Christmas season. At Paxton House you can go behind the scenes to explore how Christmas changed over the years as the house developed and different generations took over. At Abbotsford step back to the 1820s and see how the Scott family would have celebrated. You can even hear the merriment with a special edition audio tour and the house is beautifully decorated including the famous Waverley tree – one of the largest book trees in Scotland – all lit up for the occasion. And finally while you can’t see inside, you can enjoy the grounds of Monteviot House, lit up for the first time with a sound and light show.

Go behind the scenes at Paxton House this Christmas season.