Marty's Blog: 7 Scottish Things To Do For St Andrews Day
As the nights draw in, it starts to get a bit colder and Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé are taken out of their boxes we still have one big holiday before we get to Christmas. St Andrews day on the 30th of November is a celebration of Scottish culture, so put on that kilt and eat some haggis whilst I give you 7 exceptionally Scottish things to do this St Andrews Day.
The Scotch Whisky Experience – Whisky Tour
For those of you who like the odd tipple, you should definitely look into The Scotch Whisky Experience. They offer tours, tastings and a highly recommended restaurant where you can explore the different notes and pairings of the classic Scottish alcohol. From the “Macallan Gold” with notes of orange peel and chocolate to the intensely peaty Smokehead, there will be something to suit everyone’s tastes.
Edinburgh castle is probably Edinburgh’s most iconic landmark, centred slap bang in the middle of the town. With a whole host of events lined up throughout November, you can learn about Scottish history, how the castle came to be and some awesome views to boot. If you’re feeling a little peckish they do have their Redcoat Café serving hot food from half 11 until half 3 daily, or if you wanted something a little extra they do also provide a pre-booked afternoon tea.
One of the best things about Edinburgh is how much lush greenery there is in the centre of the town. The entrance to the hill is situated just off of Princes Street giving stunning views of Edinburgh as well as a good workout from walking up all the way. Originally used for Celtic rituals in the early days of Scotland, the place has an ethereal quality to it. So grab some friends, make some Hot Toddys (or Hot Chocolate) in a flask and see what all the fuss is about.
Ceilidhs are one of the most fun ways to party in Scotland! If you’ve never been to one (or even heard of one) a ceilidh is a night of traditional Scottish dancing, a live band and probably alcohol. They are a lot of fun, get your blood going and help you get closer acquainted with people due to how many partner and group dances there are. Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland are hosting their annual ceilidh on Friday the 30th at the Lauriston Hall, only £12 on the door.
For those who enjoy the folk music of a ceilidh but prefer a more chilled affair hit up Captains Bar in old town for a whole host of Celtic inspired music. From traditional Ceilidh to Americana inspired folk songs, they have loads of different people every week. I’d say the best times to go are the Saturday sessions at 1 pm and the Sunday sessions at 6 pm.
For those of you who have never tried the Scottish delicacy, a deep-fried Mars bar is exactly what it says on the tin: A Mars bar, dipped in batter and then deep fried to perfection. It’s a staple in many chippys throughout Edinburgh, like a dessert to your pizza crunch. Best eaten after a night out, still half cut or if you’re feeling like you want to clog an artery. It's sweet and soft but a bit crunchy due to the batter.
If you are interested in Scottish politics then this is the place for you. The Scottish Parliament offer tours around the parliament, the possibility of getting tickets to first ministers questions and the opportunity to sit in on policies being made. The whole concept of the design of Holyrood is that the people are always watching, so why not go watch for yourself.
St Andrews Day is very much an underrated holiday but it allows Scottish people to celebrate their heritage in true Scottish fashion. Whether it’s out on the town in a kilt at a ceilidh or in bed watching Reign on Netflix, celebrate it how you want to because the Scottish way is basically to do whatever you want.
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