Tag Archives: Christmas

Castle lights bring the festive spirit

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This week I was invited to witness the start of the Castle of Light festival at Edinburgh Castle.

Bursting with colourful illuminations and stories from Edinburgh’s rich history the castle is once again open for a festive walk around the battlements, with fantastic views across the sparkling city.

New for this year the animations follow this year’s Kingdom of Colours theme, showcasing the castle’s stories as ‘defender of the nation’, the historic moments dating back 800 years.

The view above is from the Castle esplanade, thumping music and a spiralling mosaic of illustration and colour hits you straight awayt and leads you in through the castle gates.

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Above shows the Earl Haig statue outside the War Museum, on which was projected a beautiful dancing figure made of snow. Calming classical music matches the rythum of the dance as people stand entranced in the view.

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I loved the laughter and family festive vibe that followed me around the roughly 60 minute walk from area to area. Children stood in awe looking up at the engaging light show and story telling. Even if you have been in the past I would recommend revisiting, I left feeling I’d been to see a great show, well done Edinburgh Castle.

Adults are £20, Children £12 and if you are a Historic Scotland member there is a 10% discount here:


A beacon of light

As the new year starts I feel a certain de ja vu with vaccinations being offered around the country as the new variation of Covid continues to spread.

Thanks must be given to NHS workers once again as they continue to man the clinics, pop up centres and drive through vaccination locations.

I was in Ocean Terminal this week and noticed this previously French Connection unit being used as a walk in vaccination centre. The sky outside was dull and inside the shopping centre had a darkness apart from these bright windows, and the festive decorations.

Let’s hope the rest of the year looks a little more like ‘normal’ than in 2021.

I do like to zoom into my sketches and blow them up so below is a close up of the queue into the centre.

The link below has all the information about where you can get your booster or third vaccination in Scotland.


Christmas creations

Enjoying some well needed family relaxation this week after a busy December.

The weeks leading up to the 25th were very busy for me with commissions, deliveries and keeping my wonderful retailers fully stocked. And although I am very grateful to be so busy I am now extremely thankful for my down time with my family, relaxing and enjoying not doing too much.

We have been very creative though, enjoying baking, lego building and fimo moulding to name a few. Also my son James received some lovely pastels from Santa and I couldn’t resist borrowing them to make this drawing of our Christmas tree.

I have a hard time doing nothing!

George Street at Christmas

Christmas on George Street and great to see the busy thoroughfare full of life once again.

As shoppers rush about grabbing their last minute presents I stood up on the Ice Rink bridge to get this view along the Georgian shopping street.

I really liked the ice rink working its way along this city centre location and hope it returns here again next year. I have taken some photos to create a sketch of the skaters in action so watch this space to see that one soon.

a night at the Zoo with friends

Lighting up the dark with a wintery night time walk around Edinburgh Zoo’s Christmas Lights

I find a walk is always a fun way to meet up with other families, especially recently when due to the lock down restrictions meeting up indoors hasn’t been that easy to organise.

Get some exercise, tire out the kids, have a good chat and meet up with loved ones you haven’t seen for a while. And at this time of year there are plenty of night time or early evening walks being lit up around the city.

This week the Sketcher clan met up with pals at the Zoo and enjoyed a spectacular light trail around the animals enclosures. Although many of the residents were keeping a low profile it was good to see (hear and smell!!) the penguins wandering around in the dark!

There was plenty of other attractions to see, and games to play. Including a 360 light show wall and animations projected onto the rocks. Although our friends toddlers found the hedgerow filled with illuminated presents most entertaining of all.

You can see many venues in Edinburgh lit up for Christmas and I really like to see places you know and love transformed into something new. Personally I would of liked more animal themed sights as it was the zoo, but It was a great night, full of festive fun and with good company it makes it all the more memorable.

Read more and book your tickets for a fest night out at the Edinburgh Zoo website.

Festivities begin on Princes Street Gardens

A toned back Christmas on Princes Street looks just great this year.

I am loving this years back to basics Christmas Market at the Scott Monument Princes Street Gardens. I had a wonder round this morning and it’s great to see more of the gardens and the iconic views and monuments on show, just with a little festive twinkle.

Well done all at Edinburgh’s Christmas and a Merry Christmas to all!

Castle at night for the Castle of Light

I was lucky enough to be invited along to see the new Castle of Light nightly event at Edinburgh Castle.

To see this historic building transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour and storytelling is spellbinding. Projection of light and film, animation is such a great way to bring buildings to life at night, and with the castles rich history there is plenty to draw on.

Walking around the cobbled, lamp lit streets of the castle at night was special too, I felt I was in Victorian Edinburgh, climbing up and down the ‘castle village’ of stone buildings, statues, steps and street lights. It is so atmospheric, even before the animated dragon breathes fires across the castle walls!

This stunning lion greeted us on the way in the castle gates.

Our kids loved it, and combined with a poke of chips and a hot chocolate from the Castle esplanade while looking at the sparkly views across the city, it made for a lovely festive night.

The Castle of Light – Hidden Treasures night show is on until 9th Jan at Edinburgh Castle, for more information and to book visit their website HERE.

Snow fall in Edinburgh

On the second of January I woke early to find a new snow fall had dusted Edinburgh with a coating of what looked like icing sugar on a Victorian film set.

I dressed quickly and headed into town, eager to see the city centre streets before too many footprints and tyre tracks had muddied the white stuff. I walked up through Stockbridge taking photographs at every corner. So many views that look so different, fresh and clean with snow on the floor.

As I passed through the New Town I had to stop and make a quick drawing, I sat on a Georgian step and looked across Forres Street around the corner of Moray Place Gardens. Such a perfect scene with the stunning architecture, railings and lamps rising out of the snow!

After finishing my piece I walked up onto Princes Street taking more photos to work from, and trying to get the blood back into my fingers!

Enjoy the winter snow fall everyone 🙂

I later added a sledger being pulled across the road as an idea for a Christmas card for next year:

Festive Cheer on the Streets

A new #supportabusinesssketch for the new year and this beautiful shiny shop front is the Mark David Salon in Henderson Row.

During the festive break the Sketcher family when out on our daily walk would pass by Henderson Row frequently on a circle rout through Stockbridge and Inverleith Park.

This shop front (at 83 Henderson Row) always caught our eyes, with beautiful baubles and flowers, and a nutcracker drummer model, at first I thought it was a florist there were som many flowers and plants outside.

But this is home to the Mark David Salon and they provide a huge range of treatments and pampering, relaxation and escapism for both men and women, something which is very well needed for everyone just now!

Double check on their website for up to date details about the latest restrictions due to the pandemic, and when they can take appointments again.


I am using my #supportabusinesssketch drawings to give a little boost to the independent businesses which make Edinburgh so special, especially during the current pandemic and lock down restrictions.
Also I am drawing each one in a new style of pencil and watercolour, which makes them quite distinctive and different to my usual ink drawings. See more of the support a business sketches by clicking HERE.

All wrapped up for Christmas

Edinburgh sparkles in its festive costume, like this huge bow around the Rutland Hotel.

I love the way the city transforms for Christmas and I can’t help getting carried away with it all, the lights along the street, the trees in the windows and the music in all the shops.

So I give huge thanks to all those who help make the transformation complete, like this building which is home to the Huxley, Kyloe and the Rutland Hotel, whose sign lies beneath the wrapping.

Shortly the decorations will be taken down, as they are in my house and put away for another year. Let the countdown to Christmas 2020 begin!

The Rutland Hotel
The Huxley
Kyloe Restaurant