Christmas at the Botanics – an illuminated trail through the garden – is returning in 2020 for its longest run ever.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the event will be held over a record 32-nights from 26 November to 3 January within the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (selected evenings only).

The trail promises to round off 2020 on a high and bring cheer into 2021 as it delivers a dazzling display of lights, projections and lasers that will surprise and delight those who attend.      

The one mile long after dark trail will welcome back some of the most popular festive installations including the Cathedral of Light and Laser Garden, as well as an appearance by Santa Claus and the festive finale which will be projected onto Inverleith House. 

There will also be several new installations with new attractions including a projected light show on the 128 metre long modernist Front Range Glasshouses and Starfield – a large-scale installation of white LED twinkling stars by audio-visual designers Art AV.

Christmas at the Botanics will form the pièce de résistance on the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s 350th anniversary year. The event also looks to welcome back devotees of the Garden who were not able to visit when the Garden was temporarily closed because of Covid-19. The 2019 event welcomed 76,000 visitors during its five-week run – and the 2020 event promises to be as popular to those from Edinburgh and beyond.

Simon Milne MBE, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, said: “Having experienced the closure of our four gardens for several weeks as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we open for Christmas at the Botanics and I hope that all who attend will benefit from the festive cheer it brings. This year’s event is even more special as it forms part of our 350th anniversary celebrations which have been significantly impacted by the lockdown. The work of the Botanics has never been more important globally in protecting the environment, human lives and economies. By coming to our event, visitors will play a vital role in funding plant research and conservation.

“We want to reassure all those planning to attend that we will have new health and safety measures in place to protect visitors. While this might mean that one or two of our installations may change this year, rest assured we want everyone who comes to the trail to enjoy their visit safely – whether this is their first time or if they have attended before.”

Jonathan Marks, Chief Development Director at Raymond Gubbay, a division of Sony Music, which promotes the event, added: “Christmas at the Botanics has established itself as a truly uplifting event that helps to set the tone for the festive season in Edinburgh. We are delighted to return to the spectacular backdrop that is the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. We’ll welcome back some of the most loved installations as well as keeping the anticipation of the after-dark spectacle high with the introduction of some new and exciting exhibits. We can’t wait for visitors to see what we have in store for them this year.”

Tickets for this year’s show are on sale now. Further ticket information, pricing and timings, please visit 

Main photo at top of article by Phil Wilkinson