Watching fireworks: Edinburgh

Remember, remember the 5th of November… As the nights draw in, there’s plenty to look forward to if you turn your head to the skies in Edinburgh! We’re a city that knows how to celebrate with a bang, and if you are visiting during the winter months – for Bonfire Night, St Andrews Day or perhaps even Hogmanay, you’re in for a treat when it comes to the firework displays across the country.

Fireworks in Edinburgh (credit and copyright: prettylittleworld_87)
Fireworks in Edinburgh (credit and copyright: prettylittleworld_87 – Instagram)

Here are some great viewing points around Edinburgh to watch the many firework displays (public and private) across the city. Remember, stay safe and stay warm!

Calton Hill


The classic spot. Head up Edinburgh’s Calton Hill (just a few minutes’ walk east of Princes Street) for a brilliant 360 view of the city: Arthur’s Seat to the south, Edinburgh Castle and the Pentland Hills to the west, Leith and Portobello to the north and east. You’ll be in good company, too, as Calton Hill is a favourite among locals and visitors alike when it comes to picking a good spot for firework-watching.

Good to know: There are step-free access points around Calton Hill – enter via Blenheim Place or Regent Terrace.

Corstorphine Hill

Slightly further out of the city, but accessible on the main bus routes that also serve Edinburgh Airport, Corstorphine Hill is a beautiful nature spot that offers spectacular views of the city from the east side, with Edinburgh Castle in the centre and Arthur’s Seat behind. Access is a little trickier in the dark, particularly on the way down so bring a torch and some good walking shoes.

Blackford Hill

Blackford Hill, Edinburgh (credit and copyright: prettylittleworld_87)
Blackford Hill, Edinburgh (credit and copyright: prettylittleworld_87)

Blackford Hill sits on the southern side of the city, and is a great spot for watching the many private firework displays that go on in Edinburgh’s residential areas. On a clear night you’ll even see over to the Kingdom of Fife to the north of the city. Parking around Blackford Hill is limited as it is a residential spot, and you’ll access the top of the hill via grassy (often muddy!) footpaths. Take care and bring suitable footwear and a good torch!

Holyrood Park

Arthurs seatNot for the faint-hearted, climbing Edinburgh’s famous volcano in the dark can be risky, but the views are pretty breathtaking and if you want to get a great view of the city at night, this is a fantastic place to go (read our Photographer’s Guide to Edinburgh for some tips on traversing the hills in the dark). From Holyrood Park itself, you’ll still have fantastic views looking back towards the city.

Other great places to watch Hogmanay and festival fireworks

The Meadows

Perfect if you’re living or staying centrally and you love the communal atmosphere of a classic firework display. Always a busy spot, the Meadows are easily accessed from all corners of the city, and their size mean you’re well served by buses from wherever you are. Parking is permit-only around most of the roads, so you are better walking or catching public transport.

West Approach Road

For smaller groups, head to the bridge above West Approach Road on the east side of Edinburgh Castle for a brilliant view of the festival and Hogmanay fireworks. Access the bridge from the walkway opposite Usher Hall on Lothian Road.

Where do you enjoy watching festive fireworks from in Edinburgh? Let us know your tips in the comments and on social media!

You can find a list of Bonfire Night events via VisitScotland here.

Please note: For general guidance only. Some of the spots mentioned above can be treacherous in the dark. Please take care and wear suitable footwear and clothing when visiting them.

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