FIRST LOOK: Christmas At The Botanics 2021 dazzles with new showstoppers

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas At The Botanics - with more than a million lights and dazzling new showstoppers.

Top of the selfie-list for new Instagram opportunities is Aquastell, a gigantic must-see lights installation made up of dynamic lighting arches which give the impression of walking among shooting stars.

Other new and immersive installations along the trail are Digital Rain, Fireflies in the Woods, and the mesmerising Sea of Light as the festive finale – featuring an enchanting mix of sound and light that washes across the landscape in shimmering waves.

Returning favourites include Christmas Cathedral, Fire Garden and, of course, a jolly visit from Santa.

BUY TICKETS: Christmas At The Botanics at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, is now open on selected nights until January 2. For ticket information, pricing and timings visit

A timed entry system is in place, with visitors encouraged to book in advance to ensure the timings they are after, and record numbers are expected this year.

Aquastell, created by French lighting artists, Pitaya, is an immersive and stunning display, featuring changing lighting scenarios as people move around it.

It's one of many new jaw-dropping attractions on the mile-long magical after-dark trail, now back for a fifth year and a seasonal highlight of Edinburgh's festive calendar.

In a year where family and friends are looking to reunite over the festive season, the trail will provide awe and wonder for everyone who visits.

Christmas at the Botanics is one of 14 outdoor illuminated trails staged across the UK by Raymond Gubbay Limited, a division of Sony Music. Christmas at the Botanics is presented in partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the trail is created by Culture Creative.

Kari Coghill, Director of Enterprise and Communication at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, said: “This year’s trail is one of the most spectacular yet.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Garden over the coming weeks. Those who attend directly contribute to our wider work, with profits from ticket sales helping to support our vital research and conservation efforts in Scotland and around the world.

"At a time when the impact of the climate on biodiversity is high on the agenda globally, our work is more important than ever.”

This year, there will continue to be health and safety measures in place to ensure that visitors follow Scottish Government guidance on Covid-19 and everyone can enjoy their trail experience.

These include reduced capacity of attendees, a one-way system and a request to make space for others also enjoying the trail and the mandatory wearing of face coverings in indoor areas. These measures will be monitored and visitors kept informed of any changes to guidance during the run.

Jonathan Marks, Chief Development Director at Raymond Gubbay, a division of Sony Music, which promotes the trail, added: “Christmas at the Botanics is a huge draw within the Capital’s festive calendar.

Sea of Light by Ithaca is the dazzling new finale at Christmas At The Botanics 2021. Photo by  Phil WilkinsonSea of Light by Ithaca is the dazzling new finale at Christmas At The Botanics 2021. Photo by  Phil Wilkinson
Sea of Light by Ithaca is the dazzling new finale at Christmas At The Botanics 2021. Photo by Phil Wilkinson

"We are extremely pleased with the breadth of artists and installations that are part of this year’s trail and I am sure that the experience will be as magical as ever.”

For more details visit and follow @mychristmastrails on Facebook and Instagram.

Related topics: