Plan to bring back ice rink to Edinburgh Christmas market

Underbelly has submitted additional plans for Edinburgh's much-loved winter festival.

Plan to bring back ice rink to Edinburgh Christmas market iStock

Edinburgh’s Christmas festival is set to expand under new plans to revamp the much-loved event.

Operator Underbelly hopes to include additional stalls, fairground rides and festive attractions in West Princes Street Gardens for the first time under a shake-up to help spread out crowds attending the festivities.

For the first time since 2018, Underbelly also intends to bring back the popular ice rink to a brand-new location at the westerly end of George Street between Charlotte Square and Castle Street.

As well as around 80 stalls, the giant ferris wheel – a firm favourite in Edinburgh’s festive skyline – will return. Other attractions will include a Christmas tree maze and Santa’s grotto.

Underbelly has already been granted permission for the festivities in East Princes Street Gardens and The Mound.

The updated 2021 planning application – lodged with the City of Edinburgh Council on Tuesday – incorporates West Princes Street Gardens and George Street.

Underbelly said the changes for this year’s event were designed to create a “safe and fun environment” for visitors.

Working closely with the council and Essential Edinburgh, Underbelly also said it had taken on board feedback from previous years to create an “unmissable festive programme”.

Underbelly co-directors, Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, said: “The Underbelly team has been working tirelessly to create a bespoke Edinburgh’s Christmas programme that not only provides unforgettable memories and experiences, but also makes visitors feel safe and at ease at all times.

“It’s been a very challenging couple of years for everyone but our proposed plans for Christmas are designed not only to support economic recovery in the city centre, driving footfall to both the east and the west end of the city, but to also bring some much needed cheer and happiness to both residents and visitors.”

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