Hogmanay in the Highlands

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Few places in the world celebrate Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) with as much enthusiasm as we do in Scotland. From sparkling fireworks to twirling fireballs, Hogmanay traditions in the Highlands are unlike any other. There is no better way to spend the New Year’s holiday than on a Hogmanay tour in the Highlands.

Dornoch – Traditional Scottish Hogmanay
In the far north, the small village of Dornoch packs a Hogmanay punch with its lively street party. Full of ceilidh dancing, music, food and drink, Dornoch’s town square comes alive during the Hogmanay Street Party, drawing in both locals and tourists. Spend the morning of the 31st December exploring the village, visiting locations such as Dornoch Cathedral, the 5-star Historylinks Museum, or the Witchstone. In the evening, after getting ready at your hotel, head out to the opulent five-course gala dinner at the Dornoch Castle Hotel. Or, if you’d prefer, take to the streets for dinner at the Street Party, and watch the fireworks at the stroke of midnight.
Glenmorangie House or the Dornoch Castle Hotel are the perfect bases for a Hogmanay holiday in Dornoch.

Stonehaven – Ancient Fireball Festival
If you’d prefer to have an even more thrilling Hogmanay, Stonehaven will not disappoint. To the northeast in Aberdeenshire, Stonehaven celebrates Hogmanay with a procession of fireball-twirling through the streets. At the stroke of midnight, 40+ people swing massive balls of fire above their head, making their way toward the harbour. Once they reach the sea, the fireballs are flung far out into the water. The thrilling tradition is believed by many to have begun with the Vikings when the twirling of fire was used to ward off evil spirits. Others believe it dates back to Neolithic times with the true story lost to history.
The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, a Luxury Scotland hotel, is only a short drive away from Stonehaven. Stay at the Marcliffe for a holiday of exquisite dining and luxurious pampering, then head to Stonehaven’s city centre in your luxury chauffeur driven car for the fireball festivities.

Inverness – Red Hot Highland Fling
For a memorable Hogmanay packed full of music and parties, look no farther than Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Every year the capital hosts the Red Hot Highland Fling, a riotous outdoor concert full of modern and traditional music, street vendors and, of course, champagne. At the stroke of midnight, the band will play Robert Burns’ iconic New Year’s anthem “Auld Lang Syne” for the crowd.
The Rocpool Reserve Hotel is the only 5-star hotel in Inverness, and is the perfect location from which to experience Inverness’ Hogmanay festivities.


Whatever your choice of location, your Hogmanay Holiday in the Highlands is sure to be packed full of events and celebration of the new year to come. For more information, contact us on +44 (0) 141 883 2111 or