Christmas at the Edinburgh Botanics is surely one of the evening walks of the season. This year the trail boasts over a million twinkling lights, and on Saturday night it was buzzing with visitors galore.
The scented fire garden by the pond is beautiful, the coloured trees glowing and eerie in equal measure, and Santa Claus and his elf â€“ at their gingerbread house â€“ preside in the midst of it all.
Interactive experiences are always a highlight, especially with the eight year old in tow and the walk-way through the dangling, multi-coloured ribbons of light was â€“ for him and, it seemed all of us â€“ magical.
The Cathedral of Light, too, comprising more than 100,000 pea lights, is spectacular, ethereal â€“ especially with the music â€˜Oh Holy Nightâ€™ accompanying it. As an immersive installation, running for 70 metres alongside the Gardenâ€™s Beech Hedge, itâ€™s almost celestial.
Regius Keeper Simon Milne says: â€œAt a time when the only conifers we may be thinking about are Christmas trees, it is worth knowing that of the worldâ€™s 615 species, one third are listed as threatened.
â€œBy coming to our event, visitors are helping us enormously to fund plant research, conservation and our work with communities.Â Our profits from the trail go to help finance our important work in Scotland and around the world.â€
After a somewhat lacklustre 2017, itâ€™s great to be inspired once more by this inspiring winter trail.
Christmas at the Botanics runs for 30 nights on selected evenings from 23 November to 29 December.Â Visitors are encouraged to book in advance to ensure their desired time slot and secure the best ticket price.Â Tickets start from Â£14 per adult and Â£8 for children.
For events information and ticket bookings, visit www.rbge.org.uk