Scotland’s most ‘Instagrammable’ Christmas events revealed

Edinburgh Christmas Market 2022

NEW DATA has revealed the most Instagram-worthy Christmas events in Scotland, with Edinburgh Christmas Market taking the top spot.  


Event insurance specialists Protectivity analysed over 84,000 Instagram posts featuring location-specific hashtags for 42 Scottish Christmas events. These were then ranked to determine which events are the most popular on Instagram.  


Rank Event No. of Instagram Posts 
Edinburgh Christmas Market 56,218 
Glasgow Christmas Market 5,400 
Christmas at the Botanics 5,399 
IRN-BRU Carnival 4,565 
Castle of Light 3,064 
Aberdeen Christmas Village 2,361 
Oban Winter Festival 762 
Beecraigs Festive Forest 726 
Helensburgh Winter Festival 573 
10 Glasgow Christmas Lights Switch On 551 


Edinburgh Christmas Market tops the list as the most ‘Instagrammable’ event, with an impressive 56,218 hashtags. Each year the stunning city centre undergoes a festive makeover to become one of the UK’s most picturesque Christmas markets which can be enjoyed until 6th January. The market’s Forth 1 Big Wheel is one of the biggest attractions, with this gaining 548 Instagram posts alone. 

Coming in second is Glasgow Christmas Market, with 5,400 hashtags. Huge crowds have already gathered in George Square and St Enoch Square to join in the festive fun, which continues until 7th January. This year sees the market’s first-ever WinterFest, which includes an ice rink, festival bar, silent disco, and many festive rides and attractions.  

Next in the rankings is Christmas at the Botanics in third place, with 5,399 Instagram posts. Edinburgh’s beautiful botanical gardens are filled with seasonal cheer once again as its magical light trail returns and can be visited until 30th December. Arguably one of the best Christmas light trails in the UK, tickets for this dazzling after-dark display sell out fast – so make sure to buy yours now to avoid disappointment. 


IRN-BRU Carnival ranks fourth overall, with 4,565 posts in total. The exciting Christmas carnival is Europe’s largest indoor funfair and runs until 14th January. From inflatable play to thrill rides, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss out on one of Glasgow’s top festive attractions, taking place at the SEC Glasgow. 


With 3,064 posts, Castle of Light at Edinburgh Castle is in the fifth spot. This festive feast for the eyes is back for a fourth year with enchanting illuminations, twinkling Christmas lights, and immersive displays, and is available until 3rd January. 

Sixth place goes to Aberdeen Christmas Village, which takes place until 23rd December. The Christmas market has been tagged in 2,361 posts and forms the festive highlight for the Granite City and its visitors. As well as this, the market raised over £22,000 for a local children’s charity last year, so be sure to support this fabulous market. 

In the seventh spot is Oban’s Winter Festival, with hashtags for the event appearing in 762 posts. Although this festival may have already finished, it is still one of Scotland’s most popular Christmas events and one of the seasonal highlights for the town. A reindeer parade, a winter wellness weekend, and a haggis hurling competition were a few of the festive activities on offer. 

Beecraigs Festive Forest comes in eighth place with 726 posts, which runs until 23rd December. Set in the beautiful Beecraigs Country Park in West Lothian, this atmospheric and magical Christmas experience features one of the UK’s most powerful laser shows, a Santa’s grotto, and seasonal street food and drink. 

Seizing ninth place in the rankings is Helensburgh Winter Festival, with the festive event taking place for two days only: 9th and 10th December. This scenic coastal town is affectionately known as ‘The Christmas Town’ by locals, and for good reason. Despite only running for one weekend, this event packs in a Santa dash, Christmas concerts, and light displays. 

Concluding the list with 551 posts is Glasgow Christmas light switch-on in tenth spot. Along with the market, the light switch-on is a fundamental part of the city’s Christmas calendar and kicks off the festive season. This year, around 10,600 ticket holders gathered in George Square to enjoy Scotland’s most ‘Instagrammable’ light switch-on. 

Commenting on the findings, Sean Walsh, Head of Marketing at Protectivity said:  

“It’s wonderful to see that Scotland’s Christmas events have bounced back after the pandemic.  These Christmas spectacles have become an integral part of the festive season for many people in Scotland as well as tourists, bringing joy, light, and warmth to the winter months.  


“Make sure to visit your local Christmas event this year to help support small businesses and to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit.” 

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