Large Holiday Homes for New Year 2016

Arguably the biggest and best celebrated festival of the year, and a fantastic opportunity to get family and friends together in a large holiday home. Forget about the old resolutions and usher in the new. 

Just a second...

Loading Large Holiday Homes for New Year 2016

Just a second...

Loading search results

New Year 2016

The celebration of the turn of the year is called Hogmanay in Scotland, and the country rolls out a host of spectacular winter festival events across the regions. Their biggest and most eminent is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, an impressive festival of events run over three days, which includes one of the biggest street parties in the world with live music and top rate entertainment, like the spectacular midnight fireworks display and the torch procession.  But you don’t have to be in Edinburgh to enjoy New Year festivities. The larger towns and cities like Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Aberdeen also host all night parties, and many towns and villages have their own fabulous traditional celebrations on the big night, with pubs hosting Ceilidhs, fireworks, fire displays, feasts and live music, so there is plenty going on around and about. If you were perhaps not looking to join a big knees up, but wanted to bring in the New Year with close friends and family, there are plenty of opportunities to rent secluded holiday homes to enjoy the turn of the year privately.

As the scene setter for Hogmanay celebrations, Scotland knows New Year celebrations better than most, but here are some things about Scotland’s New Year you may not have known:

  • The origins of the word Hogmanay is not really known, although it is thought to be inherited from the Vikings, however it is the word used by the Scots for the last day of the year, and is nowadays synonymous with celebrating the New Year in a Scottish style.
  • Historically in Scotland, Christmas has not always been a recognised festival, and Hogmanay was the traditional celebration of the season.
  • Auld Lang Syne is a song recognised in many English speaking countries as the New Year song, and was written by Scotland’s Robert Burns.
  • The Guinness Book of Records recognises Auld Lang Syne as the most frequently sung song in English.  
  • Many Scots still celebrate the First Footing, a traditional of welcoming guests into your home at the start of a new year.  It is considered good luck to welcome a dark haired male as the first foot in the house after midnight, who should bear traditional symbolic gifts.
  • New Years Day sees the tradition of The Loony Dook, which takes place in the Firth of Forth at Queensferry, where thousands of people plunge into the water for a freezing cold dip, to raise money for charity.


So if you have decided you want to usher in the New Year in Scotland, and are going to rent a large holiday house to accommodate your friends and family, there are a few things you need to think about when planning your special trip.


If you are planning to get out and about to celebrate the Scottish Hogmanay Traditions locally, make sure you make all the transport arrangements you need to. In the remoter reaches travel times could be longer than anticipated when journeying to local towns and villages, and roads are slower in the winter, so be prepared! Taxis may also be very hard to come by, so if you are all planning on enjoying a drink, book in advance!

Food and Drink

Make sure you are aware of the local shops opening times over the season, so you do not get caught with an empty fridge. It’s best to buy what you can in plenty of time so you don’t have pop in during the busiest days, or get caught short with closures. (The 1st and 2nd of January are both Bank Holidays in Scotland). Whilst on the subject, as it is a time of Scottish traditions, why not investigate some traditional dishes served up at Scottish feasts? Haggis is their most famous offering, but there are plenty of other dishes you could have a go at creating for your group. A dram of the local Whisky is also a must on New Year’s Eve!


The Scottish winter weather is famously more severe than in England, it’s what attracts so many people up here, but be prepared for cold and possibly snowy conditions. The Scots are very apt at dealing with weather conditions that would flummox the English, so we’d always hope main roads would be cleared as much as possible, but it is always worth making sure you have an idea of what to expect in the area you are travelling to.


If you intend on joining the local New Year revelries, it’s worth doing your homework to make sure you find the best of what is going on in the area, and make sure you will be able to get there and back. If you are planning on staying in and celebrating at your holiday house, you may want to take your own music devices with you. Please be aware of excessive noise levels with any neighbours though! Party games are a great way to spend time with your nearest and dearest, and there are lots of parlour games you can enjoy together that don’t require too much planning. Charades, Pictionary, Who Am I, The Name Game are all well played party games, but there are plenty of others you can try out with your group. There are numerous board games you can buy that work fantastically with larger groups of players too.

Be Sensible

Don’t forget you are staying in someone else home, so be respectful of the house and furnishings when celebrating. Damage and breakages will have to be paid for. You also don’t want anyone to have any accidents due to any wild revelry, especially if you are staying in a remote area, so look after yourselves too! 

Be Prepared – there are some things you don’t want to have forgotten when staying away from home, especially at this time of year, and you want to make sure you have…

  • Breakdown cover, should the worst happen.
  • Important and emergency numbers, including contacts for the house should you have problems getting there, or problems whilst there.
  • Medical supplies. Some paracetemol is likely to be welcome at some point, but it also may be worth packing the calpol if you have kids, and some cold and flu remedies just in case, and anything else you think may be called for!
  • Games, either board games, a pack of cards, paper and pens for Pictionary, it’s always an idea to pack a few supplies in your case for evening entertainment.
  • Suitable outer garments. It may seem a little obvious, but it really is colder in Scotland than in England, so don’t underestimate how many extra layers you may need, especially for the kids if they want to be outside playing in snow! Spare pairs of certain things like gloves may be required too, and welly boots for everyone.  
  • Your camera! The Scottish landscapes really are spectacular in winter, and it’s well worth taking a few snaps.

How to book a holiday home for New Year with Scotts Castle Holidays

Holiday properties book for the full week over the Christmas and New Year period so don’t forget about planning entertainment for the other days of your stay! Scotland has a number ski centres if this takes your fancy, or you could look into some other outdoor activities nearby. Just planning some rambles into the beautiful countryside is a fantastic way of experiencing Scotland and its landscapes at their finest. Over the winter period many towns and villages have their own traditional markets running, so if you are interested in exploring a bit of Scottish local produce, keeping your eye out in the towns near where you are staying. Other seasonal festivities may also be taking place locally that may be of interest to your group.

New Year is the most popular holiday week for large self-catered holiday properties in Scotland so don’t leave it too late to make your arrangements. Places book fast, so to be sure to find what you are looking for, plan in advance. We are always happy to help if you are not sure what you are looking for, or need some advice on suitable properties for your group and your holiday plans. Our website is a thorough source of information about all the properties we have available but if you have specific questions, just ask!

Close feedback form