Rossmor is feeling Christmassy for guests staying with us this week. The tree is dressed, the lights are on and we even have our very own Santa Claus at the bottom of the driveway welcoming visitors up the drive. Grantown on Spey is wonderful at Christmas. Local volunteers from the community put up the town’s lights each year and we hold an evening of carol singing in the Town Square to mark turning them on. We have a Christmas market at The Pagoda and the High Street retailers dress their windows so we keep that festive feeling when out shopping.
One of the highlights for us is the Torchlight Parade when our very own reindeers, from the Cairngorms National Park, pull Santa in his sleigh through the town on the 23rd December each year.
A week later we celebrate Hogmanay. Grantown holds a party in the town square which thousands of locals and visitors attend. There is dancing in the open air at the Ceilidh through the Town Square and an amazing display of fireworks to bring in the new year. Then the tradition of first-footing starts, with a tall, dark stranger crossing the threshold with gifts, after midnight, bringing luck and prosperity to the household for the year.
Personally, we think Grantown on Spey puts on the best end of year celebration in the Scottish Highlands!