Ceilidh Venues in Edinburgh

For visitors looking to experience as much Scottish culture as possible during what may be only a brief stay in the city, the ceilidh is a popular choice for an evening out: sociable and immersive, it’s no stretch to suggest that there is something rather moving about participation in something belonging wholly to our little Gaelic corner of the world, something that has evolved over countless generations .  Edinburgh-Flats has gathered below a few hints, tips and favourite listings pages from which you can find a local event & buy your tickets.

For the complete newcomer: ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) is now known as a traditionally Gaelic occasion with music and dance, originating in Scotland and Ireland as a social gathering which included recital of stories and poems.  Modern ceilidhs often mark special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries & graduations, or landmark dates in the cultural calendar: look out for a St.Andrew’s Day ceilidh should you find yourself here at the end of November, or Burns’ Night for our January guests.

Some ceilidhs are more formal than others, so before setting off we recommend you double check the venue (pub with a function room, or stately home?), and there may be age restrictions and/or a dress code.  But the principal elements will be the same regardless of scale.  There will be music: fiddle, accordion, flute, drums; and a Caller will instruct couples in the set dances: Gay Gordons, Strip the Willow, Flying Scotsman being a few of the most well-known.

A Quick Guide to Your First Ceilidh from CeilidhHunter, and another from Splann.co.uk.  


A Few of Edinburgh’s Best Known Ceilidh Bands…

Why not check out their websites and look them up on YouTube?  Perhaps you might like to run through a couple of Dashing White Sergeants in the comfort of your front room, before you get here.

The Big Shoogle

Scotland’s Ceilidh Band    

Mad Parrott Ceilidh Band

Ceilidh Experience

John Carmichael’s Ceilidh Band


Venues with Regular Ceilidh/Scottish Dance Events…

Please be sure to check dates and times in advance.  Some of the more popular regular ceilidhs can sell out in advance, so there may not always be tickets on the door.

The Edinburgh Ceilidh Club  Meets every Tuesday night @ Summerhall (in Newington).  Tickets available online in advance.  Have a look at their Facebook page for club events at other venues across the city, and purchase your tickets here.

Monthly Scots Music Group ceilidhs @ the St.Bride’s Centre (10 Orwell Terrace, Edinburgh EH11 2DZ)

Friday night ceilidhs @ The Merlin Pub, Morningside (168-172 Morningside Road)

Linlithgow Scottish Country Dance  Regular ceilidhs outside Edinburgh


Your Ceilidh Diary: Edinburgh Listings…

Ceilidh Collective  Comprehensive (charity) ceilidh listings for the city of Edinburgh

www.ceilidhculture.co.uk  Dates & venues for yet more charity ceilidhs

Ceilidh Diary Calendar of local ceilidhs courtesy of www.mikescommunity.com

The List Edinburgh  The go-to city listings guide

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe  If you’re coming in August, check out the Fringe programme for ceilidhs, special events & dance workshops.


Some Useful Links…

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society  

Dancebase Edinburgh  Regular ‘Celtic Focus’ courses in Scottish dance; drop-in classes and special events.

Scottish Dance Forthcoming (global!) events

Music in Scotland Index of Scottish dance/band music

Visit Scotland Some basic ceilidh info plus a link to listings of Scottish dance events & festivals around Scotland

Tradmusic.com& Foot Stompin’  For information, music purchase, discussion forums & online radio


Get Scotland Dancing