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.
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
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…
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