SANTA CLAUS came to town yesterday as the annual Santa Dash saw thousands of people dress up in traditional red-and-white Father Christmas suits and run for charity.

More than 30 towns and cities hosted events across the UK, with two of the biggest taking place in Scotland.

Around 2500 people ran the 5k Santa Dash in Glasgow, while a further 1200 put on their red-and-white suits for the Great Edinburgh Santa Run.

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Organisers of both annual events said they were delighted with the turnout. Money raised at the Glasgow event, which started and ended in George Square, will go to various charities, including Glasgow City Council's Malawi Leaders of Learning fund. In Edinburgh, the money will go to children's charity When You Wish Upon A Star, which takes Scottish children with life-threatening illnesses to Lapland.

"I'm always astounded by the number of people that come out on a cold Sunday morning in December to support our cause," said Margaret Rowarth, Scottish appeals manager for When You Wish Upon A Star.

Event organiser Nickie Gott added: "Every year, the sight of hundreds of Santas running through West Princes Street Gardens really takes my breath away."