A month of celebrations to mark Scotland’s history and heritage
Jacobites and Vikings, great escapes and epic battles dominate the social calendar in Scotland this month as part of the celebrations to mark 2017 as the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
Borders Heritage Festival kick-starts the September celebrations with a weekend festival to acknowledge the region’s spectacular heritage through light, music, storytelling, theatre and performance.
Lighting the Borders which uses a variety of lighting at a range of historical sites including Neidpath Castle, Duns Law, Riddell Tower and Hume Castle, to form a chain of light across the landscape at dusk each evening.
For two days, Saturday and Sunday, history buffs can also immerse themselves in the past at the Mary Queens of Scots Festival in Kinross.
The event commemorates Mary’s life as Kinross poignantly marks the 450 year relationship with the Castle on Loch Leven Island where she was held captive and where she spent some of her most troubled years, and the end of her reign in 1567. The programme for the two days includes living history encampments, music, food and drink as well as children’s entertainment.
For those seeking a trip further back in time there’s plenty of action to be had at in Largs. Longboats, re-enactments and hearty feasts will bring alive the age of the Vikings on a massive scale. The week-long Largs Viking Festival, which runs from 2 – 10 September, aims to give visitors a chance finding out what life was really like in the distant past.
Next Saturday (9 Sept) will see Scotland’s equine heritage celebrated at HorsePower at The Helix Park, Falkirk. Set against the backdrop of Andy Scott’s magnificent Kelpies, the programme will include innovative, imaginative activities and shows throughout the entire day including live demonstrations of working horses.
If archaeology is your thing then get your hands dirty with Scottish Archaeology Month (1 – 30), promoting hundreds of events taking place across Scotland. From archaeological digs to Viking exhibitions to heritage workshops, the month allows everyone to get involved and unearth the amazing archaeology right on our doorstep.
Dig it! continues their year-long celebrations of Scottish archaeology with Scotland in Six – Hidden Gems. After a public vote, Govan Stones, Ardrossan Castle, The Howff, James Watt Cottage, Campbeltown Picture House and Lincluden Collegiate Church came out on top as Scotland’s lesser known sites of historical importance. Definitely ones to add to the bucket list! Events will be held throughout September to celebrate these attractions.
Unlock the mysteries hidden behind closed doors with Doors Open Days. This annual event gives visitors the key to some the country’s best-kept secrets, offering access to places that are often closed to the public on Saturdays and Sundays throughout September, with different regions revealing some of their finest buildings each weekend.
Capture the Scotland of old as St Andrews Photography Festival (1-30) celebrates over 175 years since the discovery that changed the way we view and document the world all in the home of Scottish photography, St Andrews, with exhibitions, talks, and fringe events.
Hosted in the largest military fort in the UK, Fort George, the Highland Military Tattoo (8 – 10 Sep) brings together top military performers, talented young local performers and some of the world’s finest re-enactors.
Rounding off the month is a three day festival, set to take place in Stirling, History Live (29 Sep – 01 Oct) will showcase Scotland’s rich and diverse history and cultural heritage in the heartland of Scotland’s historic past. From the exciting opening concert at the Church of the Holy Rude to tours of buildings not previously open to the public such as Bannockburn House, the action packed weekend is the perfect way to end a spectacular September of historical events.
“From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends – Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 is shining a spotlight on some of our greatest assets and icons as well as our hidden gems,” said Marie Christie, Head of Development, VisitScotland Events Directorate.
“The historic environment forges connections between people and the places where they live and visit. This September, locals and visitors alike will have an opportunity to enjoy more great events that celebrate and bring to life Scotland’s past. From archaeological digs to battle re-enactments, heritage festivals to musical performances, there has never been a better time to shine a light on our unique history and to celebrate Scotland’s people, distinct culture and traditions, and historic landscapes.”
Other highlights across the month include; Angus Heritage Week (1 – 10 Sep), Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight (2 – 17 Sep), The Battle of Pinkie 1547 (16 & 17 Sep), Big Roman Week (16 – 24 Sep), Jura Music Festival (22 – 24 Sep), Clydebuilt Festival (23 & 24 Sep) and Highland Archaeology Festival (30 Sep – 15 Oct).