Scotland Festivals

Festivals in Scotland

Narrow the Scotland Festivals selection below using the intiutive search box to the right. It works a treat. Bon voyage!

Aberdeen International Youth Festival

Aberdeen International Youth Festival

Annually each July, the Aberdeen International Youth Festival showcases a wealth of home-grown and international talent from across the arts disciplines — from classical music to jazz, big band to choirs, soloists, opera, theatre productions and dance performances.

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Europe Scotland Aberdeen Performing Arts Festivals Classical Music and Opera Festivals July
Arran Mountain Festival

Arran Mountain Festival

The majestic Isle of Arran is the largest island in Scotland's Firth of Clyde and a huge draw for hillwalkers, mountaineers and nature-lovers. For four days each May it's also home to the Arran Mountain Festival, Scotland's premier hillwalking and mountaineering festival. From wildlife-watching walks along the island's coastline to airy scrambles on towering granite ridges, The Arran Mountain Festival is an opportunity to meet like-minded people, discover a fascinating chunk of Scotland and enjoy unforgettable days in the safe hands of experienced local guides. With names to inspire the imagination, such as Ceum na Caillich (Witch's Step) Caisteal Abhail (Castles) and the Sleeping Warrior, the mountains of Arran are some of Scotland's most alluring landscapes.

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Europe Scotland Isle of Arran Mountaineering Festivals May
Burn's Night

Burn's Night

January 25 is the (assumed) birthday of Caledonia's bard, Robert Burns. Burns, Scotland's most revered poet penned for the people many poetic treats including Tam O'Shanter, My Luve's like a Red, Red Rose, and To a Haggis. To Scots the world over Burn's Night is an institution; a chance to gather for tradtional fare — haggis, neeps and tatties — a little poetry and usually a wee dram of fine Scotch or three in honour of the champion of the common people.

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Europe Scotland Traditional Festivals Historical Festivals January
Dundee Literary Festival

Dundee Literary Festival

Lover of literature? Find your reading specs and head on over to the the Dundee Literary Festival and Comics Conference. For five days in October, the University of Dundee becomes a hotbed of literary discussion, readings and critiques as over 40 events take centre stage.

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Europe Scotland Dundee Literature Festivals Book Fairs October
Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Join the masses for 25 days this August as the streets and venues of Edinburgh come alive with unbridled creativity. Every year thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages (and soapboxes and street corners) all over Edinburgh to present a huge diversity of shows and performances that cater for every imaginable taste. From the biggest names in comedy, theatre and entertainment to unknown artists looking to enhance their fledgling careers, Ed Fringe never fails to deliver memorable performances across a multitude of genres ranging from physical theatre through to cutting edge satire. Take nothing for granted at the greatest cultural show on earth in one of its most spectacular cities.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh Fringe Festivals Performing Arts Festivals Comedy Festivals August
Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh's International Festival presents a diverse and rich mix of classical, dance, drama and opera productions performed in some of the city's most loved and iconic venues, including the circular Usher Hall and the magnificent glass-fronted Edinburgh Festival Theatre. It's an invitation to the world's greatest artists to perform in one of Europe's most culturally active cities. The Festival rounds things off with a massive fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle that lights up the autumn sky above the crowds in Princes Street Gardens, to the strains of classical music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

More Edinburgh International Festival info...

Europe Scotland Edinburgh Classical Music and Opera Festivals August
Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh's annual Science Festival was the world's first celebration of science and technology, and still one of Europe's largest. Each year hundreds of the best and brightest minds in science and technology gather in Edinburgh to debate and celebrate some of the biggest, and sometimes controversial ideas in science.The two-week event places emphasis on giving audiences of all ages amazing experiences through a programme of innovative and inspiring events.

More Edinburgh International Science Festival info...

Europe Scotland Edinburgh Science and Technology Festivals Family Festivals April
Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

As Scottish as Sean Connery hoeing into a haggis or Robert the Bruce sipping a wee dram, it's Edinburgh's famous Military Tattoo, held annually each August. Get along and enjoy bagpipes by the bucket-full, the rattle of stick on snare and hundreds of large, hairy men in kilts marching in formation.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh Celtic Festivals Traditional Festivals Cultural Festivals August
Glasgow International

Glasgow International

For 18 days in April, Glasgow International showcases the best of local and international art for a wide array of audiences in various venues and locations across the city, including Glasgow's major art spaces and cultural institutions. As a world-renowned biennial festival of contemporary art, Glasgow International continues to evolve via an ambitious programme which includes exhibitions, events, talks, performances and projects by international as well as Glasgow-based artists.

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Europe Scotland Glasgow Art Festivals April
Hogmanay

Hogmanay

The Scots have always been a highly hospitable bunch proud of their tradition. And for the brave, what better way to see it in action than during Hogmanay — Europe's finest celebration of the new year. Enjoy a wee dram in a Royal Mile pub then stomp up a hill with thousands of others, torches ablaze. Follow it up the next night along with hundreds of thousands of other revellers on the streets of Edinburgh to some huge headline acts and the splendor of Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop. Many events over the three days of Hogmanay are ticketed, so get in early to avoid disappointment.

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Europe Scotland Edinburgh New Year Events Traditional Festivals December
Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

Pack your trainers and head for the Highlands. The Loch Ness Marathon winds its way through some wonderful scenery, taking participants along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, across the River Ness, and into the centre of Inverness. If you don't have the legs for the full marathon, perhaps the five or ten kilometre fun run is more your distance.

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Europe Scotland Inverness Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs Sporting Events September
Mull Music Festival

Mull Music Festival

The Isle of Mull welcomes one and all for a long-weekend of music, dance and frivolity each April for the Mull Music Festival. At the bars of Tobermory and Dervaig visitors can expect a range of Scottish folk-rock, traditional fiddle and accordion dance and ceilidh bands along maybe even a little Gaelic singing if they're lucky.

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Europe Scotland Isle of Mull Folk and Folk Music Festivals Celtic Festivals Community Festivals April
North Hop Aviemore

North Hop Aviemore

Quality craft beer may be the Highlands best kept secret. Having long lived in the shadow of that other drink the Highlands is famed for, the North Hop Festival is doing its darnedest to put locally brewed craft beer on the map. For two days each August, North Hop celebrates local craft beer, artisan gins, creative cocktails, Scottish food and homegrown music, the Highland way.

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Europe Scotland Aviemore Beer Festivals Craft Beer Festivals Food Festivals November
Orkney Folk Festival

Orkney Folk Festival

Fancy the fiddle? Beguiled by the banjo? You'll want to be in Stromness (the Orkney's second largest town) come May for the annual Orkney Folk Festival. For four days the Orkneys usher in summer with a range of concerts, ceilidhs, sessions, workshops and talks.

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Europe Scotland Orkney Islands Folk and Folk Music Festivals Community Festivals May
Return to the Ridings

Return to the Ridings

For centuries the Scottish border towns of Hawick, Jedburgh, Lauder and Selkirk have been keeping a watchful eye on their southern neighbours, the ever-so-meddlesome English. In years past these Common Ridings of the Scottish border were horseback patrols to ensure those southerners knew where their boundary ended and the Scottish frontier began. And whilst todays events are for the most part close re-enactments to those of yesteryear, a greater emphasis has been placed on the civic rituals attached to the ceremony and drinking yourself to oblivion, rather than keeping the vexatious English at bay. So if you enjoy your festivities with more than a touch of historical significance, set to a drum and fife band beat and you think you an handle the traditional curds 'n' cream (rum and milk) before breakfast (and that's just for starters) head for the Scottish border the first weekend in June. Hell, even you English are welcome to take part in these celebrations!

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Europe Scotland Hawick Historical Festivals Traditional Festivals May
Skye Book Festival

Skye Book Festival

The annual Skye Book Fest brings together a variety of writers, including leading novelists, poets, historians and children's authors to the magical Isle of Skye each July. The event coincides with a charming antiquated book fair with original and unique books on display and for sale.

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Europe Scotland Isle of Skye Book Fairs Community Festivals September
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

The banks of the River Spey are home to some of Scotland's top malt-whisky distilleries. After touring the stills, coat your throat with some of the smoothest mixes of peat, fruit and honey flavours by sampling a dram or two of the finest regional single malts. Take a wee dauner over Dufftown's hills to clear your head before tackling a master class to learn about Scotland's national drink or take part in a host of fun-filled, whisky-inspired events.

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Europe Scotland Inverness Whiskey Festivals May
St. Andrews Highland Games

St. Andrews Highland Games

Pop on some plaid and head for St. Andrews for their annual Highland Games held annually on the last Sunday of July. Brimming with tradition, the games feature a full programme of time-honoured Scottish events such as tossing the caber, tug o' war and solo piping. There may be even a little Highland dancing too if you a fancy a jig. Events kick off just after lunch and finish up by five but word on the street has is that festivities often continue well into the eve at some of St. Andrews' finer licensed public houses.

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Europe Scotland St. Andrews Sporting Events Traditional Festivals July
Swamp Soccer World Cup

Swamp Soccer World Cup

In Blairmore, Scotland, teams like the "Sporting Abeergut", "Real Mudrid", "Mudchesthair United", and the "Blackbum Rovers" get down and dirty at the annual Swamp Soccer World Cup. It's mayhem and madness in the mud with a big emphasis on fun. Don't expect any Ronaldo-esque step-overs but chances are you'll see your fair share of fall-overs. Games are six-a-side, 12 minutes per half, but that's more than enough when you're trudging through a mire. Player preparation is essential. If you don't tape your boots onto your ankles, don't expect to be wearing them for too long. When that final whistle blows, it's a quick dip in the local loch and then back to the pub for a wee dram or two.

More Swamp Soccer World Cup info...

Europe Scotland Dunoon Bizarre Festivals Sporting Events June
Up Helly Aa

Up Helly Aa

Like your festivals wind-swept, scorched and dripping with tradition? Then Up Helly Aa may just be the fest for you. For 24 hours on the last Tuesday of January, Lerwick — the capital of the Shetland Islands — puts its party shoes on come rain, hail or shine. There's Vikings galore, torch-lit marching featuring 800 heavily-disguised men, and if the rumours are true, there may even be a little of the local Scotch on offer too. Pack warm but forget the sleeping bag, there'll be no time for napping.

More Up Helly Aa info...

Europe Scotland Shetland Islands Traditional Festivals Historical Festivals January

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