Dates for your Sail Scotland diary
Date published: 15 January 2019
From awe-inspiring Viking festivals to the toe-tapping majesty of the Royal Military Edinburgh Tattoo, Scotland has no shortage of incredible events to discover in 2019.
Put these dates in your diary, plan some #LegendarySailing and experience everything Scotland has to offer this year.
29 January, Lerwick
Flaming torches, winged helmets and thundering drums – you’ve never been to a party like Up Helly Aa, the largest Viking fire festival in Europe. Set sail for the stunning Shetlands and find a celebration that’ll burn itself forever in your memory.
20 – 24 February, Fort William
Set sail for adventure and explore Scotland’s premiere celebration of the great outdoors. Featuring inspiring talks from some of the world’s top adventurers as well as screenings of exhilarating films, this is a festival fitting of Fort William – “Scotland’s Outdoor Capital.”
Loch Linnhe, Fort William (c) Raymond JP Watson
6 - 10 March, St Andrews
It may be known worldwide as The Home of Golf but every March the beautiful coastal town of St Andrews plays host to an epic celebration of poetry and prose. With more than 100 readings, performances and discussions by poets from all over the globe, StAnza will leave you in no doubt that there’s much more to St Andrews than just gorgeous greens and fairways.
30 April, Edinburgh
One of two fire festivals hosted in the capital, the community-led Beltane Fire Festival reinterprets ancient Celtic traditions in a modern, spectacular way. Follow the flaming torches and thundering drums from Edinburgh’s National Monument to Calton Hill for spectacular views over the city, a cavalcade of characters, and an epic bonfire to ‘spark the birth of summer.’
(c) Stefan Schäfer, Wikimedia Commons
1 - 6 May, Speyside
Dreaming of a dram? This six-day whisky extravaganza celebrates more than 50 distilleries from the spectacular Speyside region with special whisky tastings, exclusive tours of distilleries, music performances and scrumptious food.
22 - 23 June, Portsoy
Soak up the charm of this quirky traditional boat festival celebrating Scotland’s rich cultural heritage. See some unique vessels, tuck into tasty food and drink, and explore the wonders of Portsoy village on the beautiful Banffshire coast.
17 - 20 July, Stornoway
Set in the grounds of Lews Castle on the stunning island of Lewis, HebCelt might just be the most atmospheric music festival you’ll ever attend. Hear music celebrating Celtic cultures, tinged with contemporary, rock and indie-folk influences and explore the many wonders of the Hebrides.
2 - 24 August, Edinburgh
It’s a Scottish institution and a key date on the cultural calendar - a spectacular show of military bands, dancing and piping performances, set against the unforgettable backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. From the poignant refrain of the lone piper to the breathtaking fusion of drums, dance and precision, seeing your first Tattoo is an experience that will linger long in the memory.
1 – 9 September, Largs
Channel your inner Viking at this epic festival commemorating the Battle of Largs in 1263 – the last mainland battle between the Scots and Norse. Explore the living history of the Viking Village, watch the re-enactment of the fateful battle, and witness a longship put to the torch.
11 - 19 October, Glasgow
Scotland's main Gaelic cultural festival, the Mòd brings together a huge range of traditions, including music performances, literature readings, Highland dancing - and even a spot of shinty. Head along and see for yourself why traditional Gaelic culture continues to delight and enthuse people from across the world
Celebrate the national day of Scotland's patron saint, St Andrew, at events all over the country. From history and music events to food and drink extravaganzas, this is a celebration of all things Scottish.
31 December, Edinburgh
No one throws a New Year's Eve party quite like the Scots! Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, held in the shadow of the capital’s iconic castle, is rightfully legendary but, whatever the scale of the event and wherever it's held, Scotland's Hogmanay celebrations guarantee a warm welcome, the making of more than a few new friends – and copious amounts of whisky! Slàinte!
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