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Scotland's Themed Years

Our Themed Years celebrate the very best of Scotland and its people.

You’ll find a packed programme of events and activity taking place throughout each celebratory year, as well as lots of opportunities to get involved whether you're a visitor, a business or an organisation.

The next Themed Year will be announced in due course.

Year of Stories 2022

In 2022, Scotland celebrated the Year of Stories. It spotlighted, celebrated and promoted the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. From icons of literature to local tales, the year encouraged locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.

Stories reflect who we are and shape how others see us. 2022 gave us the opportunity to work in partnership to further harness this powerful means to engage and inspire locals and visitors to discover, celebrate and share their own stories of Scotland. A Year of Stories 2022 marketing toolkit, featuring an industry guide, FAQs and the Year of Stories 2022 logo was made available to help businesses and organisations maximise the Themed Years opportunity.

A special programme of events showcased the Year of Stories and the events supported by the Open Events Fund and Round 1 of the Community Stories Fund were announced in December 2021.

The Community Stories Fund supported organisations and community groups to take part in and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, spotlighting the unique stories that matter to them with new, creative events, activities and programming. The new fund, which was worth £300,000, was delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players. The window for applications to this fund have now closed.

Previous Themed Years

  • Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21

In 2020 and 2021, the Year of Coasts and Waters spotlighted, celebrated and promoted opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled coasts and waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation. 


  • Year of Young People 2018

2018 was designated the Year of Young People (YoYP2018), a year that aimed to inspire Scotland through its young people by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and on the international stage.

Highlights video


  • Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 celebrated Scotland’s people, traditions, distinct culture, landscapes, attractions and icons, as well as its hidden gems.  Throughout the year there was a wealth of opportunities to explore Scotland’s past through a range of cultural and creative events and activities.

Highlights video 


  • Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

2016 showcased awe-inspiring innovation, breathtaking architecture and brave, bold designs through new and exciting experiences and events ranging from pop-up design exhibitions to a Tiny Homes village, Renaissance fashion shows to architecture and design festivals.

Highlights video - A look back at Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 

Highlights video - Finger on Scotland's Creative Pulse


  • Year of Food and Drink 2015

2015 spotlighted, celebrated and promoted Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce to both locals and visitors.  The year aimed to increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

Highlights video


  • Homecoming Scotland 2014

2014 was the Year of Homecoming, an unforgettable year in which Scotland welcomed the world to take part in a unique celebration of all that the country has to offer. With more than 1,000 fantastic events across the country, 2014 showcased the very best of Scottish arts, culture, food & drink, nature, activities, history, ancestry and much more.

Highlights video


New delivery model 

Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years are planned to take place every second year to enable more time for planning and collaboration. Given the impact of COVID-19 an exception was made in 2021 with the 2020 year rolling forward. In 2022, we celebrated Scotland’s Year of Stories. Details of the next Themed Year will be confirmed in due course. To enquire about future Themed Years funding and opportunities, please email [email protected].