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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 13/11/2019

Today (Wednesday 13 November) saw Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop mark ‘50 days to go’ and unveil 30 further events set to make a huge splash in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

From canal carnivals to coastal inspired opera and art, seaweed festivals and science events to thrill-seeking endurance activities and coastal rowing voyages, Scotland’s forthcoming celebratory Themed Year will shine a spotlight on a wide-ranging and far-reaching programme of events and festivals throughout 2020.

Setting sail across spring 2020, (March - May) events supported through round two of the Year of Coasts and Waters event fund include: 

  • Sea Tamagotchi, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  • StAnza 2020, Fife
  • British and Scottish National Surfing Championships, Highlands
  • Cryptic presents Signal, North Ayrshire
  • Canal Festival Time Machine, Falkirk
  • Edinburgh Science Festival: Water For Life, Edinburgh & the Lothians

Splashing into the summer months (June - August) events supported include:

  • Marine Fest, East Lothian
  • Fèis Chala An t-sruthair, Fife
  • Scottish Traditional Boat Festival’s Portsoy Ahoy!, Aberdeenshire
  • The Skye Festival, Highlands
  • Making Waves, North Ayrshire
  • Culzean by the Sea, South Ayrshire
  • Glasgow Canal Festival, Glasgow
  • Shetland Boat Week 2020, Shetland
  • Steòrnabhagh air a’ Chuan (Stornoway on the Ocean), Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  • Your Tay - Your Adventure, Perth and Kinross
  • Dumbarton 2020 River Town, West Dunbartonshire
  • Colours of the Cart, Renfrewshire 

Autumn (Sep onwards) is set to be awash with new experiences: 

  • Taste of Orkney Festival, Orkney
  • Autumn of Endurance, Dumfries & Galloway
  • Isle Martin Seaweed Festival, Highlands
  • Northern Lights Festival, Highlands 
  • Findhorn Bay Festival, Moray Speyside
  • Aiseag (ferry), Highlands

There are also a number of events and projects that will flow across several months of the celebratory year taking in multiple locations across the country. These will include; STORM, Launch on the Sea with Scotland's Lifeboats, Doon the WatterTravelling Gallery’s Coasts and Waters Tour, Rowaround Scotland and Nevis Water Stories.

We have an exciting year ahead celebrating Scotland’s wonderfully diverse coasts, canals, rivers and lochs. The Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 Events Programme is full of tours and exhibitions, great events, cultural performances, community activities and festivals, supported by over £770,000 of Scottish Government funding. These events will be taking place in locations from Shetland, Dumfries and Galloway, Western Isles to Fife and in the heartlands of our great cities.

We are also working across the Scottish Government to deliver several Programme for Government commitments during the Year of Coasts and Waters, including funding Lossiemouth’s East Beach Footbridge, providing £1,000,000 for the repair of The Waverley Paddle Steamer, contributing an additional £400,000 this year for North Ayrshire’s The Coig project, launching the new Islands Passport in 2020 and positioning Scotland as a premier destination for adventure activities globally.

Scotland’s Themed Years have been running since 2009 and we know they are a proven mechanism for us all to work together to create opportunities to diversify our tourism offer whilst promoting Scotland as a great place to visit for people from around the world.

Over 60% of the events announced today include an ‘on the water’ activity element. Whether it’s a canal boat holiday, a week sailing round the Western Isles, an afternoon kayaking or walking by our rivers, lochs or on the beaches, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Scotland’s beautiful coasts and waters.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

The incredible events receiving funding for the Year of Coasts and Waters are leading examples of how Scotland will shine in 2020. These celebrations will help to showcase the year and country across the globe.

We are inviting the world to dive into the amazing experiences our coasts and waters provide. From water inspired myths and legends, historic harbours, rich rivers, captivating canals and sweeping coastlines to the very best in seafood, whisky, wildlife and wellness.

Scotland’s enviable reputation for unspoiled beaches, vibrant natural and cultural heritage and thrill-seeking adventure activities will be celebrated through a packed year-long programme of events and activities.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland

The range of events announced today join six events announced in April 2019 supported through the Year of Coasts and Waters round one programme. These include Clydebuilt Festival, The Fife Regatta, RSPB Scotland’s DolphinFest, Scotland’s Boat Show - River of Light, Ferry Tales by the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Film Festival’sFilm Fest on the Forth’. Many more partner events celebrating the theme will be joining the programme over the forthcoming months.

Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 will begin on 1 January 2020 and run until 31 December 2020. Join the conversation using #YCW2020.