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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 08/09/2022

As summer turns into autumn, there are still more than a hundred Year of Stories events to enjoy over the coming months. From festivals to talks and trails and community celebrations, read on to find out about some of the events that will bring our stories to life.

Scotland’s National Book Town takes centre stage from 23 September to 2 October as the Wigtown Book Festival presents more than 200 events, including two special commissions, The Bookshop Untold, which will take visitors on a whimsical journey through history, Scottish literature, art, love, and loss, and Into the Nicht, a unique night-time walk with writer and adventurer Dan Richards and Dark Sky Ranger Elizabeth Tindal.

Findhorn Bay Festival also runs from 23 September to 2 October with a wide-ranging mix of outstanding Scottish art, theatre and performance, storytelling and live music, alongside family-friendly events. For the first time in 50 years, a tall ship - The Lady of Avenel - will arrive at Buckie Harbour for the festival, bringing the story of Moray’s local coastal and maritime heritage and culture through music and storytelling.

Findhorn Bay Festival 2018 - Buke of the Howlat
Findhorn Bay Festival 2018 - Buke of the Howlat
Image credit Paul Campbell

Edinburgh’s Scottish Storytelling Centre is home to the second season of Figures of Speech, a collaboration with Edinburgh City of Literature. Events in September, October and November bring together writers and artists to take audiences on a road trip through Scottish literature. The first event is on 23 September, where Gaelic poet Peter Mackay will talk about love with romance writer Jenny Colgan.

Music is one of the best-loved ways of storytelling and Chamber Music Scotland is on tour around the country this autumn with Songs from the Last Page. The song-writing and live performance project created with composer Gareth Williams celebrates brilliant storytelling and storytellers through song. Performances coming up include 21 September in Aberdeen, 24 September at Wigtown Book Festival, 2 October at Findhorn Bay Festival and 9 October at the Bookmark Book Festival, Blairgowrie.

Also on tour at the moment, Yoyo & The Little Auk is the perfect introduction to orchestral music and storytelling for children aged 3-6. The interactive experience features a screening of a new animated film voiced by James Cosmo, accompanied by a live orchestral performance by the RSNO. Performances coming up include Perth, Findhorn, Aberdeen, Dundee.

If you enjoy hearing your stories outdoors, then don’t miss two trails that are part of the Year of Stories. Shadows of the Past… Ayr’s Myths, Legends and History is a self-led journey where you will encounter life-sized character silhouettes and experience Ayr and Alloway like never before. Of Scotland’s Soils and Soul puts stories centre stage across the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and regional gardens at Benmore, Dawyck and Logan until 15 October through enchanting audio trails inspired by words and nature.

Yoyo & The Little Auk
Yoyo & The Little Auk
Image credit Gavin C Robinson / Visible Fictions / RSNO

Celebrating the far north of Scotland’s ancient Nordic connections and our close ties to North America, Northern Stories Festival presented by Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness will present an exciting programme from 7 to 16 October. Look out for The Tale of The Whale, where a 50ft whale will host tales of shipwrecked pirates and siren songs, and Painted People, a new photography and sound exhibition inspired by our Pictish heritage which will document contemporary tattoo stories.

If you’ve ever fancied visiting Stirling Castle after hours you’ll get the chance to do just that on 25 and 26 November. Tales from the Castle invites guests to follow the stories of the castle through ancient archways, rich courtyards and glorious halls to unlock iconic tales and hidden truths in the wake of sunset.

Alongside the large scale events and festivals there’s a whole host of Community Stories events to explore. Exhibitions include The Apprentice’s Tale on The Tall Ship Glenlee in Glasgow (until 5 December) which lets you travel back in time and join Andy the Apprentice on a voyage from Sydney to Cape Town. Arctic Ventures: Forgotten Stories of Scottish Whaling at Anstruther’s Scottish Fisheries Museum (until 27 November) explores forgotten stories of Scottish whaling through an imaginative new gallery display and events programme.

If you want to connect with stories of our natural world, check out Dark Sky Storywalks
on 24 and 25 September at The Carrachs Dark Sky Discovery Site in the Cairngorms and explore the night sky as the Gaels, Picts and Vikings saw it. Or why not experience the mythical tales linked to the history of Ella Christie, creator of the Japanese Garden at Cowden, in Tanuki Tales – stories from Japan and beyond on 1 and 8 October.

The Japanese Garden at Cowden
The Japanese Garden at Cowden
Image credit Sara Stewart

There are lots of additional events as part of the Year of Stories Partner Events Programme too, ranging from the Byres Road Book Festival (23 – 26 September) and Scottish International Storytelling Festival (14 to 31 October) through to the Wild Goose Festival in Dumfries & Galloway (20 to 30 October) and Paisley Halloween Festival (27 to 29 October). Whatever type of stories you enjoy, there’s sure to be an event which fits the bill.

To explore the full Year of Stories 2022 programme, check out the VisitScotland event listings.

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