Next year 2020 will be awash with events to entertain you. It will be the Year of Coasts and Waters and it was launched today at the VisitScotland Expo.

Clydebuilt Festival will be bigger than ever and there will be a spectacular new event at Scotland’s Boat Show. The National Theatre of Scotland will get involved in telling the stories of Scotland’s waters and the journeys over them.

Scotland has miles of unspoiled beaches and sweeping coastlines. Along with seafood and whisky there are thrill-seeking adventure activities which will all form part of the showcase.

A Mermaiden and Jacob Cunningham (aged 8)  making a splash ahead of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 – PHOTO |Stewart Attwood

Six events were announced for starters :

  • Ferry Tales from the National Theatre of Scotland – an imaginative and impactful performance and community project, with the support of Caledonian MacBrayne and their ferries, celebrating the waters surrounding Scotland’s waters and the journeys over them made by thousands of residents and visitors.
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival presents Scotland’s Shores – an exciting programme celebrating the country’s coasts and waterways through unique events, classic film screenings and a special outdoor coastal experience.
  • Clydebuilt Festival – 2020 will be the event’s fourth year, the event will significantly expand their existing offering across the festival bringing art, music, crafts, boats, dancing, sea shanties and more to the Riverside Plaza. Castle to Crane – a major component of the festival will also be back bigger than ever in 2020 with opportunities for more participants to get involved.
  • The Fife Regatta 2020 – last seen in their home waters off Fairlie in 2013, the regatta will start and finish in Largs, taking in various locations around the Clyde including Holy Loch Marina, Dunoon, Rothesay, Isle of Bute and Tighnabruaich, Argyll for locals and visitors to enjoy. 
  • River of Light – Scotland’s Boat Show and Kip Marina will make a splash in 2020 with a brand-new event that will see Scotland’s biggest boat show’s programme extended into the evening on the 10 October.
  • RSPB Scotland’s DolphinFest 2020 – DolphinFest 2020 will help Aberdeen become recognised as a must-visit destination for dolphin watching and will provide pop-up activities across the city that will celebrate Aberdeen’s dolphins; from interactive games, to conservation talks and citizen science projects.

The funding announcement comes during a significant year for the national tourist board as 2019 marks the organisation’s 50th anniversary and the 40thstaging of VisitScotland Expo.

Mermaidens and Jacob Cunningham (aged 8)  making a splash ahead of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 PHOTO | Stewart Attwood

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:“Following on from the success of our previous themed years, I am pleased to see Scotland’s natural assets take centre stage as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020.”

“Delivered by our skilled and passionate industry these six initial events, taking place right across Scotland, will help to promote the upcoming year-long celebration and encourage participation not only from Scotland’s communities but also our visitors from near and far.”

Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “I am delighted that Edinburgh International Film Festival presents Scotland’s Shores has been chosen to benefit from the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 Round One Events Fund. This promises to be a brilliant event highlighting the impact coasts and waters have had on Scotland.

“From fishing and textiles, to whisky and wave power, Scotland’s waters have shaped our history and influenced our culture, our stories and our way of life.”

“Our coasts and waters are host to an amazing array of riches and are greatly valued and cherished by visitors and locals alike, so it’s fitting that we have a full-year placing them in the spotlight.  Scotland’s distinctive scenery, landscape and our unique history and culture continue to remain the key motivations that drive visits to the country, so the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 presents a fantastic opportunity to play to our strengths.”

Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 will begin on 1 January 2020 and run until 31 December 2020.  For more information,

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