1. The Scottish Rhododendron Festival
See Scotland in bloom! The Scottish Rhododendron Festival takes place at several gardens, venues and properties across Scotland as the colourful flowers burst into bloom. Organised by Discover Scottish Gardens, the festival runs from 1 April – 31 May, and entry fees range from small ticket prices, donations or some are even free. Over half of the gardens taking part are opening to support the charity Scotland’s Gardens.
Where: Various gardens across Scotland
When: 1st April – 31st May
For more info:
2. Red Bus Bistro Afternoon Tea Tour
Enjoy a tasty afternoon tea (there’s the option to upgrade and have some gin along with the delicious food spread) and take in the the sights of Scotland’s capital city from the quirky setting of a retro double decker bus.
Where: Tours depart from Stance ZF, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
When: Various dates across April, May June and beyond. Tours start at 12noon or 3pm
Tel: 01355 229 448
Price: £42.95 for gin afternoon tea tour, £34.50 for afternoon tea
3. Colonsay Spring Festival
Designed for both residents and newbie tourists, the Colonsay Spring Festival is a lovely way to get to know the island and maybe even learn a new skill while you’re at it. The jam-packed programme includes flax weaving, dry stone walling, bookbinding, fern appreciation walks, historical & ornithological Walks, crochet & knitting, foraging, printing, basketry and Colonsay wool dyeing.
Where: Various locations across the Isle of Colonsay
When: 1st to 21st May
4. Chocolate Making and Crafting Sessions
Take the kids and get creative at these fun workshops. After all your hard work is over, you get to take home your yummy creations – you even get a chocolate pizza!
Where: Livingston Business Centre, Charlesfield Lane, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 7FA
When: Various dates (must be booked in advance). On Mays 1st there are three time slots – 11am, 12noon, 1pm
Tel: 01506 411978
Price: £10 each.
5. RSPB Family Fun Day
If you want to head outdoors then pop along to this event for all the family, where you can go on a mini-beast hunt, look for frogs and take part in some wildlife crafts.
Where: RSPB Loch lomond, High Wards Farm, Gartocharn, Alexandria G83 8SB
When: May 1st, drop-in from 11am – 3pm
Tel: 01389 830670
Price: £5, £4 for members, adults go free
6. Midlothian Heritage Week
This fantastic array of 35 events is full of variety, with guided tours, workshops, walks, exhibitions, open days and markets.
Where: Various venues in Midlothian, including the National Mining Museum and Rosslyn Chapel
When: May 1st to May 7th
7. Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
Calling all whisky fans! This festival delivers a programme of over 500 inspired events – exclusive distillery tours, tutored tastings, talks, whisky auctions and fairs, outdoor adventures by foot, canoe or argocat, traditional ceilidhs, fine dining dinners, live music and crafts – and everything in between!
Where: Various venues across Speyside
When: 27th April – 1st May
8. Really Wild Festival
A fun, free ands family-friendly festival at the Scottish Dolphin Centre. Why not spend your bank holiday Monday petting Alpacas, creating your own drink using a ‘smoothie bike’, browsing artisan crafts stalls and enjoying a BBQ.
Where: Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay, Moray, Scotland IV32 7PJ
When: May 1st, 10.30am – 4.30pm
Tel: 01343 820 339
9. Flights into Scotland’s Past
See Scotland as you’ve never seen it before thanks to Kieran Baxter’s awe-inspiring aerial photographs and visualisations. Tickets to this event are included in the price of general admission to Stirling Castle so you can make a full day of it and explore some fascinating Scottish history.
Where: Stirling Castle, Castle Esplanade, Stirling FK8 1EJ
When: 1st April – 31st October 2017
Price: (Also for castle admission) Adults £15; Children £9; Concession £12
10. Scot Free Tours: Crime Pays Tour
This one is just for the grown-ups. Explore the darkest times of Aberdeen’s history and learn all about the kidnapping, witchcraft and debauchery that went on under cover of darkness.
Where: Tours start from Mercat Cross, Castlegate.
When: Saturdays from 29th April – 8th July 2017. Starts at 7.30pm
11. Beltane Fire Festival
Another one for the grown-ups. This year marks the 30th re-imagining of the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, and will mark the changing seasons with a mix of drums, fire and physical theatre.
When: 30th April, from 8.30pm to 1.30am
Where: Calton Hill, Edinburgh (entrance from Waterloo Place)
Price: £8 plus booking fee in advance, £10 on the door (cash only)
12. Inverness Science Festival
Two weeks of free events in and around Inverness will kick off on Saturday 29th April. A fun family day will take place at Inverness Leisure on Saturday 29 April. Adults and kids alike can get involved with a variety of activities, such as racing balloon cars, crafting a T-rex finger puppet, learning about astronomy and making giant bubbles.
When: 29th April – 7th May
Where: Various venues around Inverness
13. Superhero Secret Forest
Can you save the forest from the evil villain? Dress up as your favourite Superhero and enter the daily costume competition and show off your super skills on the adventure course.
Where: Kelburn Estate and Country Centre, Fairlie, Ayrshire, KA29 OBE
When: 29th April – 1st May
Tel: 01475 568 685
Price: Adults £9, Children £7
14. National Trust for Scotland Events
The magnificent Drum and Culzean Castles will both be hosting events over the long weekend.
Keen gardeners will enjoy a tour of the beautiful gardens at Culzean Castle, while Drum Castle will host a May Day Family Fete with some brilliant events activities like toss the welly and splat the rat.
Culzean Castle and Country Park, Maybole, KA19 8LE
Drum Castle, Banchory, AB31 5, United Kingdom
Drum: Sunday 30th, 11am – 4pm
Culzean: May 1, 1 – 4pm
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