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May the fun be with you: 14 Events in Scotland over the bank holiday and beyond

Children from Gartocharn Primary School at the Nature Discovery Zone at the RSPB Loch Lomond (David Palmar)
Children from Gartocharn Primary School at the Nature Discovery Zone at the RSPB Loch Lomond (David Palmar)

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

Price: Varies

For more info:

discoverscottishgardens.org

www.rbge.org.uk

DSC_0064
(Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh)

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

redbusbistro.co.uk

Close up of Sweets
(Red Bus Bistro)
Colour Shot of Interior 2
(Red Bus Bistro)

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

www.colonsayspringfest.co.uk

Seaweed Forag

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.

www.gettinggooey.com

Choc 3

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

www.rspb.org.uk

Children from Gartocharn Primary School bug hunting at the RSPB Loch Lomond Visitor hub launch, 20 June 2016
Children from Gartocharn Primary School bug hunting at the RSPB Loch Lomond Visitor hub launch (David Palmar)

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

www.visitmidlothian.org.uk

IMG_0746
(From the Midlothian Heritage Week launch at the National Mining Museum)

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

www.spiritofspeyside.com

SOSWF Whisky Galore 2 Small
(Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival)

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

uk.whales.org

scottish_dolphin_centre

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

www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk

St Andrews Cathedral (Kieran Baxter)
St Andrews Cathedral (Kieran Baxter)

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

Price: £8

www.aberdeenfreetours.com

20170225_230830

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)

https://beltane.org/beltane-fire-festival-2017/

(Martin McCarthy)
(Martin McCarthy)

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

www.uhi.ac.uk/en/inverness-science-festival

 

Inverness Science Fest

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.

WhereKelburn Estate and Country Centre, Fairlie, Ayrshire, KA29 OBE

When:  29th April – 1st May

Tel: 01475 568 685

Price: Adults £9, Children £7

www.kelburnestate.com

IMG_8869

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.

Where: 

Culzean Castle and Country Park, Maybole, KA19 8LE

Drum Castle, Banchory, AB31 5, United Kingdom

When: 

Drum: Sunday 30th, 11am – 4pm

Culzean: May 1, 1 – 4pm

More info for Drum Castle

More info for Culzean Castle  

(National Trust Scotland)
Culzean Castle (National Trust for Scotland)
Drum Castle (National Trust Scotland)
Drum Castle (National Trust for Scotland)