Just the other week, we saw a number of Outlander fans gather in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to grab a sneak peak of some of their favourite stars from the popular TV series. Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, the historical romantic drama has inspired many visitors to Scotland to follow in the footsteps of Claire and Jamie and experience some of Scotland’s most iconic heritage locations and attractions.

And what better a time to come and visit as Scotland celebrates its 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology?

From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, museums to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories, artefacts and legends, the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology will celebrate both our tangible and intangible heritage – our buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites as well as our diverse traditions and culture.

Scotland’s Themed Years celebrate the very best of Scotland including its landscapes, people and personality. During each year, both locals and visitors to Scotland can enjoy a programme of events taking place throughout the year in celebration of the themes, as well as lots of opportunities to discover sides of Scotland they might never knew existed.

We already know that history and heritage is a key motivator for visits to Scotland and 2017 provides a great opportunity to invite people to come and explore our attractions, our people, our traditions and our distinct culture.

Alongside our incredible historic sites, wealth of vibrant cultural traditions and vast range of heritage attractions, Scotland hosts an exciting annual events programme that showcases our history and heritage, bringing our traditions to life in a modern, vibrant way.  From Doors Open Day to Highland Games and Clan events, the Royal Highland Show to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, there’s a wonderful variety of exciting experiences to bring our 2017 themes alive.

In addition, a programme of events, specially created for the year, will also take place.  In Dec, we announced a range of events supported through the dedicated HHA2017 Signature Events Fund.

#facethepast at the launch of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in December

#facethepast at the launch of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in December

Highlights of the programme (which includes both brand new events and new programmes within existing events) include a spectacular sound and light projection event at New Lanark World Heritage Site to bring to life the mill as it was in the heart of the Industrial Revolution (Shining Lives). The Heart of Neolithic Orkney will “Glow in the ArchaeoDark” on World Heritage Day with interactive storytelling, music, food and glow-in-the-dark paint (Scotland in Six). And a unique event in the Outer Hebrides will celebrate the islands’ rich South Asian history with music and art collaboration, exhibitions and performances (Purvai) to name but a few.

And for Outlander fans and beyond, a major new exhibition will tell the real story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the rise and fall of the Jacobites at the National Museum of Scotland from June to November.

As a key partner in the year, Historic Environment Scotland also has a range of exciting events for both visitors and locals to enjoy including The Great Big History Weekend in Stirling (1 & 2 April), Traders and Norsemen at Dunstaffnage Castle (27 & 28 May), Spectacular Jousting events at Caerlaverock Castle and Linlithgow Palace and Amazing Ages! at Fort George (12 & 13 August).


Jousting at Linlithgow Palace

Of course, any event can register to be part of the celebrations through the 2017 Partner programme – all they need to do is celebrate one or more of the three themes and be public-facing.

Scotland’s been preparing for 2017 for centuries, and we can’t wait for everyone to make history with us in 2017!

For more information

Join the conversation #HHA2017
Or why not take a heritage inspired selfie at your favourite Historic Environment Scotland location using #facethepast

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Guest Blog

From time to time we have guest posts from partners, visitors and friends of Historic Environment Scotland.