7 ways to celebrate St Andrew’s Day in Scotland
With St Andrew’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, there are plenty of ways for Scots to celebrate the national day, from family days out to world record attempts.
Want more ideas for things to do delivered to your inbox? Sign up to our weekly newsletter.
1. Help break a world record
Much of the St Andrew’s Day celebrations in the Scottish capital are centred on the Grassmarket, with events taking place from 2pm to 10pm. As well as live music from the award-winning Breabach, you can sample food and drink, children can hear traditional tales from Edinburgh’s Storytelling Centre, and later there’s a chance to join a record attempt for the ‘World’s Longest Strip the Willow’ in the outdoor ceilidh. Music will be provided by the Cask Strength Ceilidh Band and the Adam Sutherland Band.
Grassmarket, Edinburgh, 2pm-10pm, free; more info
2. Try playing the fiddle
The Glasgow Fiddle Workshop is running ‘Come and Try’ sessions before a small performance to round off their visit in George Square between 1pm and 2:30pm. Strumelele and Scratchy Noises will perform, as well as some of the talented youngsters who attend the Junior Conservatoire.
George Square, Glasgow, 1pm-2.30pm, free; more info
3. Visit historic sites
Historic Scotland are offering free entry to an array of stunning attractions over St Andrew’s weekend. There are 35 sites steeped in Scottish history, including the newly refurbished renaissance palace at Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness. Just decide where you want to visit before 5pm on Friday (29 Nov), print your tickets and enjoy a great day out for up to two adults and three children. But don’t delay: tickets are limited.
Various sites across Scotland; visit www.ticketgiveaway.co.uk to claim your free tickets
4. Celebrate our storytelling traditions
The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh has a family-friendly programme lined up for Saturday. Kids can join Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook for a celebration of Scotland’s amazing stories and its fantastic food, and later in the day Andy Cannon invites you to join the Gaberlunzie Man – Lord of Misrule, jester and teller of tales. In the afternoon there is traditional Scottish music, and in the evening some of the best folk singers around come together for The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, all day; check out the programme
5. Pick up some Scottish crafts
There’s a chance to kick-start your Christmas shopping at the Indy Traders Craft & Vintage Market in Glasgow on Saturday. Find everything from handmade crafts, stylish kids clothes and handmade soaps to fine prints and vintage photography. There’s also face painting, a kids’ jewellery making workshop, and free cupcakes for the first 100 visitors.
Maryhill Burgh Hall, Glasgow, 11am-5pm, free; more info
6. Learn about a dark chapter of Scots history
The Surgeons’ Hall Museum in Edinburgh is hosting an event which looks at Scotland’s role in black slavery in the 18th century, with a panel discussion and audience Q&A featuring Richard Holloway, Geoff Palmer and Tom Devine. This discussion will present some of the latest thinking on this vital, controversial but forgotten aspect of the nation’s past.
Surgeons’ Hall Museum, Edinburgh, 6pm, free; more info
7. Save on a great day out
To mark St Andrew’s Day, many of Scotland’s favourite attractions are offering 2-for-1 tickets and kids go free, and even free events. See the tigers at the Highland Wildlife Park, get active at Dance Base or go for a cruise on Loch Ness.