Scots invite world
In addition to next year’s government referendum on whether Scotland should be independent from the United Kingdom, spectacular events form the country’s 2014 Year of Homecoming.
The Scotland Homecoming events include an all-star concert to herald the opening of the Ryder Cup, a huge flotilla to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, Europe’s biggest brass band festival and a thrilling re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn.
About 100 events have been unveiled, with hundreds more expected over the next few months.
The five themes for Homecoming 2014 – active, food and drink, creative, natural, and ancestry – are all well represented.
Visitors can look forward to new events such as the John Muir Festival in East Lothian to herald the opening of the John Muir coastto-coast route and a spectacular Ryder Cup opening concert, as well as many existing events, including Hogmanay, Edinburgh festivals and the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
With about 50 million people around the world claiming Scottish heritage, diaspora and clan-related events form a key part of Homecoming.
Celebrations will include the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn (a resounding victory over the English), the Aboyne Highland Games, the Inverness Highland Meeting 2014, the 10th Clan Munro International Gathering, the Dunfermline Bruce Festival and Piping Live!
‘‘Scotland is preparing to welcome the world during our second Year of Homecoming in 2014,’’ First Minister Alex Salmond says.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, says: ‘‘With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the eyes of the world will be firmly on Scotland in 2014. Next year’s Homecoming will position our country as dynamic and creative with a rich history and culture.’’
Up-to-date Homecoming information can be found at cometoscotland.com.au/ homecoming2014
2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring its people and visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as it prepares to welcome the world in 2014. To find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty visit scotland.com/ natural
For holiday information, go to visitscotland. com