This article is sponsored by Year of Coasts and Waters.
There's plenty still to come from Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters
- Emma Simmonds
- 22 October 2021
A book festival, surfing competition, films and exhibitions, and a giant sea goddess are just some of the upcoming highlights
Encouraging us to make the most of this truly stunning season, the Year of Coasts and Waters comes to a triumphant close with some eye-catching autumnal events which revel in the particular beauty of Scotland's coastal landscape, along with its striking lochs, rivers and waterways. With the make-or-break climate change conference COP26 about to take place in Glasgow, reconnecting with nature and preserving it for future generations will be at the forefront of many of our minds.
Whether you opt for outdoor or indoor activities, you'll have the chance to see iconic Scottish scenery afresh and discover new places, as we re-establish our sense of community and remember the joy of shared experiences, all whilst staying safe. Check out our previous feature for what's still to come from the Year of Coasts and Waters this month, including Paisley's Out of this World Halloween celebrations, and here's what else we'd recommend that's coming up in late October, as well as November and on into December.
Culzean by the Sea
Due to popular demand, this magical willow sculpture trail, which was originally launched in June, has been extended well into the autumn, and this weekend is your final chance to check it out. Dotted around the gardens and grounds of Culzean Castle & Country Park, each of these beautiful creations from Girvan-based sculptor David Powell links to a particular aspect of Culzean's relationship to the sea and waterways, with 15 sculptures to discover and real and mythical sea creatures included.
Culzean by the Sea, taking place around Culzean Castle & Country Park until Sunday 24 October.
Carry Me Home – A Ferry Tale
Receiving its digital premiere next week and available to watch online afterwards, this National Theatre of Scotland production is a short film scripted by Seth Hardwick and Viv Gee that's described as a 'journey of loss and acceptance'. Featuring the stirring songs of Scottish folk singer Josie Duncan, it follows a young woman returning home on the last ferry and celebrates the warm, welcoming heart of Scotland's coastal communities.
Carry Me Home – A Ferry Tale is available to watch at 4pm on Wednesday 27 October, and will be freely available afterwards.
Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival
This special edition of the annual book festival marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Sir Walter Scott. It promises a memorable return to live events at the magnificent Abbotsford, with free entry to the festival site, which features its own bookshop. This year, special events spotlight the Year of Coasts and Waters, while the impressive programme includes lots of family fun, while grown-ups will be treated to talks from authors Denise Mina, Hilary Mantel, Val McDermid and Ian Rankin, comedian Michael Palin, MP Ed Miliband and former PM Gordon Brown.
Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, Abbotsford, Melrose, from Tuesday 2 to Sunday 7 November.
Following successful appearances at Fringe by the Sea and the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, giant sea goddess STORM and her eight puppeteers continue their journey around Scotland, heading to Station Square in Oban on Sunday 24 October, Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden for three free, meet-and-greet sessions on Saturday 30 October, and Falkirk on Saturday 6 November. Made entirely from recycled materials, this stunning, ten-metre-tall puppet has been created in response to the climate crisis by Symon Macintyre and Kim Bergsagel. She's emerged from the deep to encourage us to celebrate the beauty of Scottish waters and empower us to put the environment first.
STORM, various locations from Sunday 24 October.
The SSF Scottish National Surfing Championships
Watch Scotland's finest surfers battle it out on the country's best waves for titles and places on the Scottish National Team at the Scottish National Surfing Championships from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 November at Thurso East, Caithness. Those keen to enter should do so via ssf.azolve.com before Monday 1 November, with spaces limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis. Regular updates are available via the Scottish Surfing Federation's Facebook page.
Scottish National Surfing Championships, Thurso East, Caithness, Friday 5 to Sunday 7 November, 8am to 4pm, with competition times and location subject to conditions.
Everything Flows: Photography on Screen
Following up the former's photography trail, Street Level Photoworks and Regional Screen Scotland have collaborated on a series of digital shorts as part of the Everything Flows programme. Scotland's 80-seat, air-conditioned mobile cinema the Screen Machine is playing host to special events across rural locations that will be free but ticketed, with short films by John Maher, Paul Glazier, David Gordon, Craig Easton, Mandy Barker and Coulson & Tennant.
Everything Flows: Photography on Screen, appearing on Sunday 7 November in Brodick and Wednesday 15 December in Ullapool.
Other autumn events mentioned in our previous feature have announced further dates. These include the bus-based contemporary gallery the Travelling Gallery, which will be showcasing its Shapes of Water exhibition at Edinburgh's Artwalk Porty on Saturday 30 October, heading to Crieff's Steading Courtyard on Saturday 6 November and returning to Edinburgh where it'll be at Whale on Friday 19 November. Spellbinding short film Light Waves is now available to watch online, while Shona Thomson's Royal National Lifeboat Institution short Launch! continues its Scottish tour with numerous dates and locations in November and December.
And if you're looking for even more to do, VisitScotland have helpfully put together a number of articles that are well-worth checking out, including 13 Beautiful Coastal Pub Walks and 12 Peaceful Waterfall Walks. For those searching for daytrip ideas, then there's the handy 9 Scottish Islands to Visit for a Day, or if you're planning on tucking into some hearty fare to keep you warm this autumn and winter then why not see how many you can try on their 16 of the Best Fish and Chip Shops list.
To find out more about the Year of Coasts and Waters head to visitscotland.com/blog/year-of-coasts-and-waters/ycw-events.