Advertorial feature

This year’s tips for summer fun in Scotland

 

As reluctant as it may seem, summer is finally about to hit Scotland. With the economy still looking tight, we’ve decided to put together a selection of cheap or free events occurring in Scotland this summer to give you great ideas for fun days out without having to break the bank.

Festivals

Festivals are an increasingly popular summer pastime in Britain and Scotland has some of the best around. Although Scotland has some of the best value for money up-and-coming weekend festivals around – the pick of the bunch being the Wickerman Festival, weekend pass £90 – here are some events that don’t cost a penny.

Edinburgh Fringe, 3-27 August

The world’s largest comedy and arts festival is guaranteed to thrill all attendees, and with hundreds of free shows and events going on you could discover the Next Big Thing without shelling out a penny. Full programme announced 31 May.

Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival, 20-29 July

From big bands to swing, there’s something for everyone. Although tickets can be expensive, student concessions are £5 and kids go free to concerts at Queen’s Hall, Hub and George Square, while the free Mardi Gras Parade and concert in Grassmarket always kicks events off splendidly.

Merchant City Festival, Glasgow, 25-29 July

Combining with Olympic football events this year, Glasgow’s annual Merchant City Festival offers a five-day celebration of music, dance and theatre, with over 300 events celebrating the cultural richness of Glasgow’s old quarter. Hotly-anticipated highlights include the emergence (and subsequent destruction) of a giant tower, along with tours by the mythical Big Man.

Highland Games

The Highland Games are world-famous and for a traditional day-out cannot be beaten. With over 60 such gatherings listed on the Scottish tourist board website, we’ve tried to showcase ones from around the country – but there are plenty more out there!

Aberdeen Highland Games

Although the Cowal Highland Gathering can lay claim to being the largest Games in Scotland, for value for money Aberdeen’s games cannot be beaten. With musical performances in the morning followed by the afternoon’s physical feats, it’s always a memorable day for the family.

Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen; 17 June; Adult £6/£7 (after 12noon), Children £3.

Dundonald Highland Games

Now entering its 23 year, these games are held under the shadows of the picturesque Royal DundonaldCastle.Events include Piping, Highland Dancing, Heavy Events and more.

Dundonald Castle, Ayrshire; 4 August; Entry Free.

Ceres Highland Games

The oldest free games in Scotland, Ceres has held annual games since 1314,when Robert Bruce granted a charter in recognition of their support at Bannockburn. Truly authentic.

Ceres, Fife; 30 June; Entry Free.

Quirky Events

If you fancy checking out something alternative which you can be certain you’ll never have experienced before, Scotland has more than its fair share of odd events. For the intrepid explorer there are tons out there, but these are our pick of the bunch:

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

Showcasing Scotland’s rich nautical history, this maritime extravaganza offers Ceilidhs and an extensive Food Fayre in addition to sailing and exhibitions. Thousands attend annually and it makes for great family fun.

Portsoy, Aberdeenshire; 23-24 June; Entry Free.

Largs Viking Festival

This week-long festival commemorates Scotland’s heritage and is a brilliant way to keep the kids entertained. Highlights include a fully-functioning model Viking village and the re-enactment of 1263 Battle of Largs, followed by the burning of Viking Longship and a firework display on the 8.

Largs, Ayrshire; 1-9 September; Adults £3, Concessions £1 (per day).

Thunder in the Glens

Europe’s biggest Harley Davison rally is back, with over 3,000 bikes registering for the event in 2010 alone. Although the majority of events are open to HOG members alone, soaking up the atmosphere in picturesque scenery is still a thrill in itself.

Aviemore; 24-27 August; Spectating Free.

Special Deals Online

Of course, if you don’t have the time, money or desire to venture far away from home this summer there are plenty of great days out available in your home town online.

Although many deal-of-the-day sites have sprung up for Scotland, for sheer breadth of choice our vote has to go to Groupon. With new discounts available daily for Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling and Glasgow on various activities and events, it’s a great way to make the savings count this year.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine