Today sees the launch of the Highland Homecoming programme giving you an exciting preview of this two-month celebration of the very best in contemporary Scottish culture and Highland heritage. If the thought of autumn makes you wish summer would last forever, even a quick glance at our jam-packed Highland Homecoming programme will have you looking forward to the arrival of chillier temperatures and falling leaves.
Set over September and October, Highland Homecoming offers a wonderfully diverse array of events covering everything from arts and music festivals to Highland games, sporting extravaganzas, delicious food and drink, and much more.
Here’s a taster of some of the events you can enjoy at Highland Homecoming:
This small up-and-coming literary festival comes into its own this year with broadcasters Sally Magnusson and Kirsty Wark appearing alongside top writers including Malcolm Mackay, Ann Cleeves and Alex Gray from 2 – 7 September.
Watch as man’s best friends are put through their paces at this highlight in Scotland’s country sport calendar from 3 – 6 September.
Don’t miss out on Scotland’s second largest military tattoo after the Edinburgh Military Tattoo which takes places from 5 – 7 September at Fort George, a working barracks overlooking the Moray Firth which dates from the 1700s.
Blas Festival 2014, various locations
Showcasing more than 80 music, dance, film, and culinary events from 5 – 13 September at locations across the Highlands and islands, this year’s Blas Festival promises to be better than ever with performances on-board a cruise on Loch Ness and a massive dance event at Inverness Airport.
Invercharron Highland Games, Ardgay, Sutherland
Held on 20 September, Invercharron is the final fixture in Scotland’s Highland games calendar and is where many of the Scottish Games Association league results are decided, making it one of the most exciting events of the season.
Set against some of Scotland’s most stunning natural backdrops, this marathon, held on 28 September, offers the unique chance to put your physical stamina to the test while soaking up the glorious Highland scenery and keeping a look out for Nessie.
Running from 16 – 18 October, the world’s premier Gaelic festival is a fantastic opportunity to become immersed in the indigenous language and culture of Scotland.
Get in touch with your Pictish and Norse roots at the Caithness Horizons Museum in Thurso. During the weekend of the 24 – 25 October, visitors to the museum can take part in a traditional Norse Vetrablot, or harvest festival.
Gaze up at the twinkling night sky on the Isle of Skye, free from the light pollution that obscures the stars in towns and cities. Head to the Clan Donald Centre on 25 October and get together with fellow astronomy enthusiasts.
Don your most ghoulish gear and take to the wooded beauty spot of Ness Island with your family for a Halloween celebration from 30 – 31 October you won’t forget!
Will you be heading north this autumn to take part in this once-in-a lifetime event? Share your experiences with us using #Homecoming2014.