2014 was the Year of Homecoming, an unforgettable year in which Scotland welcomed the world to take part in a unique celebration of all that the country has to offer.
With more than 1,000 fantastic events across the country, 2014 showcased the very best of Scottish arts, culture, food & drink, nature, activities, history, ancestry and much more.
From stirring tunes at Celtic Connections in Glasgow to breathtaking performances at Edinburgh's unbeatable summer festivals and vibrant festivities at the Forth Bridges Festival, 2014 was a year buzzing with entertainment and excitement. The celebrations stretched into every corner of the country, with both local events – such as the Shetland Nature Festival, or the PWF Callanish Stones Marathon – and large-scale events such as the two-month Highland Homecoming amongst the highlights of the action-packed programme.
2014 may now be over, but Homecoming Scotland’s legacy lives on. World-class sports tournaments, such as Glasgow’s incredible Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, continue to inspire athletes of all ages and abilities, while many of the attractions unveiled as part of the historic events are still open to visit today.
Amongst the attractions introduced in the Year of Homecoming is the John Muir Way, a 215 km walking route leading from Dunbar to Helensburgh that was opened as part of the John Muir Festival in April 2014. Named after the 19th century conservationist, the trail leads through high moorland and across sandy beaches, providing ample opportunity to admire the regions' beautiful scenery.
Also unveiled in April were The Kelpies, the stunning 30 m horse-head sculptures at The Helix in Falkirk. Join The Kelpies Experience Tour to step inside the sculptures and admire the engineering that went into creating these magnificent beasts, and look out for the brand new visitor centre, due to open later in the year.
May was Whisky Month, where we raised a glass at special events, festivals and tastings across the country. The celebrations return in May 2015, so look out for unique events where you can sample the very best of Scotland's national drink.
June saw the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn commemorated with a two-day festival full of entertainment, live music and dramatic re-enactments. Relive the excitement at the new Battle of Bannockburn Experience outside Stirling, where history comes to life through interactive games and 3D exhibits.
Take a look at the following video for a taste of all the action and excitement of Homecoming 2014.