In Scotland the past seems so close you can almost feel it swirling around you. Epic landscapes were carved out by icy glaciers millennia ago, towering castles have stood for centuries and mesmerising stories, traditions and legends have been passed down for generations.

Calanais Standing Stones sunsetCalanais Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis

In the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, we celebrate the richness of Scotland's intriguing history, impressive cultural heritage and fascinating archaeology at exciting experiences and events. Explore ancient sites that date from the Neolithic era, uncover the history of the Scottish clans and taste whisky and local delicacies that have been hand crafted in Scotland for hundreds of years.

Join the conversation on the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology using #HHA2017

History

Eilean Donan Castle - sunsetEilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh

With historic places that date back to ancient times, you really can see how life in Scotland has changed and developed throughout the centuries. Visit ancient standing stones, castles that have grown as each generation added their own improvements, and enjoy world-famous events that have evolved across the decades.

Heritage

Pipe band at the North Berwick Highland GamesNorth Berwick Highland Games, East Lothian

With such a far-reaching history, it's little wonder that Scotland's heritage is so rich and vibrant. From the cultural heritage of the bagpipes, ceilidhs and Highland games, to the epic natural heritage of Scotland's geoparks, you'll find lots of experiences that make a trip to Scotland unforgettable.

  • Find out if you belong to a Scottish clan and discover the history of Scotland's famous clan system.
  • Discover Scotland's farming and industrial heritage. Stroll along canals that were used to transport goods around the country and snap pictures of the Kelpies by Andy Scott at Helix Park which are modelled on two Clydesdale horses, a powerful native breed that worked on farms and other industries throughout Scotland.
  • Listen to the rousing sounds of the bagpipes and enjoy events and festivals around the country celebrating traditional and contemporary Scottish music, including Celtic Connections, Blas Festival, Hebridean Celtic Festival and Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.
  • Enjoy dancing at a real life ceilidh and get an idea of what to expect by watching our ceilidh experience video.
  • Cheer on competitors at a traditional Highland games.
  • Listen to the enchanting sounds of Gaelic being spoken.
  • Bask in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Scotland's three geoparks and discover the astounding natural heritage of these fascinating places.

Archaeology

  Neolithic village Skara Brae cloudsSkara Brae, Orkney

Long forgotten villages, Roman artefacts and Viking treasure hoards - all buried for centuries beneath Scottish soil. See treasures that have been hidden for thousands of years, watch live excavations and find tours and events that delve into the fascinating world of archaeology.

  • See objects that have been unearthed at museums around Scotland.
  • Follow the route of the Antonine Wall, the North west frontier of the Roman Empire, and head to the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow and see Roman artefacts found along the wall.
  • Discover the ancient sites at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, such as the excavated dwellings at Skara Brae which are thought to date from 3200 BC.
  • See remains that have been unearthed at cathedrals, churches and abbeys, including cooking pots and floor tiles at Melrose Abbey and beautifully carved stones at Iona Abbey.
  • See live excavation in action at the Ness of Brodgar on Orkney during the summer months.
  • Unleash your inner archaeologist at Dig It! 2017 with a packed programme of events, including digs, festivals, opportunities to explore your past and local area, and even Minecraft.
  • Learn more about archaeology on a tour in Edinburgh or Orkney.

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