Autumn and winter seasons might mean cooler weather, but that doesn’t mean Scotland’s offerings of outdoor art are going anywhere. In fact, it’s when the country really becomes filled with creative works. If you’re in the mood to see mind-intriguing and sense-teasing art through interactive installations and immersive technology and want to enjoy the great outdoors, Scotland has got you covered.
We’ve rounded up some of the best light shows around the country – all the shimmers, glimmers and twinkles anyone could ask for and more. Yes, Scotland knows how to put extra dazzle into the darker months.
1. Wondrous Woods
When: 21 October – 14 November 2021
Where: Hopetoun House, South Queensferry
Head out to the spectacular estate of Hopetoun House where you can immerse yourself in the stunning creative lighting journey, as you make your way through the winding mystical pathways of Wondrous Woods.
2. Brodie Illuminated
When: 3 – 27 November 2021
Where: Brodie Castle, Forres
Bring the whole family and get involved in this after dark, awe-inspiring walk around the Brodie estate. Follow the lit-up pathways that take you through the Victorian shrubbery, around the outside of the castle and along the magnificent West Avenue. You’ll see this gardens with its many towering trees and plants in a whole new light!
3. Castle of Light
When: 19 November 2021 – 9 January 2022
Where: Edinburgh Castle
Get ready for a world of enchantment, wonder, and magic as Edinburgh Castle comes to life in a display of colour and light in Castle of Light this festive season. This light show tells the story of Scotland’s heroes through marvellous installations, stunning visuals and a magical experience the whole family can enjoy!
4. Christmas at the Botanics
When: 25 November 2021 – 2 January 2022
Where: The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
Follow a one mile illuminated trail that winds its way through the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh for a magical experience after dark. Prepare to be mesmerized by the hypnotic beauty of flickering lights; stroll along a fairy tale avenue of giant glowing butterflies; and complete the night under the stars with spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate. Experience Christmas at the Botanics because it’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas there…
5. Beecraigs Festive Forest
When: 3 – 24 December 2021
Where: Beecraigs Country Park, West Lothian
Set in the magical surrounding of Beecraigs Country Park near Linlithgow, Beecraigs Festive Forest is set to be an atmospheric and mesmerising family experience. Accompanied by panoramic views over the Forth bridges, Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife, Beecraigs offers up an illuminated trail, Santa’s Grotto, festive street food, a fayre and more to enjoy!
6. Spectacle of Light
When: 4 December 2021 – 2 January 2022
Where: Dalkeith Country Park, Midlothian
This family fun after-dark adventure is just what you need this winter! Wrap up warm and head out with the family to experience the Spectacle of Light – admire the carpet of colour encircling the magnificent Orangerie, enjoy a woodland walk and experience the luminescent bloom, or uncover the Nutcracker garden and the flickering field of fire!
7. The Enchanted Forest
When: 29 September – Sunday 30 October 2022.
Where: Faskally Woods near Pitlochry, Perthshire
Step into Faskally Woods in Pitlochry this autumn and you’ll be treated to an outdoor experience that will set your imagination alight. Enchanted Forest is Scotland’s premier son et lumiere show set against an atmospheric forest backdrop. Follow a number of dimly lit paths, all illuminated with different colours to show you the way while you take in a sweeping light show to the accompaniment of stirring music score. Tickets are flying out the door – make sure you don’t miss the chance to experience this extraordinary event, which is back in action for 2022!
8. Kirkcudbright Festival of Light
When: TBC 2022
Where: Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway
Celebrate the beautiful light that has drawn artists from all creative fields to this gleaming coastal town during the Kirkcudbright Festival of Light. The festival will also mark the grand opening of a nationally important new art gallery in the town, and will feature glowing light installations and international musical performances, complete with a vibrant events programme at the new gallery. It is set to be a wonderful festival you won’t want to miss!
9. Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run
When: TBC 2022
Where: Peebles, Scottish Borders
Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run offers something a bit outside of the box. Come and explore a converted railway, where you can admire illuminating strobes of colour lighting up the tunnel walls. The trail is suitable for all abilities as there are several distances – 4k, 10k and 20k – and you can also go at a pace that suits you, whether you want to sprint it, jog it, or walk it.