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 nine 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. Midlothian Fire and light Walk
When: 30 September – 6 October 2019
Where: Vogrie Park, Midlothian
Immerse yourself in a world of fiery mayhem as you experience Vogrie Park like never before. Midlothian Fire and Light Walk will take through the magical forest, not far from Edinburgh, where you can witness dazzling light installations, fire performances, jaw-dropping flame throwers, and many more spectacles of wonder to feast your eyes on.
2. The Enchanted Forest
When: 3 October – 3 November 2019
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!
3. Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run
When: 5 October 2019
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.
4. Kirkcudbright Festival of Light
When: 5 – 14 October 2019
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!
5. St Andrews Voices: Voices at the End of the Universe
When: 17 – 20 October 2019
Where: St Andrews, Fife
From opera, to folk, to cabaret, St Andrews Voices: Voices at the End of the Universe has it all! It really is an unmissable spectacle, featuring a series of stunning light shows to accompany the concerts and music events throughout the day and night. So why not gather family and friends and come along for a sing-song!
When: 23 October – 17 November 2019
Where: Dean Castle Country Park, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Set in amongst the rivers, ponds and trees of the country park and the castle itself, ILLUMINIGHT will present a magical experience for all the family with stunning visuals, state-of-the-art lighting installations and music which shows the Country Park in a whole new light. The theme for this year is ‘Intergalactic’, so expect something out of this world! The show’s 1.5km trail will take visitors through the historic woodland, alongside an illuminated Kilmarnock Water and through the new wetland areas with surprises around every corner.
7. ILLUMINATOR: Night Trail Race
When: 26 October 2019
Where: Glen Tanar, Royal Deeside
Go wild through the night on Scotland’s toughest night half marathon, ILLUMINATOR Run. Run or walk 15 dark miles over rugged hill trails with just the glow of your head torch to lead the way. See the natural beauty of Glen Tanar’s ancient Scots pine forest in a spectacular new light. Ready? Steady? Go!
8. Castle of Light
When: Various dates in November and December 2019
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!
9. Christmas at the Botanics
When: 22 November – 29 December 2019
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…
10. Edinburgh’s Giant Advent Calendar
When: 1 – 24 December 2019
Where: General Register House, Edinburgh
Edinburgh is bringing you a giant real-life advent calendar with a twist! Throughout the advent, 25 glimpses of Edinburgh winters from years gone-by will be projected onto General Registry House, one revealed each day. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the city’s history and places in the run up to Christmas Day, and best of all – it’s completely free, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled when you’re passing!