Not a member?
Register and login now.

Scotland Magazine News - Surprises Round the Corner in 2013 - What’s New in Scotland

Scotland Magazine News and Announcements

Latest News


Issue 99 Out Now

Scotland Magazine Issue 99

Aberdeenshire - Corgarff Castle - Hercules Linton - Grim tales of Scotland’s mortsafes - Picts at War

Fri 28 Dec 2012

Surprises Round the Corner in 2013 - What’s New in Scotland

2013 sees a host of new events and openings across Scotland making the country a must-visit destination.

Exciting developments for next year include the 200 year anniversary of David Livingstone, the centenary of Edinburgh Zoo, and the re-opening of the Highlander Museum after a nearly ÂŁ3million redevelopment.
For more events and to plan a break visit

Special Anniversaries in 2013

• David Livingstone’s 200 year anniversary
19 March 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone. This explorer, writer, missionary, medic and anti-slavery campaigner rose from humble beginnings in a Lanarkshire tenement to become celebrated as “Africa’s first freedom fighter.” Many events will take place throughout 2013 to celebrate Scotland's most famous explorer and missionary including lectures and performances.

• Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013
A year-long calendar of events that will celebrate the county, its people and places, past and present which have been triggered by the bi-centenary of the birth of Lanarkshire missionary David Livingstone. Art installations, photography exhibitions, concerts and family fun events will celebrate the region in 2013.

• The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh, celebrates its 60th anniversary
Following this year’s Diamond Jubilee, The Royal Yacht Britannia is riding high on a wave of success. The Queen’s former floating royal residence, now a five-star visitor attraction permanently berthed in Edinburgh, has been the centre of Jubilee celebrations in Scotland’s capital. And the celebrations continue next year when Britannia marks a very special anniversary of her own - 60 years since her launch on 16 April,1953. With the fascinating audio handset tour available in 22 languages, the Royal Yacht is certain to be the crowning glory of any visit to Scotland.

• The Isle of Iona celebrates 1,450th anniversary of the death of St. Columba, who brought Christianity to Scotland
Iona Abbey’s Infirmary Museum is scheduled to reopen after major refurbishment on 19 May 2013 (Pentecost, the day traditionally associated with Columba’s arrival). The museum will house carved stonework, including a restored 8th century St John’s Cross, medieval graveslabs, and St Columba’s Pillow.

• Largs Viking Festival, August 31 - September 7
In 2013 the Largs Viking Festival will commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs in 1263.

• Centenary of Edinburgh Zoo
2013 will see Edinburgh Zoo celebrating its centenary year, and a host of activities will mark this truly special occasion. A few of the events arranged include sand sculptures, which will showcase a few of the famous animal residents throughout the years, and brand new Zoo Nights, which will be two late night, adult only Zoo experiences . On top of all this there will also be a range of themed talks and lectures which will focus on the role of a modern Zoo in the 21st century, as well as a unique Edinburgh Zoo Centenary Exhibition, which will track key moments throughout the Zoo’s history.

• The Scottish Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, celebrates 25 years
Situated at the top of the Royal Mile, next to Edinburgh Castle, The Scotch Whisky Experience takes visitors on a sensational journey of discovery into Scotland’s national drink. This year, the iconic attraction celebrates its 25th anniversary, becoming one of the longest established dedicated Scotch Whisky venues in the city. To mark its anniversary, The Scotch Whisky Experience has a variety of celebrations planned throughout 2013, including the creation of a limited edition commemorative blend which will be released in early summer.

• Year of Natural Scotland 2013
In 2013 the focus is on Scotland's natural heritage and reputation as a land of natural beauty. Scotland has some of Europe's best wildlife, unspoilt wilderness, National Parks, and majestic but accessible mountains. As well as a fantastic year-round events calendar of festivals, arts, highland games, sports and family days out, 2013 will see events focusing on our vast nature environment and breathtaking landscapes. EventScotland, the national events agency which is part of VisitScotland, also has a list of potential educational programmes and key events that may take place in 2013.

New Attractions Opening and What’s On in 2013

• The Highlander’s Museum, Fort George
In late March 2013 the Highlanders’ Museum will re-open to the public after a £2.9 million Redevelopment Project. The Highlanders’ Museum is situated within the Historic Scotland site, Fort George, a working army barracks just outside Inverness. The Museum tells the story of the Highland Regiments from just after the Battle of Culloden to the present day. It is located in the former Lieutenant Governors quarters, a prime position in the Fort. The Museum is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the highest possible listing of building conservation in Scotland, and is home to 20,000 artefacts, the largest collection of military artefacts outside of London. These artefacts have come from Scotland’s very own Highland Regiments as well as Allied Regiments in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The displays will be re-interpreted to provide a clear idea of why the Regiments existed, what they did, and their connection and importance to the communities of the Highlands and Islands. In addition, new building services will be installed to ensure that the nationally important collection will be cared for in the best conservation conditions possible.

• Dumfries and Galloway Wild Spring Festival (29 March to 31 May)
The Festival is celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland and the news that Galloway and Southern Ayrshire has been designated as Scotland's first new-style UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. With around 100 wildlife events, activities and adventures hosted by wildlife experts, the 2013 Dumfries and Galloway Wild Spring Festival is a fantastic opportunity for families and wildlife fans alike to discover the most surprising and naturally inspiring part of Scotland. This year’s Festival showcases a huge array of the region’s diverse wildlife and gets you up close to animals, mammals, birds, fish and fauna in their natural environments. From sharks, frogs and fishtails to badgers, red kites and buzzards and from red deer and reptiles to bats, moths and the charismatic red squirrel.

• Joseph Thomson House, Penpont, Dumfries and Galloway
A Nithsdale-based charity has raised the funds to restore the birthplace of the Scottish explorer Joseph Thomson and set up a new centre celebrating local heritage. The Joseph Thomson Project Steering Group secured funding to convert Thomson’s former home, Sundial Cottage, Penpont, into a new visitor attraction. The centre will tell the story of Joseph Thomson’s life, provide a base for local heritage-themed exhibitions and create a community IT and meeting facility.
Joseph Thomson was one of the great African explorers of the late Victorian era who led a number of British expeditions to east Africa and a later expedition into the higher ranges of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Thomson's Gazelle and Thomson's Falls in Kenya are named after him. The House is expected to be open for visitors August 2013.

• Abbotsford House, Melrose
The new visitor centre charting Sir Walter Scott’s life reopened in August 2012 and contains an exhibition telling the story of Scott and his literary and cultural legacy as well as a shop and dining space called Ochiltree’s, after a character in Scot’s novel, The Antiquary - free entry.
The house itself is currently being refurbished and is scheduled to reopen in summer 2013.

• The Helix, central Scotland, by Falkirk and Grangemouth
Opening in summer 2013, The Helix will feature a central park with its own enclosed lagoon, outdoor events space, children’s splash play area, a canal hub featuring the spectacular Kelpies (two horse’s head sculptures measuring 30 metres high), and the completion of 25 kilometres of top quality pathway traversing the park and woodland areas.