Homecoming -last gasp!

Item Posted: Tuesday 17th November, 2009


To celebrate St. Andrew’s Day and Homecoming, 47 Historic Scotland properties will be throwing their doors open to the public for free next weekend.

From the obvious ‘big’ attractions like Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, to the stunning ruins of Melrose Abbey, this weekend is a great opportunity to see for yourself some of the properties that have been featured in the recent spate of TV programmes about the history of Scotland and the Clans.

Since 1996, Historic Scotland offered free entry to Edinburgh Castle and St Andrews Castle and Cathedral on the national day. However, to make St Andrew’s Day more of a national day of celebration, Historic Scotland took the decision three years ago to waive admission charges to a wide range of its properties for a special Scotland-wide St Andrew’s promotion – a move which has proved extremely popular with visitors from this country and overseas. This year, there’s an even greater choice of sites to visit for free.

Edinburgh Castle will play a key focus in the celebrations with the free entry applying to three days – 28th, 29th and 30th November. There will also be special events taking place such as costumed performers and fireworks in the evening.

The St Andrew’s Free Weekend offer covers a superb selection of historic attractions across the length and breadth of Scotland. in the Central and West region – including Castle Campbell, Doune Castle, Iona Abbey, and Stirling Castle; in Edinburgh and the Lothians – including Edinburgh Castle, Craigmillar Castle and Dirleton Castle; in the Glasgow and Clyde region – including Bothwell Castle, Dumbarton Castle, and Glasgow Cathedral.

The weekend also signifies the Year of Homecoming 2009 Finale. Historic Scotland have been heavily involved in Homecoming 2009 celebrations with developments in ancestral clan trails, publications, on-line resources, events and living history performances and partnerships with other heritage organisations.

Peter Bromley, director of properties in care for Historic Scotland, said: “This is such a great opportunity to get out and see the wealth of fascinating historic attractions we have on our doorstep as part of the Homecoming Finale celebrations and in recognition of our national day. Our sites spread all the way across the country, which means you won’t be too far away from a free Historic Scotland attraction over the St Andrew’s Free Weekend.”

For a full list of properties you can visit free go to: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk


Also on offer next weekend at the SECC and other Glasgow venues is an eclectic extravaganza of music celebrating Scotland’s contribution to music across the world. Featuring masses of home grown, but internationally known, talent the blurb from the organisers boasts ‘Glasgow’s recent UNESCO City of Music appointment makes it an ideal location for this exciting one-off musical feast featuring the cream of the country’s music legends past, present and future!’ With an introduction like that the events certainly have a lot to live up to!

The massive line up features Deacon Blue, Lloyd Cole, The Bluebells, The View, Teenage Fanclub, The Vaselines, Idlewild, King Creosote, Codeine Velvet Club and The Law; alongside some of Scotland’s finest food and drink . They are clearly hoping to create a party atmosphere and indoor festival vibe.

The Clyde Auditorium will showcase a line up designed to show the depth of the Scottish musical canon with performances from Mike Scott of The Waterboys, Eddi Reader, Evelyn Glennie (with Philp Smith) and Dougie MacLean.

Next door the all standing Hall 3 will host a line up of bands including those who have inspired some of the biggest acts in the world, and who demonstrate the enormous influence Scotland has had on shaping the international music scene plus the hottest up and coming Scottish talent. This includes performances from The Vaselines, Idlewild, The View, King Creosote and The Law - plus many more still to be announced

As part of the Homecoming St Andrew's celebratory weekend which runs from 26th - 30th November, Homecoming Live gigs will also take place at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut and the Clyde Auditorium. The gigs will weave a colourful blend of some of the finest musicians who have been influenced by Scotland and its rich musical heritage. The organisers have clearly gone for the big names to attract the largest crowd possible –it will be interesting to see whether the SECC lends itself to a festival atmosphere.

For full line up details and tickets visit www.gigsinscotland.com

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