Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 to launch early next year


A series of events commemorating Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 are to commence aimed at highlighting the impact of water on Scotland.

The year-long programme will invite visitors and locals across Scotland to dip their toes into a range of activities centred around water.

Kick-starting the celebrations is Stirling’s Hogmanay (31 Dec) which hopes to bring in the New Year in style with two spectacular events on the iconic Castle Esplanade.

The legendary Loony Dook (1 Jan) which forms part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will also continue its New Year’s Day tradition at South Queensferry.

Other events include Message from the Skies, Fire & Light: 2020 Visions and a full day of special events surrounding Maritime traditions on 18 January, by Scottish organisation Celtic Connections.

The focus on water for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 aims to focus on the impact of water on Scotland – from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.  

Edinburgh-based visual theatre company, Vision Mechanics will also reveal their epic new project, Storm – a ten-metre-tall mythical goddess of the sea will celebrate Glasgow’s shoreline and beyond through a giant free outdoor event.

The UK’s leading marine charity, Marine Conservation Society will kick start the year with their first Beachwatch clean and litter survey at Cramond Beach (18 Jan).

RSPB Scotland will alos be involved with a range of guided walks on offer.

A number of exhibitions celebrating the themes of the year will also span the early part of the year at a range of galleries across Scotland.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 will promote a range of opportunities to experience and enjoy our unrivalled seas and shores, whilst encouraging responsible engagement and inclusive participation from both locals and visitors.”

“Beginning 1st January, there are lots of different opportunities to get involved with this celebratory year. From action and adventure, to cultural and heritage events there is something for all and I encourage everyone to get involved.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Alongside our wealth of wonderful attractions, scenery and wildlife, in 2020 Scotland will host an exciting array of both existing and brand new events set to put our coasts and waters in the spotlight.”

“These celebrations will help to showcase our people, our places and indeed the country across the globe, and will further reinforce Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

Vision Mechanics Artistic Director Symon Macintyre said: “This project has been over two years in the making and now Storm’s first outing is just around the corner. On the 18th January everyone will finally meet her. 2020 is a whole year dedicated to Scotland’s coasts and waters.”

“We believe that Storm, our 10-metre goddess of the sea, will be a huge spectacle to spark the debate amongst children and adults about our responsibility to care for our seas and the environment.”