Arriving at one of Scotland’s long list of festivals by motorhome or campervan is arguably one of the best ways to enjoy a weekend or week away. You’ll have the option to get right into the thick of it, soaking up the atmosphere of a vibrant festival, then retreat for an hour or more and overnight to the peace and comfort of your mobile motorised home.

Choosing a festival as a destination brings focus to your trip, too. There is a huge variety of festivals, including food and drink, music, sports and culture taking place throughout the year and in every corner of Scotland so it’s possible to enjoy a festival-based trip pretty much anytime and anywhere.

Here we bring you a round up of some of the best of the Scottish festivals taking place in Scotland in 2014. There are many more and we’ve offered a link to a Creative Scotland festival guide at the end of this article.

Pic credit: Flickr Captain Oates

Up Helly Aa, Shetland festival Pic credit: Flickr Captain Oates

Sport and outdoors festivals in Scotland

Up Helly Aa, Shetland

When: January 28

What: The largest festival of fire in Europe marks the end of Yuletide with a thousand-strong torch-lit procession and the dramatic burning of a replica Viking Longship.

See Up Helly

Fort William Mountain Festival, Highlands

When: February 19 to 23

What: Outdoors workshops, lectures and films across four days of a full, fun and informative programme in the acclaimed Outdoors Capital of the UK.

See Mountain Fest

Homecoming Scotland 2014: John Muir Festival, across Scotland

When: Apr 17 to 26

What: The John Muir Festival will celebrate the life and legacy of John Muir, the Scots born naturalist and founder of America’s national Parks. The event takes place along the length of the John Muir Way, a new national pathway that stretches from Dunbar in the east to Helensburgh in the west.


Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

When: July 23 to August 3

A Scottish highlight for anyone sporty, or not, is the Games 2014, which comes to the city of Glasgow in July 23. There will be plenty of free events to attend if you have not got tickets and various cultural festivals taking place during the same period.

See Games 2014

Blue Skies

When: August, dates TBC

What: Dundee’s festival of kite flying, stargazing and rainbow chasing is perfect for families and fun-loving couples


Braemar Gathering. Pic credit Flickr Ron Almog

Braemar Gathering. Pic credit Flickr Ron Almog

The Braemar Gathering, Highlands

When: September 6

What: The acclaimed Highland Games of which Her Majesty the Queen is patron. Added to this, the Royal Family attends every year so you can enjoy a spot of Royals spotting. From the InterServices Tug of War to the magisterial sounds of the Massed Pipe Bands, the Gathering is a fantastic outdoors event to be enjoyed by all.

See The Gathering

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire

When: October 3 to 26

What: Taking place in Perthshire “Big Tree Country” the unique outdoor light show offers an audio-visual feast that illuminates the woodlands close to Pitlochry.

See Enchanted Forest

Other festivals to look out for

Highland Perthshire Cycling Festival

May 3 to 4, Perthshire

Tweedlove Bike Festival

May 24 to June 8, Scottish Borders

Scottish Traditional Boats Festival

June 27 to 29, Aberdeenshire

Food and drink festivals in Scotland

Inverness Whisky Festival, Highlands

When: April 4 and 5

What: One of Scotland’s most vibrant whisky festivals with drams, masterclasses, demonstrations, live music and auction. Just remember not to drink and rive.

See Whisky Fest

The Islay Festival of Music and Malt, west coast

When: Usually at the end of May, date for 2014 TBC

What: The clue is in the title of the festival! You’ll enjoy a varied programme of traditional music, ceilidhs, Gaelic lessons, golf, bowling and whisky tasting on this beautiful low-lying west coast island.

See Islay Fest

Other festivals to look out for

Spirit of Stirling Whisky Festival

May 9 to 10, Central Scotland

Loch Fyne food fair

May 17 to 18, Argyll

Music and dance festivals in Scotland

Ullapool Dance Festival

When: March 14 to 16

What: The 2nd ever festival of dance for Ullapool will include all kinds of dance, and for all ages and abilities. Expect Hip Hop, Ceilidh, Latin, Indian, Jazz, Contemporary, Breakin’, Charleston, Disco and even Nightclubbing.

See Dance Fest

Southern Fried, Perth, Highlands

When: July, dates TBC

What: Perth’s festival of American roots music offers an eclectic mix of country and blues acts.

See Southern Fried

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness

When: August 8 and 9

What: A low-key music festival that takes place on the beautiful Belladrum Estate. There are five stages and a great mix of local and international artists across a variety of genres including indie, rock, Dance, Celtic, Celtic rock and blues.

See Tartan Heart Fest

Lockerbie Jazz Festival, Scottish Borders

When: End of September, dates TBC

What: A fabulous and lively festival brings the Borders to life for a couple of days. The sounds are mostly contemporary and the backdrop is the delightful Lowlands.

See  Lockerbie Jazz Festival

Callander Jazz and Blues Festival, Central Scotland

When: October 3 to 5

What: With its self-proclaimed mission to “jazz up the Trossachs”, this festival proudly presents emotive and full-bodied music every September.

See Callander Jazz and Blues Festival

Other festivals to look out for

Isle of Bute Jazz Festival

May 2 to 5, Isle of Bute

Orkney Folk Festival

May 22 to 25, northern Scotland

Solas Festival

June 20 to 22, Perth

Tiree Music Festival

July 18 to 20, Inner Hebrides

Culture festivals in Scotland

Homecoming Scotland 2014: StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, St Andrews, Fife

When: March 5 to 9, times vary

What: StAnza 2014 will be on the theme of what “home” means to poets in Scotland and beyond. The festival theme will be “A Common Wealth of Poetry” and there will be a focus on Poetry in Motion, all to celebrate the Commonwealth Games and Scotland’s cultural connections with the Commonwealth.

See StAnza

Catch a sunset at Wigtown Bay Pic credit: Flickr by wazimu0

Catch a sunset at Wigtown Bay Pic credit: Flickr by wazimu0

Wigtown Book Festival, Dumfries and Galloway

When: September 26 to October 5

What: The 10-day festival takes place in Scotland’s book town and offers all kinds of bookish and literary interest for a wide age range. Expect author talks, workshops, group readings and other book-related activities.

See Book Fest

Colonsay Book Festival

When: April 26 and 27

What: Head to this beautiful, remote Scottish isle for a couple of days of being immersed in books and literature. This year the guests include Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Jackie Kay, Andrew Greig, Lesley Glaister and Patrick Richardson.

See Book Fest

Other festivals to look out for

Burns An’ A’ That Festival

May 24 to 26, South Ayrshire

For even more Scottish festivals, see this Scottish Festival Guide. Do add your festival ideas to the comments section.