Summer in Scotland means festival season and with so many to choose from up and down the country it can be difficult to know where to start. Gemma Armit, a Fife local and Scotland travel blogger at Two Scots Abroad has put together this great guide to the best summer festivals in Fife. I'm ashamed to say I've not been to any of these, however thanks to Gemma I've been inspired to check some out for myself and hopefully you will be too!
One of the sweetest things about the Kingdom of Fife is the sense of community that
spreads throughout summer in the form of its festivals. Towns and villages of all sizes
club together to entertain visitors and celebrate tradition through music, theatre, food,
sport and traditional highland dance. This guide is an insight into some of the best
Scottish summer (and beyond) festivals in the region over the water from the capital,
Crail Food Fest
Over one weekend in June, this food festival offers food stalls, educational talks, street
music and chef shows in the town of Crail. Venues include Crail Harbour,
BeechwalkPark and Crail Community Centre. Included in the itinerary is ‘Langoustine in
a Box’ which content creators from the Feast of Fife press trip say is making waves so
that is definitely one set to catch over this two-day culinary event.
East Neuk Festival
This 5-day music event is an explosion of culture set against the stunning backdrop of
Fife’s East Neuk. Expect the unexpected as churches are transformed in concert halls in
June! Previous venues include Anstruther Town Hall and Kilconquhar Church.
Byre in the Botanics
No need to worry about the typical July Scottish summer weather at this Fife festival,
artists perform under a roof during this fully seated gig. Expect a show by Midge Ure
and opera from Oliver-award winning, OperaUpClose in 2018.
Aberdour Festival runs for a mammoth 10 days and is jam-packed with art exhibitions,
music, comedy, fossil walks and scarecrow hunting! The event also includes a variety of
sports coaching and challenges such as bowls, cricket, tea dances, raft racing and the
famous Donkey Brae Run.
Are you the star of the show? Check out Aberdour does Strictly this summer! Can
pampered pooch win the pet show? They’ve really thought of everything in Aberdour.
While you are there, swing out Aberdour Castle which features in the popular TV series
Outlander. Fans should check out this guide to Outlander tours and locations for more
As someone who loves to promote the beauty of Scotland, it is important to me that I do what I can to preserve that beauty for generations to come. As a travel blogger I feel a duty to set a good example by travelling responsibly and inspiring others to do the same.
I also try to use my platform to raise awareness of different conservation issues and often feature Instagram Stories showing the result of negative actions by some people in the outdoors who are damaging our beautiful environment. Recently I shared images from a walk on Bute showing the downside to all our recent sunny weather with discarded barbecues and camp fires. Needless to say whenever I share photos like this I get umpteen messages of outrage as the majority of people using the Scottish outdoors are responsible.
However there are ways even the most responsible of us are unintentionally harming the environment and hopefully this blog makes people think a bit more about what else we can all do to take care of Scotland and our planet.
I'm sure most of us are aware that marine pollution and plastic pollution in particular is one of the biggest environmental issues we are facing at the moment. Living on a Scottish island means that every day I witness the tidal trash that is deposited on the coast line and every day I feel dejected by it. Did you know Scotland has 10% of Europe's coastline, and 61% of the UK waters? This means we feel the impact of marine pollution even more than some of our neighbours.
Our surrounding seas are home to a third of the global population of grey seals; the world’s most northerly population of bottlenose dolphins; 23 other species of the world’s 82 whales and dolphins and 43% of all seabirds breeding in the EU. They also provide summer feeding grounds for the basking shark, which is the world’s second largest fish, and the endangered leatherback turtle.
I try to do my bit by going out and do little beach cleans and although sometimes it feels I'm making no difference I have to keep reminding myself that even small actions make a difference and the more people that carry out small actions, the greater difference it makes.
I also became aware of other Scottish content creators taking similar actions and thought it would be a good idea if we all got together to do a joint beach clean and also use our various platforms to raise awareness of the litter problem. Having worked with other content creators on group projects I know that we can make the biggest impact when we work together.
The idea of doing a joint beach clean received positive feedback from fellow bloggers so I investigated how we could best go about arranging one. This led to me meeting up with Catherine Gemmell, the Scottish Conservation Officer for the Marine Conservation Society UK which is the UKs leading marine charity. During our chat I quickly realised that although a beach clean would be a really positive thing to do, it was even more important for us to understand the various marine conservation and environment issues so we could properly educate others.
Fast forward several months, a lot of phone calls, e-mails and a good dose of stress and my idea of a beach clean for Scottish content creators had grown to a full day event!
I must say I take my hat off to anyone that organises an event like this as I now fully appreciate the huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes and I must give a special thanks to Nicola Holland from FunkyEllas Travel who was always there to help me out when the workload started piling up along with my stress levels :-)
Scotland is famed for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world but we tend to edit out the fact that we also have some pretty nasty beaches, including Ferrycraigs Beach in North Queensferry which was recently found to be the worst in the UK for nurdle pollution. For those that don't know, nurdles are very small pellets of plastic which serve as the raw material in the manufacture of plastic products. Spills and mishandling by industry can mean nurdles end up at sea and wash up on our beaches. Many are also consumed by marine animals and seabirds who mistake them for food.
Sitting at the foot of the iconic and well photographed Forth Bridges, I decided this was the perfect beach for our group to tackle and highlight the scale of the problem.
An amazing 40 caring Scottish content creators signed up for the event, some for the whole day and some just for the beach clean and thanks to the suggestion from Gemma Armit from Two Scots Abroad we created the hashtag #ShoreYouCare to document the day on social media.
The local DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Queensferry Crossing are keen to support local community projects and they kindly provided space for the event which allowed me to arrange some expert speakers to give us a broader understanding of the local issues and the work being carried out by different organisations in the area.
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