11 - 14 July, Lews Castle, Stornoway, £25-70
The Stornoway festival hosts its 17th soiree this weekend with a line-up that brings together established favourites (The Proclaimers, The Waterboys) with newer acts such as indie-folk quintet Admiral Fallow and Glasgow six-piece Washington Irving; in fact, the prevalence of young-ish bands on the bill suggests that the Hebcelt is making a decent fist of giving a traditional music festival a contemporary feel. Set on the grounds of Lews Castle, the festival will also offer a treat for the eyes as well as the ears.
Until 7 Oct, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Free
Launched last week, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s In It to Win It is an exhibit that celebrates some of Scotland’s finest sportsmen and women. A collection of photographs and specially commissioned paintings make up the bulk of the works, and include shots of Andy Murray and his brother Jamie - given the former’s Wimbledon disappointment on Sunday, a visit seems especially apt.
7 - 15 July, various venues, Shetland Isles, see website for ticket details
Shetland Nature Festival programme offers a tremendous wealth of family-friendly activities where the focus is very much on Shetland’s unique scenery and geology. Whether you fancy a guided hillwalk to the island’s highest point, Ronas Hill, or a more leisurely island cruise around Scalloway, the festival programme has enough variety about it to please most, and there are plenty of events specifically geared towards children. Many events on offer are free, but a £10 festival pass will give you access to all areas of the festival.
15 July, O2 ABC, Glasgow, £36.50
Australian rock band Cold Chisel may not be familiar to many on this side of the world, but the Adelaide quartet’s visit to Scotland will be of particular interest to anyone who spent the 70s wearing studded leather jackets in perilous proximity to decibel-busting Marshall PAs. Cold Chisel are an old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness outfit who command a massive following in Australia and New Zealand, and with a new album out called No Plans - their first since 1984 - it may not be long before the foursome’s reputation finally spreads beyond Down Under.
12 - 14 July, various venues, Edinburgh, Free
Brewery connoisseurs rejoice: the inaugural Edinburgh Independents Beer Festival launches this Thursday, showcasing ten of the most progressive independent breweries in England and Scotland across eight Edinburgh watering holes, including Holyrood 9A, Cloisters, Cambridge Bar and Stockbridge Tap. Session beers will feature alongside more boisterous, experimental concoctions in a festival that should further bolster Edinburgh’s thriving bar scene.