How to celebrate St Andrew’s Day around Scotland

FIND out how, when and where you can mark Scotland’s national day

Tartan and bagpipes are inextricably linked to celebrations of Scottish culture. Photo: Alan Murray
Tartan and bagpipes are inextricably linked to celebrations of Scottish culture. Photo: Alan Murray

St Andrews will host five days of continual St Andrew’s Day celebrations this year. Free entry to local landmarks such as the clubhouse of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is also on offer.

Kingsbarns Distillery, which is also granting free entry today, will hold free tours of its facilities as part of its first anniversary, while the evening will play host to a spectacular blue-floodlit illumination of St Andrews Cathedal in the heart of the town after 4.30pm.

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The St Andrews Day Cabaret Night will feature top Scottish poets and performers including Kirsty Law, Colin Donati and Phamie Gow at the Byre Theatre later this evening.

Haggis Bon Bons with Arran Mustard and Glenkinchie Whisky Mayonnaise is a modern take on a classic Scottish dish.

Those in the capital can see #EdinburghsChristmas take on a patriotic tinge via the Virgin Money Street of Light. Over 60,000 lights will be illuminated along the length of the Royal Mile, stretching from City Chambers to the Tron Kirk.

Though the event is free, tickets must be reserved in advance and showings begin at 6.30pm and 8.15pm.

Tucked away from the cold will be the St Andrew’s Day whisky tasting event held by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith.

Elsewhere in Scotland, an unusual attraction for children comes in the form of Inveraray Jail. The town west of Loch Lomond will give one free child’s ticket for every adult ticket purchased on St Andrew’s Day, allowing people to experience what life was like in a 19th century Scottish prison.

If you’d rather spend St Andrew’s Day out in the wilds of Scotland, look no further than the Highlands and Morayshire’s range of national parks.

Britain’s first nature reserve, Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree Islands near Kinlochewe, is one of many offering free entry on St Andrew’s Day for explorers wishing to see snow-capped mountains in tranquil settings.

As well as a catalogue of events across the country, St Andrew’s revellers can mark the day via the #mystandrewsday Instagram hashtag promoted by VisitScotland.

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Competition entrants are encouraged to take photos and videos of their celebrations, with the winner receiving an overnight stay for two at the Gleneagles Hotel and an evening meal for two at the hotel’s twice Michelin-starred restaurant.

Of course, St Andrew’s Day can be marked from the comfort of your own home, too. Ideas and suggestions for your very own St Andrew’s Day party can be found on the officialSt Andrew’s Day app.

Featuring recipe tips for Cullen Skink, Lamb Shoulder with Potato and Onion and even vegetarian haggis, the app also contains an animated history of Scotland’s patron saint and a Spotify playlist crammed with national songs.

Tips on holding your own St Andrew’s Day party are included within the free app, as well as details on Scottish formal dress and a St Andrew’s Day quiz to test your knowledge of Scotland’s national day.