Mild Rover: Go your own way

Curated tours, cruises, resorts and reviews

Hear, hear, the pipes are calling

Scotland’s Tourism spruikers are ramping up their efforts to get more people over there in 2023 – and you have to admit there’s a lot on offer.

From January through to December there are plenty of reasons why Scotland should be at the top of any travel plans.

Start the year with Burns Night Celebrations across the country, watch the blooming of bluebells, snowdrops, and fresh fauna, welcoming new wildlife in spring, before gearing up for a festival extravaganza in the summer months.

Then comes the turning of the leaves casting a golden blanket over the landscapes before winter rolls round again and the year closes with the sound of fireworks and revelry at Hogmanay celebrations far and wide.

For a more peaceful sojourn, there are cabins aplenty with views that are out of this world, lush green forests and spectacular waterfalls spraying mists that are reinvigoratingly cool, and intimate gigs where revellers can dance the night away.

So, whether seeking adventure or tranquillity, shopping or feasting – or a taste of it all – trvellers to Scotland will find a world of choices and can expect a warm welcome awaiting them!  

There are many reasons to make Scotland the place to be in 2023! The list below is just a selection of some of the major openings, news updates and events to look forward to in the year ahead.

 Celtic Connections 30th Anniversary, January 2023

Over its 30-year history, the Glasgow -based music festival Celtic Connections has gained a global reputations for brining together Scottish, Irish (and other Celtic sounds) with World music from a surprising range of global musical influences.

Its 30th anniversary in January 2023 is a huge moment for the festival as it recognises and celebrates its advancements and achievements of the last thirty years with an ambitious and eclectic programme of music showcased from Thursday 19th January to Sunday 5th February 2023. The full programme can be viewed here: www.celticconnections.com

V&A Dundee – Tartan, April 2023

In its fifth anniversary year, V&A Dundee will offer a radical new look at one of the world’s best-known fabrics through its flagship exhibition: Tartan.

The first major exhibition curated entirely by V&A Dundee, with consultant curator ​​Jonathan Faiers of the University of Southampton, will celebrate the global story of a unique pattern which has connected communities worldwide, expressed tradition, revolt and diversity, and inspired playful and provocative design.

It is a complex, rich, and sometimes painful history unequalled by any other cloth or pattern. Tartan is a textile which is adored and derided, inspiring great works of art and design, and representative of unity and dissent, tradition and rebellion.

Moreover, V&A Dundee, the first V&A museum in the world outside London, will celebrate its fifth anniversary in September 2023. Fans of the TV series Succession will have seen inside the V&A Dundee in the scene where patriarch Logan Roy has his 70th birthday party and one of his sons tells him he has bought him a “Scottish kickball team”.

For more information about the real going on in V&A Dundee and to book, visit: www.vam.ac.uk/dundee

Scottish Crannog Centre, Spring 2023

Scotland’s dwellings aren’t all ruined castles and picturesque whitewashed cottages. A couple of thousand years ago, some Scots lived in crannogs – thatch-roofed circular houses built on timber piles over lakes.

The Scottish Crannog Centre is currently building a new museum located at the site of Dalerb on the North side of Loch Tay in Perthshire which is set to open in (northern) spring 2023.

its aim is to be the most sustainable museum in Scotland. The new visitor centre will showcase internationally significant archaeological collections, an Iron Age-inspired village of craft and technology demonstrations, and the first of three expert-led, but community-built, crannogs. For more information, visit www.crannog.co.uk.

Tall Ships Races, July 2023

Fans of the TV detective series Shetland and sail enthusiast alike will be excited to learn that the islands will once again host the Tall Ships Races from Wednesday 26th July to Friday 29th July in Lerwick.

The Tall Ships Races is an annual race series that has been arranged by Sail Training International since 1956 and in summer 2023 the town of Lerwick will welcome the fleet for four days of celebrations, sharing culture and international friendships.

The full event programme is currently under development and is set to be published in March 2023. For more information and to keep up to date, visit www.tallshipslerwick.com

 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, August 2023

The biggest cycling event in the world comes to Scotland in 2023! The world’s greatest riders will come together in Glasgow and across Scotland to compete at the highest level, make history and show the world the power of the bike.

Across 11 days of events, competitors will compete for over 200 rainbow jerseys and World Champions will be crowned in events covering everything from BMX to Mountain Biking, Indoor Cycling to Road Cycling, Para-Cycling and much, much more.

With Scotland’s beautiful bike-ready landscapes, legendary cycling centres and epic arenas ready to welcome competitors and visitors from all over the world, there’s never been a better time to plan a cycling trip to Scotland. This event isn’t just for elite riders, it’s an opportunity for everyone to ride their bike! For more information, please visit www.cyclingworldchamps.com

The Scottish National Gallery, Summer 2023

The transformative project to deliver an inspiring new space for Scotland’s renowned collection of Scottish art is set be completed in 2023. From summer next year, visitors can enjoy and appreciate a brand-new suite of world-class galleries at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.

The Scottish National Gallery Project will create a beautiful space for Scotland’s art right in the heart of Edinburgh, with striking displays drawn from the National Galleries of Scotland’s broad-ranging collection alongside special loans from other leading arts institutions.

Large windows will offer spectacular light-filled views across Princes Street Gardens, inviting visitors to come in and discover the work of pioneering Scottish artists such as Phoebe Anna TraquairWilliam McTaggartAnne RedpathSir Henry Raeburn and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. For more information, visit www.nationalgalleries.org

Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, March 2023

Opening in 2023, Dundreggan Rewilding Centre will be Trees for Life’s flagship rewilding estate, a unique place rich in natural and cultural heritage where real change is happening, restoring Scotland’s landscape. The new wild landscape and its ancient connections to Gaelic culture will encourage people to ‘rewild’ themselves by connecting with nature and exploring the heritage of the Highlands. Dundreggan Rewilding Centre will become a gateway for people to experience rewilding in ways that are best suited to them; from a casual visit while passing through, to immersive experiences, encouraging the idea that we can work with nature rather than against it.

Second City knows the score

Scotland is awash with top-class golf courses, most of which aren’t owned by Donald Trump, but if you can’t get to them, a Topgolf facility has opened in Glasgow.

Borrow clubs for free – or bring your own _ and take aim at the giant outfield targets using high-tech balls which automatically keep score. Enjoy climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round practice, relax in the sports bar or refuel in the onsite restaurant. One question – do they count air swings?

For even more golfing fun in the city, Golf It! the Royal and Ancient’s brand-new golf concept will open in Glasgow in summer 2023. The vast new indoor and outdoor attraction is a new innovation and marks a significant financial investment by The R&A aimed at making golf more accessible and inclusive.

The facility will feature a range of new golf formats including a twist on pitch and putt, adventure golf and community putting greens plus a double decker floodlit driving range and a new look nine-hole course for all the family to play.

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