Borders Heritage Festival

Scottish Borders Heritage Festival 1-30 September

Where People, Place and Myth Meet

Set in the beautiful Scottish Borders our yearly festival aims to bring our rich and colourful history alive through a unique series of events in spectacular settings.

To celebrate the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology 2017 we explore our sense of place through the myths and legends of our Border country and the people who made them in the 9th annual Scottish Borders Heritage Festival.

Join us at 90 venues hosting over 200 events including:  living history, storytelling, archaeology, walks, tours, film, theatre, music, exhibitions and re-enactments.

Hear haunting ballads from Scocha, Fisher Lassies, Scottish Vocal Ensemble and the Smailholm Singers at Coldstream Community Centre, the Castles of Newark, Neidpath and Hume and the Abbeys of Melrose and Dryburgh

Watch sword fighting, skirmishes and musket smoke rising at Eyemouth Fort, Hume Castle and Philiphaugh Estate

Become a Covenanter and attend a secret conventicle on Duns Law where you will be invited to sign the covenant in blood! –it’s really red ink but blood sounded so much better

See horsemen ride into Hume Castle with the Marchmont standard after an absence of over 300 years and Lady Hume’s surrender on the battlements

Light a lantern or bring a torch to the parades in Duns, Newcastleton and Newark Castle as part of Lighting the Borders

Meet Scottish royalty, priests living in terror and a master mason at Traquair House and the Abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh and Jedburgh

Uncover history at St Abb’s archaeological dig and view real time archaeology at Coldingham Priory

Remember WW1 through historic cameos, interpretive dance, talks and a day of presentations at Stobs Camp, Dryburgh Abbey, Ormiston Institute and Mac Arts Centre

Taste a Norman feast at Riddell Tower and afternoon tea in the Georgian splendour of Paxton House

Explore myths, legends and tales of witchcraft at the Heritage Seminar

Experience the sound of Tuuslaulajat Finnish Choir and Langlee Choir as they perform together at Old Parish and St Pauls Church

Be Inspired by artist commissions, exhibitions and compositions including premieres of South to Scotland, Light Years, Sounding out the Past and th’Fleety Wud

Walk in the footsteps of the romans, drovers and monks at Trimontium, Tweeddale and Old Melrose

Create a lantern at our workshops or take a picture for our photography competition

Tour the central Borders in an open top bus, in private at Floors and Thirlestane Castles and by candlelight at Paxton House


This year, Scottish Borders Council and Live Borders have teamed up to deliver the festival with additional funding supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Fallago Environment Fund. Scottish Borders Heritage Festival is part of Scottish Archaeology Month.