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Romans, Picts, Steampunks and Guerrilla Knitters to Celebrate Scotland’s Six Iconic Sites

30th March 2017 | Categories: Uncategorised

Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites will be celebrated with six coordinated events for the first time on World Heritage Day


Picts will race Romans at the Antonine Wall, knitters will descend on New Lanark and musicians will do battle in Edinburgh. Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites will feature in six different events on World Heritage Day (18 April) as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop, said:

“These events will offer an ideal opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s iconic World Heritage Sites, representing thousands of years of Scottish history and attracting many thousands of visitors every year. 

“The Scottish Government remains committed to protecting and promoting Scotland’s rich history and heritage: our six Sites are of outstanding universal value to all of humanity and I look forward to celebrating them on World Heritage Day. As 2017’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology continues, it is important that we all work together to ensure that our diverse historic environment is valued and cared for now, and for future generations.”

The free events, labelled “Scotland in Six”, will begin in Edinburgh Old Town and New Town with Medieval minstrels and classical Georgian-era musicians roaming the city, culminating in a lunchtime Battle of the Bands. In the Outer Hebrides, participants will build, excavate and explore St Kilda through the popular Minecraft video game. The Forth Bridge will play host to a Victorian steampunk festival and an army of knitters will head to New Lanark to cover the Institute in woollen yarn. At the Antonine Wall, Picts will chase down Romans over a 5k race, ending with a Great Roman Bake Off. The final event will take place at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, as a group of young participants set out on a glow-in-the-dark adventure.

Dr Rebecca Jones, Head of Archaeology and World Heritage for Historic Environment Scotland, said,

“We’re really proud to be partners with Dig It! 2017, who are doing an amazing job of getting Scotland talking about its archaeology and World Heritage for Scotland’s themed Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites span thousands of years and thousands of miles, so you’re never far from a place of worldwide significance – but it’s not enough to just tell people these places are important, we want to help bring their history to life. The activities taking place for this World Heritage Day are creative, engaging, and most of all fun. I’d urge people to go along to their nearest event to join in.”

The events are being coordinated by Dig It! 2017, the year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, along with partners from each local community. The World Heritage Day events are funded by EventScotland, as a Signature Event for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Tickets are now available on Eventbrite:

Knit New Lanark, Lanarkshire:

Old vs. New: Battle of the Bands, Edinburgh:

Romans vs. Picts 5k + Great Roman Bake Off, Falkirk:

3 Minutes in 1890: A Victorian Festival, Fife:

For additional information, visit

Dig It! 2017 Logo hha-portrait_logo_rgb

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