What’s on September


September is Heritage month in the Scottish Borders and there’s lots of exciting events to tempt you.  Sit down with a cup of coffee and the event programme and start booking your tickets – here’s a list of my favourites .  Look out for the  Lammermuir Music Festival, which brings fine musicians and old buildings together.  And don’t forget its Sourdough September, so have a go at making your own bread.

Scottish Borders Heritage Festival – Where people, place and myth & meet

Celebrate the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology, explore our sense of place through the myths and legends of the Border country.  Join in 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.
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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.

It’s Sourdough September

The initiative was launched by the Real Bread Campaign in 2013.  This year many Campaign members  in bakeries and baking schools are running classes and tastings. Sourdough is an ancient way of making bread rise without using commercial yeast.  It involves mixing flour and water and living it to ferment to make a starter.  When the starter is ferreting vigorously a portion is mixed with more flour and water to make a dough. Find out more at www.realbreadcampaign.org.  Find books here and sourdough recipes at www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk.


Lammermuir Festival 15-24 September

A remarkable festival that brings the finest musicians together with local people and visitors in celebration of music in towns and villages across the county of East Lothian, nestling between the Lammermuir Hills and the sea. The area’s wealth of beautiful buildings inspires the choice of music and artists. Listen to the wonderful Quatuor Mosaïques in their core repertoire of Haydn and Mozart, pianist Steven Osborne and cellist Alban Gerhardt, Gould Piano Trio, Red Note Ensemble, the Orlando Consort, the Dunedin Consort with Handel, the Hebrides Ensemble with Schubert’s Octet, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Mahler, and Lars Vogt with three Beethoven piano concertos.  And much more!


Yarrow, Etterick & Selkirk (YES) Festival 14-17th September 

The biennial YES Arts Festival brings together local artists and makers with those from further afield.  A a celebration of the unique culture and heritage of the Scottish Borders.  Poetry, Dance, Music, Walking with James Hogg & a 2 day Myths & Magic Conference.


Doors Open Day Edinburgh 23-24 September 

Edinburgh Doors Open Day is your chance to explore some of Edinburgh’s architecturally and culturally significant buildings – all for free. From heritage landmarks to the city’s newest architecture.  Most not usually open to the public or where normally they would charge an entry fee. The event also offers the public an opportunity to find out more about the capital’s public buildings.  A series of talks begins during the week of 18 September.

Remember to check all venues and activities are open before you leave home.  Charges may apply at venues and for activities please check and book if required.

What’s on August

The sea and rocks at St Albs

St Abbs by Simon Holding

August is the month for agricultural shows, music, contemplation, lots of walking and perhaps the chance to find more than a few nuggets of gold in the Scottish Borders hills!  The countryside will be looking at it’s very best this month, so make sure you get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Or head for a beach, build some sandcastles and finish with some loverly ice cream. My favourites for golden sands are Coldingham, Eyemouth (where Giacopazzi’s sell fabulous gelato) and Spittal (near Berwick on Tweed where you can stop and take a trip on the new riverboat).

World Gold Panning Championships, 7-12 August, Hope Johnstone Park, Moffat

Whether your interested in competing, spectating, learning about gold panning or just joining in the festival atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.  DG10 9HY.

Ally Bain & Phil Cunningham, 5 August, Tait Hall Kelso

An evening with Aly & Phil is always a memorable one – enchanting music and hysterical stories all night will keep you entertained during their fantastic show.
Doors & Bar Open 6.30pm.  Tickets £16 from www.borderevents.com or call 01750 725480. TD5 7BS


James Hogg Exhibition Ettrick School, Ettrick, Selkirk

Near to Hogg’s birthplace at Ettrick, is open from 25th May to 28th September, three afternoons per week (Wed, Fri & Sun) from 2 – 5 pm.  Ettrick Kirk (with the gravestones of James Hogg and Tibbie Shiels) also has a small exhibition of its history, which you can visit at any time.  TD7 5JA.


Bread Making for Kids Monday & Wednesday 11.30 & 14.30, Heatherslaw Mill, Cornhill on tweed.

Young bakers are invited to come along to Heatherslaw Mill every Monday to Wednesday in August to try their hand at bread-making.  Whilst your bread is proving and baking tour the mill, see the process from grain to flour, watch the giant waterwheel turn and see if you can use the sack hoist. There’s a Junior Miller Quiz and a Mill Mouse Trail, and a Victorian Cottage with dressing up clothes for all ages – so plenty to keep the whole family amused.  Baking sessions at 11.30am and 14.30pm; free with normal admission. Pre-booking recommended although not essential.  TD12 4TJ.


Galloway Country Fair 19-20 August,  Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill

The Fair brings together food and drink, country sports, entertainment, children’s activities and much, much more. It’s a true celebration of everything that countryside living has to offer with something for all ages to enjoy.  DG3 4AG.


Elliot Clan Gathering 24-27 August, Redheugh, Roxburghshire 

Every four years, the Elliot Clan Society holds a gathering of the clans in Scotland. SCOCHA folk band 24 August, Main Gathering Day 25 August, Holm Agricultural Show 26 August.  Check the website for details of events.</div

Stowed Out Music & Arts Festival 25-26 August, Stow Village

Family friendly boutique music and arts festival. It aims  to showcase a high quality diverse line up of music, spoken word and art that is sometimes challenging but always entertaining. In four years the festival has grown from a small village event to a highly respected festival that brings you everything from award winning international acts to up and coming young bands all performing in an intimate setting.  Tickets available through Eventbrite.  TD12QX.  Stow is on the Borders Railway line, so you could take the train.


Old Melrose Monastic Walk first Monday of the month April to October Start at 13.30

Visit the monastic site and the restored summerhouse at Old Melrose; also woodland walks. Park at Old Melrose tearoom, antique and book centre, at the end of a single track road off the A68, just south of Leaderfoot roundabout at end of the Melrose bypass.  Guided ‘Old Melrose Monastic Walks’ take place on the first Monday of the month (April – Oct). Start 1.30pm (2 hours) from Old Melrose tearoom. Information from the Roman Heritage Centre.  For more walks around Melrose check out the Walk Melrose website.  TD6 9DF.


Trimontium Roman Fort Walk Melrose Every Thursday for April to October.  July & August every Tuesday also.

From Melrose to Leaderfoot and back; no need to book beforehand. Includes guide(s), juice/tea and biscuits in Newstead Village Hall. (Illustrated and informative souvenir leaflet available). Leave Melrose at 13.30 hrs and returning around 17.15 hrs. Meet at Trimontium Exhibition in Ormiston, Melrose Square 13.20 hrs. Easy five mile walk although stout shoes are advised. See Melrose Abbey, Prior’s Walk to enjoy Newstead, ‘the oldest inhabited village in Scotland’ (with walled gardens, sundials, ancient stones and Masonic ruin); the Trimontium Stone; the Roman fort and annexes; views of Eildon Hill North and the Tweed Valley from the site; the Roman amphitheatre; the three bridges over Tweed at Leaderfoot from high up on the viaduct level; the leafy lane to Broomhill; views of the Trimontium Stone; Summerhouse at Drygrange (with Scott’s View and Old Melrose in the distance.  Adults £3.00; Concessions £2.50; accompanied schoolchildren free; dogs welcome; Trimontium members free.



Great concerts with the stars of Celtic Music and much more.  Sat 19 Aug, 7:30pm headline concert from the younger generation, combining the talents of local musicians from the Nomad Beat music school in Peebles with professional young musicians, headlined by Siobhan Miller, twice winner of the Scots Singer of the Year at the Trad Music Awards.  At “Live and Local” (Vale Club) see an outstanding range of musical talent over 3 days.  Look out for 2 plays ‘The Ghost of Tommy Atkins’ and the Meadows Mummers performing the ancient  Scottish play ‘Galoshins’.



Fun for the whole family at the Peebleshire Agricultural Society Show, Nether Horsburgh Farm, Cardona.  Agricultural show with all classes of cattle, sheep, ponies, poultry and donkeys. Lots of entertainment in the main ring,  competitions, food and crafts.  EH44 6RE.



Incorporating an agricultural livestock show along with family entertainment, horse events, poultry show, vintage display and dog show, created on a beautiful site next to Duns Castle. There is literally something for all ages, based around community groups and entertainment from farther afield. TD11 3NW.


Returning for 8th year. Brings together broadcasters, writers, thinkers artists, diplomats and politicians to meet talk and exchange ideas with the public about the most pressing issues of our time.  A stimulating weekend of debate. A very unique Festival. EH44 6PW.



A fantastic day for the whole family.  Featuring pipe bands from across the Scottish Borders & Lothians, Highland dancers, Ceilidh band, tractor tours and much more.   Music and dance with a military and forces theme.  100 dancers from MPulsive Dance School for 2 special performances.  Children’s activities include bouncy castle and toddler soft play, face painting and a craft tent with special appearances from Roxy Bear.  Crafters Courtyard and local artisan food stalls.  For foodies,  hot food available from Castle BBQ, Italian Coffee and Crepes and also award winning Giacopazzi’s ice-cream with refreshments for the adults provided by Tempest Brewery.  TD5 7RW.