Homecoming 2014 is set to be a jam-packed year for Scotland. The nation is hosting two major international sporting events, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at the luxury Gleneagles Hotel, and there are hundreds for events planned for the year-long celebrations and commemorations. With over half a million Aussies claiming to have Scottish ancestry, the Scottish Homecoming is the perfect time to explore the cultural and ancestral heritage that makes the Scots so unique!
Given that Whisky in Gaelic translates to 'water of life', it is no surprise that the Scots have dedicated a whole month to celebrate their national drink. Whisky gets the spotlight in May. Check out the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, World Whisky Day, and the Islay Malt and Music Festival. Activities include distillery open days, tastings, farmers markets and traditional music performances all in nearby venues.The Homecoming team have also complied the best food and drink trails and itineraries, like the Scottish Cheese Trail, the Real Ale Trail and the 10 day Finest Flavours itinerary - which takes you on a foodie adventure through butchers, delicatessens, smokehouses, breweries, artisan producers, farmers markets and more at your own pace.
Golf returns to its' roots this summer at the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course in Perthshire. The 40th Ryder Cup sees the best golfers from Europe battle for pride and to defend the cup from the top USA golfers. Tickets sell out early with 45,000 spectators expected across six days of competition. If you're inspired to have a hit yourself, there are over 550 Scottish golf courses for all ages and budgets. Visiting golfers can even tee off on one of the oldest in the world; St Andrews Old Course is open to the public.Glaswegians are also preparing to host the XX Commonwealth Games this summer, where athletes in 17 different fields compete in the third largest sporting event in the world and the largest ever held in Scotland. Australia traditionally has been the highest achieving nation in the games, and cheering on our athletes will be good practice for the 2018 Games hosted by our very own Gold Coast!
Take the Homecoming open invitation to discover Scottish heritage and watch competitors battle for victory in tug-o-war, caber toss, and highland dancing. There are over 70 Highland Games this summer across towns and villages in Scotland. There is plenty of action for visitors to watch, and perhaps even join in for a traditional ceilidh (kay-lee) dance. You might be lucky and catch a glimpse of the royals - who traditionally attend each year - at the Braemar Gathering in September. Later in the month, head north to watch the final Highland Games in Invercharron, which sees league results decided as competitors battle it out for the last time in 2014.
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We are proud to be part of the celebrations for Homecoming Scotland 2014. Spread the word and join our celebrations!