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Wave of excitement builds up as Scotland prepares to celebrate its coastal waters

Surfing five miles from Caithness. Pic: VisitScotland.
Surfing five miles from Caithness. Pic: VisitScotland.

It will embrace everything from a spectacular light show in Aberdeen to a collection of letters and messages about the sea.

Visitors and locals across Scotland are being invited to ‘dip their toes’ into Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 with a range of early-year activity across January and February launching the celebrations.

Stirling’s Hogmanay will bring in the New Year in style with two spectacular events on the iconic Castle Esplanade.

Amid the kaleidoscope of colour at the midnight fireworks display, some of Scotland’s best-loved songs referencing our coasts and waters will ring out to mark the start of 2020.

Then the popular Loony Dook, which forms part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, will continue its New Year’s Day tradition at South Queensferry.

Against the iconic backdrop of the Forth Bridges, over a thousand dookers will brave the waters of the Firth of Forth to raise money for charities.

As part of the Coastal Connections day, Scottish Natural Heritage will also be premiering Message in a Bottle, a special collaboration with traditional musician Ingrid Henderson that will celebrate Scotland’s unique marine environment.

The audio-visual performance will feature music inspired by the movements of ocean currents and the imagined journey of a message in a bottle.

It will be accompanied by a specially-commissioned animation exploring the amazing journeys made by marine wildlife and seabirds and the exchanges of language and culture around our coasts and our impacts on the world’s oceans.

Spectra,  which runs from February 13-16, will explore Aberdeen’s position as the connecting point to other cultures on Scotland’s north east coast through a series of thought-provoking, playful and stunning light art works across a range of locations.

These will include Marischal College Quad, Broad Street, Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, St Nicholas Kirkyard, The Kirk of St Nicholas, and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, said yesterday: “Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 will promote a range of opportunities to experience and enjoy our unrivalled seas and shores.

“It will encourage responsible engagement and inclusive participation from both locals and visitors.”

“Beginning on January 1, there are lots of different opportunities to get involved with this celebratory year.

“From action and adventure, to cultural and heritage events, there is something for all and I would encourage everyone to get involved.”

For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/ycw2020.

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