9th April 2021

After a year of many forced changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Directors of The Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, have confirmed a further change of date and venue for this year’s book festival. Abbotsford House in the Scottish Borders, the home of Sir Walter Scott, will stage this year’s festival in its grounds as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of the life and work of Scotland’s greatest writer.

The festival dates have also shifted from September further into the autumn, to Tuesday 2nd to Sunday 7th November in the hope that Abbotsford will be able to welcome audiences.

More than 40 events, a blend of live and digital, from a splendid cast of authors, stars of stage and screen, sporting heroes and political pundits will assemble over six days in the warmth of the Walter Scott Marquee, with additional outdoor events taking place in the spectacular grounds. The house and café will remain open for visitors attending the Book Festival to be able to enjoy too.

Alistair Moffat, Festival Director said:

‘Sometimes necessity can be turned into a virtue. With all the variables attached to the Covid pandemic and the necessary restrictions, it seemed prudent to push back the dates of the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival to November. But that allowed us to move the festival to Abbotsford for 2021 and help celebrate the 250th anniversary of Walter Scott's birth. Over the fireworks weekend we will have a cracker of a festival and with luck, audiences will be welcomed into the glow of celebrations with excellent authors at the home of the one of the greatest.’

Giles Ingram, Abbotsford CEO said:

‘In this, the 250th anniversary year of Sir Walter Scott’s birth, we are delighted to welcome the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival to Abbotsford. First and foremost an author’s house, Abbotsford is also a stage set for Scott’s imagination and love of drama. Festival goers will find no better back drop as they enjoy one of Scotland’s most prestigious literary events. During the Festival the House will remain open to visitors wishing to absorb its unique atmosphere and explore Scott’s story, as will the café, gift shop and riverside walks.’