ScottFest 2021: New Annual Festival Inspired by Legendary Scottish Author

13th July 2021

Scotland’s fascinating history, stimulating literature and vibrant culture will be celebrated every year with ScottFest, a major new annual festival inspired by the life and works of Sir Walter Scott.

The new festival is part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of Scott’s birth and ScottFest 2021 will be held in August at Abbotsford, the author’s home in the Scottish Borders.

The festival is being held over the legendary author’s 250th birthday weekend, Saturday August 14th and Sunday August 15th, and this year’s colourful celebrations will feature Ivanhoe inspired jousting, stunt horse riding, living history displays, falconry and traditional crafts, plus archery, live music, dancing and a Border towns’ tug o’ war competition. In future years different themes based on Scott’s life and works will be at the heart of the festival’s programme.

Giles Ingram, Chief Executive at Abbotsford, said: “ScottFest is a new festival, funded this year by EventScotland, that will be staged annually on Scott’s birthday, enabling us to continue to celebrate Scott’s achievements and influence on Scottish life after the 250th anniversary commemorations have ended.

“We are now putting the final plans in place for what promises to be a fantastic weekend of entertainment for locals and visitors, an opportunity for a great day out on the last weekend of the school holidays and a cause for celebration after the difficult year everyone has been through.”

During the weekend festivities Abbotsford will be transformed into a colourful carnival site, with two full days of entertainment, food, drink and crafts. Access to the estate will be by event ticket only, which will also include entry to Scott’s historic home and gardens. Tickets are now available on our website.

The theme for ScottFest 2021 will be one of Scott’s best-known novels, Ivanhoe, a colourful portrayal of medieval life, including a jousting tournament, a witch trial, political intrigue and chivalric romance. Ivanhoe also influenced the future depiction of another famous literary character, Robin Hood, with Scott’s portrayal of the ‘King of Outlaws’ shaping the modern legend everyone knows today.

Visitors to ScottFest will be thrilled and entertained by a host of shows and interactive displays, including:

The fearless horsemanship in Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe Jousting Tournament;

Equestrian displays of stunt riding from the Horsepower Cossack Stunt Show;

The Teviotdale Steel Bonnets’ demonstration of weaponry, surgery and cookery;

Gaita playing music from the 15th and 16th Century using traditional instruments;

Ettrick Valley Archers’ shooting demonstrations;

The fine birds of Falconry Scotland.

Abbotsford will open at 10am each day, with the entertainment finishing at 5pm. Tickets can be
purchased online or at Abbotsford’s Visitor Centre.