UPDATE: Due to the ongoing situation of COVID-19, a lot of the events planned for this year have been cancelled/postponed.
Now that we’ve left the long month of January behind, we can look at the events that are coming up in Caithness throughout 2020.
This post will be added to regularly throughout the year to reflect the events going on in Caithness.
Of course, it’s a great time to get outside (weather permitting, we are talking about Scotland after all!) and I spent our relatively mild autumn and winter exploring some new routes around the county which would be great at any time of year.
For those with an interest in the scientific world, the Caithness International Science Festival usually has a two week programme of workshops, talks and events for children and adults. The full programme and dates for the 2020 festival is yet to be released – so keep an eye here, but there is a CISF Family Fun Day at the East Caithness Community Facility on the 21st March.
If you’re reading this before the end of March 2020, there’s still time to visit Dunnet Bay Distillery’s inaugural ‘Inspired by Gin’ exhibition. Alternatively the distillery offer tours and tastings year round.
For literature lovers, the John O’Groats Festival is returning for a third year, and features a whole wealth of events. Sessions include ‘Gin and Gender’, a puppet making workshop for kids, alongside poetry and musical performances, it promises to be a packed four day programme around John O’Groats and beyond! Tickets can be purchased from Lyth Arts Centre.
Speaking of Lyth Arts Centre, their spring programme has been released and you can book any performance via their website. A wide range of film, theatre, dance and musical performances are on from February – July.
To celebrate the British and Scottish Surf Championships being held in Caithness, Lyth Arts Centre will also be hosting a night of films, talks and their famous Caithness Pizza on the 16th April. The Championship event itself takes place over the 18-19 April.
As high tourist season then begins, we can all look forward to the seasonal reopening of Wick Heritage Centre (Wick), and (hopefully) in Thurso, Caithness Horizons which was closed last year and has reportedly received some council funding in order to reopen. Also worth a trip is Laidhay Croft Museum (and the Waterlines Centre at Lybster – I’m still to visit the museum there, but the harbour is fantastic). For garden lovers, call in advance to look round the stunning Dunbeath Castle Gardens.
Looking further ahead to the summer, there are some larger scale events which are favourites for locals and tourists alike, all of which take place over July-August:
- Caithness Agricultural Show – Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July – CANCELLED
- Wick Gala Week – Saturday 25th July to Saturday 1st August – CANCELLED
- Halkirk Highland Games – Saturday 25th July – CANCELLED
- Mey Games – Saturday 1st August (at John O’Groats) – CANCELLED
- Public Opening of Dunbeath Castle Gardens – DATE TBA
- Thrumster and Countryside Game Fair – Saturday 15th August – CANCELLED
Heading into the autumn, I’m especially looking forward to a celebration of Scotland’s year of Coasts and Waters with the Northern Lights Festival (POSTPONED UNTIL 2021) – a week-long large scale outdoor light and arts festival, celebrating Wick Harbour and the Caithness coastline. More details about this event will be shared throughout the course of the year – one to keep your eyes peeled for!
Lastly, no date has been confirmed yet, but I’m hoping foodie event Taste North will return for it’s 2020 outing in September/October with lots of culinary treats, demos and tastings from the county and beyond.
If you have any events to be included in this post, please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org!