This Festival celebrates the Forth Road Bridge and the Forth Rail Bridge, which span the Firth of Forth and connect North Queensferry to South Queensferry. The highlight of this festival is to be the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, with a programme of over 30 events, including exhibitions, cruises, guided tours, crafts and food markets, competitive rowing displays, fireworks displays, food and music parties, a torchlight procession, cosmopolitan lunch, school sports event, flotilla, and a biker rally.
Some events are free to attend, with paid events varying significantly in price. Tickets are available from www.forthbridgesfestival.com.
Records of this tradition began in 1579, with towns’ people gathering for an inspection of the Marches of the Common Land, in order to ensure the integrity of the city and the safety of its inhabitants. Anyone who made use of this land, possessed a horse, and was caught skimping the inspection, was liable to be fined. The Riding of the Marches continued, albeit with a temporary change of date, until 1718. A subsequent Riding was conducted in 1946 to celebrate the end of World War II, with the tradition reinstated in 2009.
This year’s Riding, held in collaboration with the veteran’s charity, PoppyScotland, will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of World War I, and particularly the immense sacrifices of horsemen and their mounts in the war effort. 300 riders will conduct a circuit of the city boundaries, after which a minute’s silence will be observed at the Mercat Cross, and a wreath lain at the City Chambers war memorial. The event is expected to attract around 15,000 spectators.
Inchcolm island, located in the Firth of Forth and the site of a famous abbey, served as a military fortification during both World Wars, although its defensive credentials go back further. For this Historic Scotland event, a gunner of the Forth Defences will relate tales of the soldiers who defended Edinburgh from Incholm. The talk runs from 12-4pm, with optional transport to the abbey at an extra charge. The event listing is accessible here: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/events-calendar.htm/event_detail.htm?eventid=42908, where you’ll also find the contact details of the Historic Scotland events team, from whom you can request further information.
This event offers guests free access to some of Edinburgh’s most significant buildings, specifically those that are normally private or charge an entry free. It also provides the opportunity for visitors to learn more about the city’s public buildings.
A series of informative activities are scheduled for each venue, including tours, exhibitions, and talks exploring the history and function of their respective buildings. This year’s programme has a focus on sustainability, and is now available to view on The Cockburn Association’s website – click the ‘Edinburgh Doors Open Day 2014 Brochure’ link on the following webpage to discover some of the fascinating places that’ll be opening their doors to you: http://www.cockburnassociation.org.uk/edinburgh-doors-open-day/find-a-building/
Don’t forget that we’ll provide reminders and ongoing coverage of several of these events on our Facebook and Twitter channels, so follow our accounts to avoid missing out. Finally, let us know what you’re planning to do in Edinburgh this September using the comments function, and stay tuned to this blog for future entries in the series and more besides.