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Virtually Celebrate YCW2020

Wed 22 Apr 20

From VisitScotland: 

Our Themed Years team have been busy finding ways that the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 (YCW2020) can still be celebrated from home. While our visitors can’t visit in person or experience our nature or water adventure experiences first-hand, we can continue to inspire them in many different ways.

This year’s all about celebrating the very best of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters – from our natural environment and wildlife, history and cultural heritage, to activities and adventure, and food and drink. Whilst we’re all staying at home, our beautiful waters, rivers and seas continue to flow and can still inspire creativity, wellness and virtual exploration.  

So, how can you make the most of the year and showcase your own business during this tough time? We have put together examples of businesses that are continuing to inspire from home and making the most of technology available.

#YCW2020 Social media initiatives

  • StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival, held in early March are continuing to celebrate water with a digital installation. Publishing one poem a day from its Coast Lines project, it brings together poets from Scotland and Scandinavia as they gather inspiration from the seas and water around them.
  • Lyth Arts Centre are asking for contiributions to be displayed as part of a larger final artwork at the Northern Lights Festival.
  • Historical Environment Scotland have opened access to their online collection ‘Harnessing the Power of Water’ which explores early watermills, spa resorts, fountains, the construction of hydroelectric schemes and much more.
  • North Link Ferries are encouraging junior artists to celebrate our coastal connection asking visitors to share their masterpiece on its Facebook channel as part of the Selkie Story Colouring Competition
  • Row around Scotland have a virtual row on their website for potential visitors to experience.
  • The Nevis Ensemble are asking us to share your photos, paintings, poems and stories that show your love of Scotland’s islands, rivers, lochs and seas
  • Feisean nan Gaidheal, an organisation that supports the development of community-based Gaelic arts tuition festivals throughout Scotland, are sharing their music through weekly Twitter posts.

Year of Coasts and Waters 2020

Using Webcams to celebrate our coastal nature

Just because we’re staying at home doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the new sights and sounds of spring, thanks to plenty of web cameras across the country showcasing our nature and wildlife.

Here’s a round-up of live-streams available across Scotland which are great to showcase on your social media platforms to share with past and future visitors:

  • Take a look at our overview of web cams across the country to add to your watery wildlife fix. It includes the Loch Morlich Watersports webcam in the Cairngorms, the Seacroft Marine webcam at Aberdeen Harbour and the great view of Oban from the lighthouse webcam to name just a few.  
  • Webcams across Shetland live-stream the harbour, the island cliffs and watch the Puffins arrive back to shore after eight months at sea through ‘PuffinCam.’
  • Woodland Trust are live-streaming Loch Arkaig in the Highlands, which is a location popular with fish-eating Osprey. They can also be spotted on the Loch of the Lowers in Perthshire, streamed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
  • The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has a range of online resources available, including advice on how to benefit from the calming effects of the ocean from afar as part of their #Oceanindoors campaign.
  • Scottish Natural Heritage are #bringingnaturetoyou on their Twitter feed (@nature_scot) with a daily wildlife moment at 1pm.

Puffin at Sumburgh Head, Shetland

The power of podcasts

In September 2019 we launched our first podcast, 100,000 Welcomes, which features Scotland’s unique stories and people. Hosted by Neil Robertson from Travels with a Kilt, episode themes include Adventure and Wellness, and Nature, Scenery and Landscape. Podcast highlights include wild swimming in Loch Morlich, whisky tasting at Glasgow’s Clydeside Distillery and a conversation on the rejuvenation of Scottish seafood with fishmonger Stuart Wilson.

Share on your social channels and invite your future visitors to delve deeper into Scotland and its diverse regions.

Loch Morlich

Using technology to engage

  • Earlier this year Sail Scotland unveiled a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) series to encourage visitors to discover Scotland by boat. The videos invite viewers to explore eight inspiring, must-visit locations through the 360-degree footage which each give a taste of Scotland’s unique coastlines and islands, culture, heritage and wildlife.
  • Portal AR is the augmented reality (AR) app which gives users across the globe the chance to experience Scotland’s rich landscapes, coasts and attractions through their mobiles.
  • Volunteers at Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWACS) have shared the experience of touring the caves online. The Wemyss Caves 4D website allows users to digitally navigate their way through the caves, and be sure to use the 3D models of the caves to give the full live guided-tour experience.

Portal Augmented Reality App


Keep an eye on the hashtag #YCW2020 to see what other businesses are sharing online. By using the hashtag across your social channels, you can help make your content easily accessible and searchable.

Stay up to date with the latest news at our dedicated pages for themed years.

We have also published our guide for sharing content during the Covid-19 outbreak, it’s important to continue to engage with your customers, ensuring that you’re sensitive to how they’re feeling in this time of crisis. 

To learn more about making the most of your social media channels, there’s a wide variety of free content available on the Digital Tourism Scotland website. Take a look at the advice that’s available, such as 6 DIY tips for your business’ social media.

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