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10 things to do across Scotland this weekend

Model Rail Scotland

SECC, Glasgow, Friday to Sunday

STEAMING: Model railway show at SECC is a must for all lovers of trains.
STEAMING: Model railway show at SECC is a must for all lovers of trains.

Big and little kids of all ages will be chuffed to hear that Scotland's largest model railway exhibition is making a return journey to Glasgow this weekend. The last word in railway modelling north of the Border, the exhibition features trade stalls, how-to seminars, and dozens of layouts from societies based in Scotland and further afield. Organised by the Association of Model Railway Societies in Scotland, the show starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday. Day tickets are £9-£10 (£5-£6 for children).

www.modelrail-scotland.co.uk

Pirate and Princess Week

Deep Sea World, North Queensferry, until Sunday

Children in pirate or princess fancy dress get into Deep Sea World for nothing this week if accompanied by a paying adult. As well as getting a chance to check out a host of exhibits and attractions - including one of Europe's largest shark tanks - would-be swashbucklers can discover more about real-life pirates in storytelling sessions, take part in a treasure hunt, play pirate games, and enter a competition for the best costume.

www.deepseaworld.com

Spring Quilt Festival Edinburgh

Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Friday to Sunday

This three-day craft extravaganza at the Royal Highland Centre's MacRobert Pavillion promises stands from more than 40 exhibitors, displays of quilts and patchwork, and the opportunity to shop for fabrics, books, patterns, sewing machines, supplies and accessories. There's also the opportunity for specialists and beginners alike to enter their work into one of the show's competitions, and meet experts and learn new techniques in a series of free workshops. Entry is £5-£7 for adults and £2-£3 for children. www.grosvenorshows.co.uk

Circus of Horrors

On tour until Sunday

For the stronger of stomach, the Scottish leg of the cult circus troupe's latest tour continues until the end of the week in Glasgow, Inverness, Kilmarnock, and Dundee. If you missed them on Britain's Got Talent a couple of years back, the show's Victorian freakshow-meets-Gothic rock'n'roll vibe serves as a launchpad for all manner of outrageously macabre set-pieces. Hosted by ghoul-faced ringmaster Dr Haze, current show London After Midnight is set in plague ridden 17th-century London. Expect eyewatering displays of contortionism, sword-swallowing, knife throwing, and pyrotechnics. Grown-ups only, mind. www.circusofhorrors.co.uk

Fort William Mountain Festival

Fort William, until Sunday

This five-day programme celebrating mountain culture got under way yesterday in the town declared to the outdoor capital of the UK. Centred on the town's Nevis Centre, events include talks from some inspiring faces from the al fresco sporting world, along with adventure film screenings, hill-running and ski mountaineering races, exhibitions, and a mountain bike night. There are also skills workshops covering photography, snowsports, emergency first aid, and Scottish wildlife, plus the chance to take a guided walk to the summit of Ben Nevis in full winter conditions. www.mountainfestival.co.uk

Papay Gyro Nights

Papa Westray, Orkney, until Saturday

This festival of video and sound art, experimental film, music and architecture takes place on the tiny island of Papa Westray, known locally as Papay. With roots in ancient Nordic traditions heralding the end of winter and the onset of spring, the event sees everyday spaces across the island such as farm buildings, boat houses, and ruins turned into venues for short films, artshows, storytelling and music. Get there by ferry or by flying from Kirkwall or neighbouring Westray, which at just two minutes long has the distinction of being the shortest scheduled flight in the world. www.papaygyronights.papawestray.org

Aberdeen Country Fair

Belmont Street, Aberdeen, Saturday

Shop for local produce and hunt for bargains at one of the biggest outdoor markets in the north-east. Held on the last Saturday of every month just off the city centre's Union Street, it's open from 9am to 5pm. Your luck's in if you happen to be on the lookout for quality meats, fresh fish, tasty fruit and vegetables, baked goods, drinks, and artisanal cheese - and there's also jewellery, crafts and art on sale too. www.aberdeencountryfair.co.uk

In The Grip of Winter

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Saturday and Sunday

This RSPB-led drop-in workshop at Kelvingrove uses activities and games to examine different ways animals cope in the winter. Running from 1-4pm, taking part requires a modest suggested donation of £1. If you're there on Sunday, why not pair it with Winter Tree ID, a guided afternoon walk around Kelvingrove Park covering the identification of native trees and shrubs. Setting out from the museum's reception at 1pm, booking is essential, costing £3-£5. http://events.glasgowlife.org.uk/event/1/rspb-weekend-in-the-grip-of-winter

Glasgow Film Festival

Glasgow, tonight until March 2

Launched in 2005, Glasgow Film Festival is now the third biggest in the UK. In between tonight's red carpet screening of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Scottish-shot closing gala Under The Skin, there are a huge range of exclusive screenings, workshops, events, and talks, catering for all possible tastes. Highlights include a strand celebrating 1939 - considered to be one of the finest years in cinematic history - plus the return of nerve-shredding horror showcase FrightFest and the Game Cats Go Miaow! series of video game events with comedian and button-basher Rab Florence. www.glasgowfilm.org/festival

Stuart Maconie

Aberdeen and Stirling, Thursday and Friday

The final two Scottish dates of the current tour by the amiable writer and BBC Radio 6 presenter, who will be discussing his latest book and radio show at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen tonight (£16.50) and the Tolbooth in Stirling tomorrow (£12.50). Called The People's Songs, the project is billed as a social history of modern Britain, telling the story of the last seven decades through 50 seminal records, starting with Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again, and culminating with Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers. www.stuartmaconie.com

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