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10 things to do across Scotland this weekend

1Boswell Book Festival

1Boswell Book Festival

Boswell House, Auchinleck, Friday to Sunday

A relatively recent addition to the Scottish literary scene, this three day book festival focusing on works of biography and memoir takes place at the Ayrshire country house once owned by legendary man of letters James Boswell. Expect readings, discussion panels and Q and A sessions with a diversity of wordy talent including Allan Massie, Finella Fielding, Kirsty Wark and Mark Lewisohn. Saturday also includes a family fun day for the first time, with a children's play area, and events featuring Nick Sharrat and Vivian French. www.boswellbookfestival.co.uk

2 BUPA Great Women's Run

by Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, Sunday

There's still time to join the 10,000 runners expected in Glasgow's south side on Sunday morning for the UK's biggest women-only running event. With the start and finish near Bellahouston Park, the route winds through Pollokshields before looping around Pollok Park. Online registration has closed, but last minute entrants can sign up at the St Enoch Centre until Saturday for £25. On the day, there are also shuttle busses running from Buchanan Bus Station and Shields Road Park and Ride. www.greatrun.org/Events/event.aspx?id=9

3 Perth Beer Festival

North Inch, Perth, Saturday

A family-friendly combination of food, drink and sporting fun at North Inch park, near the River Tay in Perth. A festival marquee stocked with craft beers and real ales from across Scotland and further afield shares billing with an open-air sevens tournament hosted by Perthshire Rugby Club. A £20 ticket will buy you access to each from noon plus a couple of drinks tokens to start you off, while there's also plenty of hot food, live music, and space for kids to run around. www.perthbeerfestival.co.uk

4 Voluntary Arts Week

Across Scotland, from Friday

This annual UK and Ireland-wide initiative promotes and celebrates the kind of arty, crafty cultural pursuits many of us enjoy as hobbies. As well as a chance for non-professionals to showcase what they've been up to and encourage others to join in, there are well over 100 events listed across Scotland on the Voluntary Arts Week website including music, dancing, drama, and visual arts activities. Organisers have also set up two new public arts projects for the week - Craftbomb and Flashmob, which are open to all. voluntaryartsweek.org

5 Selkirk MTB Marathon

Selkirk, Saturday

There's a "something for everyone" vibe about this Borders mountain bike event, although with a choice of 25, 50, or 75km distances, you will need to be reasonably fit. Unveiled on race day, each course promises a mix of challenging climbs and fun descents on some of the best trails in the region. Again, online registration officially finished yesterday, but organisers say they'll be taking entries until they run out of race numbers, and space permitting, anyone wishing to sign up on the day can still do so for £35. www.selkirkmtbmarathon.com

6 Clyde Stride

Glasgow City Centre, Saturday,

Previously a midnight event, organisers of this mass-participation charity night walk in aid of the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice have moved the start back to 9pm to enable families to take part for the first time. Starting and finishing at the Riverside Museum - which will stay open thoughout - participants have the choice of either a 5K or 10K walk along the River Clyde and several of its bridges. Registration is £20 for adults and £10 for children, available online or from 7.30pm on the night. www.ppwh.org.uk

7 University of Aberdeen May Festival

Aberdeen, Friday to Sunday

This hugely diverse events programme showcasing the cultural clout of Aberdeen University returns for a second year. This time, there are more than 120 events taking place across three days, with everything from live music, comedy, and exhibitions to debates on science, food and nutrition, plus discussions with the likes of writer Tony Parsons, war reporter Kate Adie, and Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess. A good number of events are for children - including storytelling, comedy, dance and drop-in creative activities - and many are free. www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival

8 Orkney Nature Festival

Across Orkney, from Saturday

Dubbed a wild week of island discovery, this Homecoming Scotland-backed festival is actually nine days long, with a neatly-devised programme showcasing different aspects of Orkney's unique flora and fauna. Every day brings something different - this weekend, there's an event exploring peat moorland and its links to Orkney's whisky industry, as well as a biodiversity hunt featuring talks, walks, and a museum open day in Stromness. Further ahead, the line-up also includes coastal walks, garden planting sessions, island-hopping boat tours and scuba diving trips. www.orkneynaturefestival.org

9 Imaginate Festival

Various venues in Edinburgh, until Monday

Specially designed for children and young people, this annual performing arts festival runs until the start of next week. An eclectic programme features 14 different productions from Scotland and the rest of the UK plus Europe and Australia, spanning innovative and inspiring theatre, dance and storytelling. There are also a series of more informal free performances in the Traverse Theatre cafe on Saturday and Sunday, with two productions going on to tour Scotland from next week as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. www.imaginate.org.uk

10 Gourock Highland Games

Gourock Park, Inverclyde, Sunday

Traditionally the first big meeting of the season, Gourock's Highland Games are always held on the second Sunday in May. As well as all the usual stuff - pipe band and drum contests, a full programme of heavy events, and a Highland dancing competition - there's loads more to do and see, including a climbing wall, a children's marquee, and plenty of stalls with crafts, fresh produce and refreshments. On from noon to 6pm, prices on the gate are £5 for adults, £3 for children, and £14 for families. www.gourockhighlandgames.org.uk

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