Arbroath 2020 Festival was scheduled to launch April 2020 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. Due to Covis-19 crisis the programme has been postponed until 2021. We have begun conversations and initial plans for a new programme. We are redeveloping this website with online projects and activity for all to launch this Autumn. 


To make sure we don’t forget the importance of the 2020 anniversary, contributors and organisations have worked together to provide a wealth of activity that is available online for you to enjoy. These include radio programmes, podcasts, animation, downloadable booklets, learning resources and interactive activity.

Arbroath 2020 present three online interactive activities which will be available via facebook, twitter, instagram and

700 Declaration Flags 
A D.I.Y project idea by Linda Walker
This weekend we are setting a creative activity for people to do in their homes, to create a small flag to put in their window.
Join in to paint or sew an image or scene that is inspired by the Declaration of Arbroath. Display your flag in the window at home on 6 April.
Share a picture of your flag and we will add it to an online gallery.

Pageant Animated: Monumental Youth Future Relic
On Sunday 5 April we will be uploading a video animation online by the lead procession artist Mandy McIntosh.
Mandy is the lead pageant procession artist who was creating spectacular pageant puppets and costumes with community groups and schools. These will all feature next year as part of 2020+1 Festival in a community pageant procession.
For now we wanted to show all the hard work and creative effort that has been happening through an animated film of the puppets and props. This will be a virtual procession and the costumes are without people, it gives the sense that people will reconvene with eager anticipation for Arbroath 2020+1.

New Declarations: Writing Activity
From Monday 6 April and throughout the week young people can take part in an online collective writing activity. People will be guided through the writing activity by pre-recorded video in their own time and then share their New Declarations to form a collective work. The activity will be accompanied by a downloadable activity sheet. The activity is aimed at secondary school age.

The activity has been devised by writer and artist Rebecca Sharp for Arbroath 2020 and is part of a longer project with local Arbroath Schools.

Right now, we’re living in times of dramatic change – climate crisis, political and economic uncertainty… so now is the time to create your own Declaration.

New Declarations writing activity will be available on from Monday 6 April 2020.

Other online content for the Declaration of Arbroath you may be interested in…

Scottish PEN DECLARATIONS: On Freedom for Writers and Readers
Scottish PEN marks the anniversary with a new anthology and writing prize. The new publication explores issues of freedom, independence and the free exchange of ideas.
On 6 April Scottish PEN are announcing the three selected winners from the anthology, with an accompanying statement from Sir Tom Devine. Books will be available for order online from Scotland Street Press.

6-8 April at 13.32 and for 1 month on BBC Sounds.
Billy Kay presents a major series on one of the most iconic moments in Scottish and world history, when the nobles, barons, freeholders and the community of the realm of Scotland felt compelled to create the document in 1320.

Scots Radio
Podcast by Alistair Heather ready to stream now on Sound Cloud
25 min duration.
On 6 April, Alistair Heather invites us to join him in this special programme that explores the significance of this historic document – then and now.

Broadcast on 25 March 2020
40 min duration
Anne McElvoy and guests discuss the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath and Scottish politics today. She is joined by Kylie Murray, New Generation thinker and fellow in Early Scottish Literature at Cambridge University; Robert Crawford, poet and professor of Modern Scottish Literature. At the University of St Andrews; John Lloyd, journalist and author of new book, Should Auld Aquaintance Be Forgot- The Great Mistake of Scottish Indapendance; and Richard Finlay, Professor of Scottish History at the University of Strathclyde.

National Records of Scotland
The Declaration of Arbroath is held by National Records of Scotland (NRS). The document in National Records of Scotland is the “file copy” of the Declaration: the only version to survive in its original form was due to go on public display in Edinburgh March 2020. NRS hopes that in due course the exhibition will be rescheduled so that members of the public have the opportunity to see this iconic document.
For now you can read more about the Declaration of Arbroath and its history with NRS below, and in the Declaration of Arbroath 700th Anniversary Bookletavailable for download.

The Declaration of Arbroath Illustrated Activity Booklet
A partnership project between National Records of Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, this booklet, featuring illustrations by writer and artist Andrew Redmond Barr, commemorates the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.
Aimed at primary school age pupils and other young learners, this resource helps them understand the link between the Declaration of Arbroath and Arbroath Abbey, and the role they play in Scottish history and identity.
In this downloadable activity booklet, learners can find out about the Declaration and use their imaginations to draw, design and create. They can also colour in the illustrations.

Declaration, the letter of liberty

Online documentary presented by Lesley Riddoch

A new film celebrating the 700thanniversary of Scotland’s most important historic document, can viewed online

We look forward with eager anticipation to coming together in to celebrate 701st Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath and 2020+1 Festival.


2020 marks the 700th anniversary of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath. In this period Arbroath Abbey and the town that grew up around it was right at the heart of Scotland’s power and politics. The Declaration travelled to Arbroath gaining support on its way until it was floated off from Arbroath Harbour to the Pope in Avignon on the 6th April 1320.

Continue reading about Arbroath’s history

Main Festival Programme

View the full list of events on throughout the festival

Get involved

There are many of ways you can get involved in the festival whether you want to participate in our events or create your own.

  • Join the Arbroath 2020 procession
  • Sing as part of the Celebratory Concert
  • Submit your events to the website
  • Sign up to be a volunteer on projects and community events
  • Become an Arbroath 2020 Ambassador to help make this an exceptional and memorable year for your town
  • Submit an application to the Arbroath 2020 Artist bursary

Getting here

Arbroath lies on the North Sea coast of Scotland, around 16 miles ENE of Dundee and 45 miles SSW of Aberdeen. The town is served by main line transport links and is less than two hours travel from Edinburgh and Glasgow.