Nithraid 2021

It’s official! Nithraid will be back, on 21st August!

This year, we’ll be bringing you a slightly different event with the main focus being on the Nithraid River Race, pending Covid restrictions set by the Scottish Government.

The 2021 race is planned to begin at Glencaple Slipway where teams of coastal rowers and sailing boats enter the river and will battle it out to gain the fastest time to from Glencaple to Mill Green in Dumfries and back.

Applications to join the race are NOW OPEN and we encourage all prospective teams to apply early to ensure participation. Whether you’re an experienced team of rowers with the will to win, a sailing team with a need for speed or first-time river runners, you’re all welcome!

Download our application and information packs by clicking on the relevant button:

This year due to COVID 19 we will be focusing on the race rather than the festival village. We will be live streaming the race from start to finish, so that spectators can view safely from their own devices, whether at home or in town. We will closely follow the current guidance locally and update on any additional activity.

Nithraid 2021 Schedule

Experience a family friendly event celebrating our river, The Nith!

11am – 2pm Mill Green Dumfries

Watch our teams of coastal rowers and small sailing boats race the river, battling it out for the best time.  Up at the Mill Green we’ll be hosting a family-friendly picnic from 11am – 2pm where you’ll be able to enjoy a socially distanced outdoor space from which to watch the half-way point of the race. 

Pick up a Nithraid Picnic Box from The Stove Cafe from £6 per box.

River Race

10.30am – Race launch for Glencaple Slipway*

11.30am – 12.30pm (approx.) Boats arrive at Mill Green

Can’t make it to town? Watch the action online at:

*We politely ask spectators not to gather at Glencaple due to limited space

Source to Sea Story

Join the River Rambler and The Spirit of The Nith for an interactive storytelling experience

11am – MMS Session**

12.30pm – BSL Interpreted Session**

1pm – Drop-in session 

**These sessions need to be booked in advance, please visit for more details

Dumfries Fountain Presents

‘Watery Words’ Creative Writing Picnic

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Mill Green

For Enjoyment: Fountain Sketch Walk

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Starting from the Mill Green, including a short walk to The Fountain on the High Street

Other Events to Check Out

Palnackie Pursit, 22 August 2021

Slightly crazy race upriver from Kippford to the old harbour at Palnackie and back…

Nithraid 2021 BSL Interpretation

Nithraid Past

Through its tributaries, the River Nith is something that joins us all in Nithsdale, Nithraid Festival celebrates and explores our towns long relationship with its river and its importance to people & the communities it connects in the past, present and future. Glencaple, Kingholm Quay and Dumfries were historically Scotland’s largest trading ports in the 18th century, so to represent this we hold an annual River Race where each boat carries a cargo that was traded in those times.

Nithraid Past BSL Interpretation

Nithraid Festival Village 2020

We will be running a regular programme of activities and content to help create opportunities to engage, share and participate in:

  • Educational
  • Craft Making ( Environmental Friendly)
  • Storytelling
  • History
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Music

We will share information on our website and social media platforms to celebrate the wonderful Nith. If you have any fun facts, stories or projects associated with the river, Wildlife and the communities it connects, please get in touch.

The Nith: Source to Sea

A journey on the Nith beginning in the Lowther Hills and following its route through to the Solway Coast. With regular stops along the way to spotlight and celebrate the towns, villages and community activity that surrounds the Nith, we will be exploring, learning and sharing about Local Heritage, Folklore, Wildlife and Conservation, Community Groups, Landmarks and Art including any literature or songs that have been inspired by the Nith and its communities.

Keep up to date

Festival 2020 BSL Interpretation

Source to Sea BSL Interpretation

Video Highlights

Nithraid is kindly supported by: