:Flags on a beach, held by poles in the sand with the tide coming in

Beach of Dreams extends to Scotland for COP26

Beach of Dreams was an epic journey to discover the hidden gems of the East Coast of England, inviting collaboration from communities, environmental scientists and artists along the way in Suffolk, Essex, Southend, and Thurrock.

Kinetika’s Artistic Director, Ali Pretty, media producer John Offord and Guardian journalist Kevin Rushby walked the entire route joined by filmmakers, artists, writers, scientists, and local residents.  Together, guided by strong environmental themes and the challenges of our current time, they considered the question “How can we creatively reimagine our future?”

Now Beach of Dreams will come to Scotland. Ali Pretty and the 500 silks will join the Pilgrimage for CoP26 from Edinburgh to Glasgow and you can be involved too.

Pilgrimage groups are walking to Glasgow to raise awareness of the climate crisis and demand a fair deal at COP26 for the Global South. It’s a people’s walk for the planet, for people of all faiths (and no faith).

Everyone is invited to walk with the flags and other pilgrims on 22nd Oct from St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Portobello – they will set off at 9am. Then see the 500 silks at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place Edinburgh on Fri 22-Sun 24 October – on Friday and Saturday 100+ silks will decorate the inside of the Cathedral. On Sunday 24th October the remaining 300+ silks will cover the South Lawn of the Cathedral, providing a stunning visual spectacle of this creative re-imagining of our coastline. You can then walk with the flags into Glasgow on 29 and 30 Oct

The route of the Pilgrimage for COP26 can be found here and the programme downloaded from here

“It’s been my ambition to bring these silks, which represent the dreams of 500 participants from the East Coast of England, to Scotland as part of the conversations around the Climate Emergency for COP26, I hope it will be the beginning of a longer conversation and further collaboration.” Ali Pretty

Beach of Dreams is conceived as a national project that will unfold over two years along the UK coastline starting in summer 2021 and culminating in 2023, running in parallel with Year of The Coast.

Ali Pretty surrounded by flags on Lowestoft beach

Join in!

Thursday 21st Oct 2021 9am – 8.30pm Download programme

  • Installation of Beach of Dreams flags as part of the Pilgrimage for COP26, along with many other activities detailed in the programme. Help to install them in the morning, or just come and enjoy them during other activities on the day.  Location: Portobello beach, Groyne no. 3, opposite Portobello Swimming Baths, foot of Bellfield Street, Edinburgh

Fri 22nd Oct 2021 Download programme

  • 9am -11.30am: 9–11.30am Hope’s Walk
    A walk from St Mark’s church, Portobello to St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AW
    Raising awareness of the climate and ecological crisis. Led by young climate activists carrying
    pennant flags created by Kinetika’s Beach of Dreams project  Booking not necessary.
  • 12.30pm: Beach of Dreams flags are installed inside the Cathedral with everyone’s help. Ali Pretty will speak about the project and delivery a participatory workshop in the afternoon.

Sat 23rd Oct (opening times of the Cathedral)

  • Flags remain on display inside St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AW

Sun 24th Oct 2021 

  • 8-10am: Installation of Beach of Dreams flags on the South Lawns of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AW, with assistance from volunteers.
  • Throughout the day – Flags on display inside the Cathedral as on previous days, as well as outside on the South Lawns.


Fri 29th Oct 2021 3.30pm – 5pm

  • Glasgow Walk: Carnival Arts Yard to Gurdwara Singh Sabha.  Join the Pilgrimage for COP26 into Glasgow and carry a Beach of Dreams flag.  Meet at Carnival Arts Yard, 124 Craighall Rd G4 9TR at 3.30pm then walk to Glasgow to arrive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha 4.30/5pm for a welcome ceremony and community meal.
  • To join the welcome ceremony and community meal at the Gurdwara, please book your free place here.

Sat Oct 30th 2021 1pm – 5pm

Glasgow Walk: Briggait to Glasgow Green  

  • 1pm – 2pm: Join the Pilgrimage for COP26 and meet at 1pm at Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, Glasgow G1 5HZ, leave for Glasgow Green.  On arrival; enjoy the installation of flags and performance at Glasgow Green, then continue with other pilgrims to George Square.

Glasgow Green: COP Opening Ceremony and Pilgrims Procession

  • 11.30am Beach of Dreams flag installation on Glasgow Green begins to grow! Full installation should be in situ by approx 1.30pm and will be dismantled at approx 3.30pm
  • 2.30pm Performance by the Blue Rebels at the Beach of Dreams flag installation
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Pilgrim’s Procession starts – through the McLennan Arch, along Clyde Street, into Enoch Square, up Buchanan Street, turning right along Bath Street and down into George Square.
  • 4.30-5.30pm George Square speeches

Facebook event for the COP Opening Ceremony and Pilgrims Procession

Background information from XR Scotland about the event


Find out more about Beach of Dreams

Explore Beach of Dreams on the Storymap

Story Map

Learn about the natural dyes used for the pennants

Natural Dyes


Read Kevin Rushby’s blog

Read Kevin’s Blog

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