Here's what you can get up to in Scotland this week...

1. SANTA is on his way and although it’s only November he will be with his reindeer at Strathclyde Country Park today as competitors in Santa suits take part in a 6k run, job or walk in aid of St Andrew’s Hospice. Adults are given a Santa suit, while the wee ones will be kitted out with reindeer antlers and flashing noses. Dogs are welcome and there will be a chance to visit Santa in his grotto and meet his magic reindeer.

2. IN Edinburgh the festivities also begin today when Light Night will see Santa making a special “flying” visit to the switch-on of the Christmas lights. Before then there will be performances on the Royal Mile from local choirs and youth groups. At 5pm a spectacular pyrotechnics display will mark the official switch-on. From November 22, the Botanic Gardens in the city will be lit with a one-mile illuminated festive trail that will wind its way beneath the tree canopies.

3. IT is starting to look like Christmas in Glasgow too as the Christmas markets return to George Square and St Enoch Square, offering a wide selection of festive gifts and tasty street food. St Enoch Square’s Christmas village of more than 50 seasonal chalets runs until December 22. George Square market begins on November 24 and lasts until December 29, with more than 50 traders from across the globe selling artisan products and high-quality crafts beside the stunning 15-metre Christmas tree. Santa can be seen each day and there is a vintage helter skelter as well as a carousel.

4. NOT everyone is ready to be reminded that Christmas is around the corner, and a lively alternative is the Scots Fiddle Festival which continues today. Launched in 1996 with the aim of promoting and sustaining traditional fiddle music it brings people together from all over the world, both performers and audience members. This year sees the festival return to its new home at The Pleasance in Edinburgh. All sessions are free to attend and there are stalls, food and drink.

5. IT’S a good time to coorie up indoors with an engrossing book and this week is Book Week Scotland, an annual celebration of books and reading that takes place across the country. As ever, Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators will bring a packed programme of events and projects to life. Events include an evening with bestselling authors Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride who will be in conversation at the Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee on Saturday.

6. PHOTOGRAPHS representing Scottish life and identity from the 1840s through the 1940s, a century marked by transformation and innovation, have gone on show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Many of the first practitioners and visionaries who impelled the medium of photography forward were based in Scotland or were inspired by Scottish subjects. The exhibition celebrates an unparalleled collection of Scottish photography recently acquired and shared by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland.

7. SCOTLAND’S remarkably high illegitimacy levels in the late 19th century are almost the opposite of what might be expected in a Victorian society dominated by Presbyterianism. A talk called Scottish Bastards will review the extent of illegitimacy in this country and its enormously varied local incidence. The talk is being given at the Patrick Geddes Centre in Edinburgh on November 21 by Alex Wood who is currently writing and researching his book Scottish Bastards, looking into the shame, secrecy, half-truths and occasional downright lies which have surrounded both the subject of illegitimacy and the experiences of the illegitimate.