THIS year's Beyond Borders International Festival is set to be the biggest and, quite possibly, the best yet.

Since 2010 some of the world's greatest minds have descended on Traquair to facilitate a weekend of debates, discussions, films, books and wanders through the countryside.

And yet again, throughout this weekend (August 26 and 27) a host of local and international artists, writers, journalists, politicians, and diplomats will participate.

The Main Tent Programme features sessions with former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, magazine editor and broadcaster Tina Brown and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, while journalist and author Sir Harold Evans speaks to Jim Naughtie about his career and the political and cultural changes he’s witnessed.

After a turbulent political year in domestic politics, Professor John Curtice, Bonnie Greer, columnist and broadcaster Steve Richards, and Lord Karan Bilimoria will examine Scotland’s future in the wake of Brexit and an unprecedented General Election.

For the first time Beyond Borders will reach into Traquair's walled garden for a programme of arts and music.

Looking further afield, historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes talks about her latest book and looks at Turkey’s role in bridging the East and West, while British journalist and broadcaster Angus Roxburgh discusses his memoirs and his perspective on Russia.

70 years on from the Partition of India and Pakistan, author Ahmed Rashid, editor Rashed Rahman, Tufts Professor Ayesha Jalal, and Harvard Professor Sugata Bose explore the legacy of Partition in a discussion chaired by William Dalrymple, while in another session author Ahmed Rashid, Rashed Rahman, and BBC foreign correspondent Christina Lamb OBE discuss present day Pakistan and its outlook for the future.

Mark Muller Stuart, executive-director of Beyond Borders told us: “We are delighted to launch this year’s programme – with a wealth of Scottish talent alongside international performances and perspectives, plus the addition of music and arts in the Walled Garden, there really is something in it for everyone."

The Music & Arts Area showcases visual and performing art, music, photography, painting and craft from both the local area and from around the world, as well as offering space for smaller, more intimate tête-á-tête sessions with a range of speakers from the Festival’s Main Stage.

The Walled Garden programme includes musical performances from Scottish folk legends Barbara Dickson and Heidi Talbot as well as renowned Palestinian singer Reem Kelani.

There will be classical and contemporary Indian dance from Dance Ihayami and theatre from Bert and Nasi, fresh from their critically acclaimed run of Palymera at the Fringe.

There will also be a series of exhibitions on display, including Memories of Partition, an artistic response to the legacy of the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and A Window On My Iran, a photo series which documents daily life in Iran through a camera lense, as well as film screenings throughout the day in the tipi cinemas.

A number of interactive workshops will also take place across the weekend in the Walled Garden, including with Reem Kelani, Dance Ihayami, award-winning Pakistani filmmaker Adnan Mian Ahmad and St Andrews academic Anindya Raychaudri.

Smaller tête-á-tête sessions focusing on ‘Women on the Frontline’ will also allow the audience the chance to meet with and hear about the experiences of incredible women from around the world, including Tina Brown, Valerie Plame, Christina Lamb, Reem Kelani, Razia Iqbal, and Ayesha Jalal.

The Walled Garden also plays host to a yoga and meditation yurt, where visitors can drop in to meditation and yoga sessions with Human Rights barrister Rajesh Rai, listen to a talk on the benefits on Ayuverda’s contribution to health and well-being with Ajanta Kaza or experiment with their very own henna inking.

The World in a Weekend: Beyond Borders International Festival takes place at Traquair throughout Saturday and Sunday (August 26 & 27).

The full programme and box office is available online at with tickets priced at Weekend Pass £49, Day Pass £26, Individual Events £9, Walled Garden only £12, and Walks and Cycle Rides £6.