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A Royal Summer Holiday At Stirling

17 July 2009

Become a Courtier at the Castle and enjoy entertainment fit for a Queen

The Renaissance pomp and pageantry of the Royal Court of Mary Queen of Scots returns to Stirling Castle next month when the queen and her entourage come home to Scotland for ‘A Royal Summer Holiday’.

Become a courtier at this family event from Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd August and join the 16th-century VIP visitors as they have some fun. Try your hand at skittles, quoits, and firing a crossbow, or test your skills for hunting.

Costumed players throughout the castle will be leading special children’s tours of the castle and sharing all of the latest gossip about the lords and ladies in attendance. And kids will also have an opportunity to join the royal guard to help protect the royal party as they take a break from governing the country.

Historic Scotland Interpretation Manager Sheena Garden said: “Stirling Castle is not only one of Scotland’s grandest and most imposing castles, it was also a real favourite with Scotland’s kings and queens. And their investment in it demonstrated just how much they loved to use it, as well as their desire to ensure it both impressed all who visited it, and represented a statement of their power and wealth. James IV created the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, and James V’s Royal Palace, with its lavishly decorated Renaissance façades, was a masterpiece of the period.

“Highlighting the rich festivities of Stirling Castle’s royal court, ‘A Royal Summer Holiday’ not only offers visitors a chance to appreciate why this iconic Scottish stronghold was so favoured by royalty but also to learn about what they did for fun in the 16th century.

“Our programme of royal entertainment and activities runs from 11am to 4pm on all three days and means that ‘A Royal Summer Holiday’ promises a great family day out.  It’s an ideal treat for the school holidays and as everything is included in the normal admission price to the castle (adult £9, concession £7, and child £4.50) it’s excellent value too.”

People signing up to Historic Scotland membership at Historic Scotland properties will gain free entry as part of their membership.  

Claire Smith, Historic Scotland Members manager, said:  “Our membership benefits are fantastic as they include really great solutions to great days out all summer long to our Historic Scotland properties for only £6.16 a month for the family as well as discounts in our shops and exclusive offers.”

For further information, interviews and images, please see contact Rebecca Hamilton (contact details below).

Notes for Editors

  • Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. From the castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views over two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000. Admission: Adult £9.00; Child £4.50; Concessions £7.00 (includes admission to Argyll’s Lodging).

  • Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. An ambitious £12 million scheme, the Stirling Castle Palace Project, is currently underway to restore and refurbish the Royal Palace at Stirling and present the Royal Lodgings as they might have appeared in the heyday of Scotland’s Stewart court in the mid 16th century. An interpretive display on the court of James V will be created in the palace vaults and a Renaissance Gallery on the upper floors of the palace will house the original Stirling Heads, a rare group of intricately carved oak ceiling medallions depicting kings, queens, courtiers and mythological creatures.  Costumed interpreters will bring the rich history of the 16th century to life to enrich visitors’ enjoyment.

  • Stirling Castle is one of over 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information


Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871
rebecca.hamilton@scotland.gsi.gov.uk