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Get into the Christmas spirit with Historic Scotland’s programme of festive events at Stirling and Edinburgh Castles

27 November 2013

Historic Scotland has a packed programme of seasonal events to keep visitors of all ages entertained over the festive period this year.  

At Stirling Castle, visitors can get in the Christmas spirit on 3 December from 6-9pm with a Christmas shopping fayre in the Great Hall, against the backdrop of a roaring log fire and festive music.

With local crime author Craig Robertson on hand to sign his books, Christmas-themed demonstrations, performances from Stirling-based performing arts school Stageworx and a diverse range of suppliers, there will be a tempting selection of gifts on offer, as well as mulled wine and mince pies in the Christmas Cafe. Tickets cost £5 including free on-site parking.

15 December will see a whole host of activities at the castle, from festive music and a Christmas puppet show in the afternoon to an evening of Christmas carols by candlelight (tickets for which cost £10-15) at 7:30pm. Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn more about Christmas traditions and will get the chance see some of the traditional festive foods which would have been served at court.

Edinburgh Castle too will be getting into the festive spirit. From 21-24 December, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will take centre stage in A Dickens Christmas, with costumed performers bringing the story to life.

From 28-31 December, visitors can meet two ladies from Mary, Queen of Scots’ court as they celebrate the season, revealing what well-dressed women wore in 1563 and what sort of revelry would have been planned. They will also have the opportunity to visit the Queen’s cook in the Laich Hall, while the royal guard will be on hand to display a selection of weaponry and fire his musket.

1 & 2 January will see No Christmas Here at the castle, wherein visitors can meet Cromwellian soldiers who have just gained entry after a long siege. They will learn all about Cromwell turning the Great Hall into a barracks and why Christmas was not to be celebrated.

Anyone looking for something extra-special this Christmas can treat themselves to a Christmas lunch at either castle. Available on selected dates throughout December, there are various packages to suit a range of budgets. From a three-course lunch in the Unicorn Cafe in Stirling Castle to a four-course lunch with matching wines served in the splendour of the Queen Anne Room at Edinburgh Castle, there’s something for everyone.

Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience at Historic Scotland said: “Both Stirling and Edinburgh Castles are perfect backdrops for enjoying the festive season and this year we’ve got a whole host of exciting events planned around Christmas and Hogmanay. From classic carols by candlelight and a unique take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to our programme of Christmas lunches, there’s something for everyone.”

Notes to editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring our people and our visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond. Find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty at

Follow Historic Scotland:
Twitter:@welovehistory ; @edinburghcastle ; @ScottishTen
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For further information

Alice Wyllie
Media & PR Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768 096