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Do Your Fling At Doune!

18 May 2007

Next weekend the ever-popular annual Doune and Dunblane Fling – now in its 14th year – returns to Doune Castle for another action-packed day of fun for all the family.

This year the Fling is going native, giving visitors a chance to find out about the diversity of wildlife which flourishes in and around Doune Castle.  From some of Scotland’s rarest birds to some of our most secretive small mammals, the castle and surrounding area are full of fascinating creatures.

Various special activities throughout the event - from 1.30pm to 5.00pm on Sunday 27th May - will celebrate this native wildlife and enable young and old to discover more about it. For people who like a hands-on approach, there will be a ‘forensic lab’ examining objects such as bird pellets to find out about the prey unlucky enough to end up on its captor’s dinner menu the night before.  If that sounds too gory, visitors can join in family expeditions to track down creatures hiding around the castle. And those more inclined to taking things a little easier can stand and watch Rodney Holland, one of the UK’s top chainsaw sculptors, showing off his skills. There’s even a chance to win one of Rodney’s sculptures at the end of the day.

On top of all this there will be a full programme of music, storytelling, dancing, food, belly dancers, African drummers, traditional musicians and circus performers to delight the audience and encourage them to get up and join in.

Nick Finnigan, Events and Filming Manager at Historic Scotland said: "This tremendously popular event is always a big hit with the local community and we’re delighted that Doune Castle will once again be welcoming the Fling.  Its success is due to the winning combination it offers of a broad range of fun, family-friendly activities and music, and all this in the outstanding setting of the 14th century Doune Castle, one of Central Scotland’s most impressive strongholds.  This year’s programme is once again packed full and I’m sure the wealth of treats in store will guarantee a great day out for everyone."

Notes for editors
The Doune and Dunblane Fling is on Sunday 27 May from 1.30pm-5.00pm. Doune Castle is situated in Doune, 10 miles north-west of Stirling, off the A84.  Admission:  Adult £4.00, Child £2.00 and Concessions £3.00.  The event is free after normal admission.

Doune Castle is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Scotland. A magnificent late 14th century courtyard stronghold, its most striking feature is the keep-gatehouse which includes the splendid Duke’s Hall with its musicians’ gallery, double fireplace and carved oak screen.  The castle grounds are rich in wildlife, with walks through wildflower meadows and woodlands both full of birdlife.  The river is home to the rare brook lamprey.

The Castle was built by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife and Menteith, who was for many years Scotland’s most powerful nobleman. As Governor of Scotland and brother of the weak Robert III, Stewart held the reins of the country’s government for almost 20 years.  A man with royal pretensions, he always hoped to become king himself but it was only after his death at the ripe old age of 80 in 1420 that Doune Castle finally gained the status of a kingly residence. For the next 200 years it was a royal retreat.

Doune remains a lasting testimony to the man known as ‘Scotland’s uncrowned king’.  In an age when the conspicuous display of wealth and status was seen as vital in maintaining authority, Stewart’s imposing castle was not only designed as a visible statement of his riches and standing in society but also as a stronghold mighty enough to enable his vast estate, the earldom of Menteith, to be defended.

In recent years, the castle has served as a location for various TV and film productions including, most famously, Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail.

Doune Castle is one of 345 splendid properties and sites throughout Scotland in the care of Historic Scotland. These range from prehistoric dwellings and stone circles, castles and palaces, to abbeys and cathedrals.

Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Executive charged with safeguarding the nation’s built heritage.  It is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

For further information

Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959