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Christmas Comes To Scotland's Favourite Castle

27 November 2007

The stunning surroundings of two of Scotland’s best-loved and most majestic strongholds provide a magical setting for family afternoons of festive fun to celebrate the season of goodwill.

Stirling Castle on Sunday 9 December 2007 and Edinburgh Castle on Sunday 16 December 2007 host ‘Christmas at the Castle’. The events promise more than a stocking full of seasonal delights with magic, music and merriment to entertain young and old.

Come along to either great attraction to meet a truly magical Father Christmas - and find out what tricks he has up his sleeves, watch a colourful puppet performance with a difference, enjoy a comedy Christmas pirate show, and get right into the festive spirit with some cool yuletide live music from ‘The Swingin’ Santas’.

Historic Scotland events manager Nick Finnigan said: “Our Christmas celebrations at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles are a real highlight of our annual events programme – and where better to enjoy the delights of the festive season than in the unrivalled surroundings of Scotland’s most famous castles?

“We’ve some great entertainment lined up for children but the grown-ups certainly won’t feel left out; there are lots of surprises in store and these two fun-packed family afternoons will really capture the magic of a wonderful castle at Christmas time.”

‘Christmas at the Castle’, which takes place at both attractions from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, is included in the usual admission price – at Stirling Castle, £8.50 for adults, £4.25 for children and £6.50 for concessions (including admission to Argyll’s Lodging); at Edinburgh Castle, £11.00 for adults, £9.00 for concessions and £5.50 for children.

Notes for editors
·Edinburgh Castle, built on the 340 million-year-old remains of an extinct volcano, dominates the Scottish capital city’s skyline just as it has dominated Scotland’s history. The ‘stronghold of Eidyn’ was first recorded before 600AD and by the Middle Ages, it had become a mighty fortification and the favoured royal residence of Scotland’s kings and queens. Many defining moments of Scottish history have taken place there. In 1566, it was the birthplace of the only child of Mary Queen of Scots; a son who grew up to unite the crowns of Scotland and England and rule as King James VI and I. And in 1689, it endured its last full siege when the garrison became the last defenders of the Stewart king James VII and II and refused to accept Prince William of Orange and his wife Mary as joint monarchs.

·Edinburgh Castle’s top attractions are:

The Honours of Scotland – the nation’s crown jewels.

The Stone of Destiny – the coronation stone of the ancient kings of Scots.

The Great Hall, Laich Hall, King’s Dining Room and St Margaret’s Chapel

Some of the remarkable medieval rooms and buildings where kings, queens and great nobles wined, dined and worshipped.

The Prisons of War Experience – thousands of military prisoners were held in the castle over the centuries. There is now a major recreation of what it was like at the end of the 18th century when men of many nations languished in its vaults.

National War Memorial - an impressive building commemorating those who have died in conflict from World War I onwards. There are also three military museums at the castle.

Mons Meg – a huge medieval siege gun that fired stones weighing 150kg (330lbs) for 3.2km (two miles).

The One O’clock Gun – fired daily, except the Sabbath and certain holidays, as a time signal.

The Dog Cemetery – the last resting place of regimental mascots and the faithful friends of many officers.

·Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, highlights of which include the gatehouse, the Great Hall, the splendid Renaissance Royal Palace and the Chapel Royal. Refurbishment of the interior of the Royal Palace continues and when completed the Royal Apartments will be presented as they would have looked in their medieval heyday, complete with fine tapestries, furniture, and decorative ceilings. Stirling Castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town, off M9 junction 9 or 10. Tel: 01786 450000.

·Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding ·historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions and most important heritage sites in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae.

·Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Historic Scotland
Marketing and Media Manager
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871