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Have a Historical Half-Term!

1 October 2012

If you are wondering how to entertain the children over the half-term holidays, why not bring them to one of our historic properties and let them be inspired by our events which help bring history to life?

Renaissance Revelry returns to Stirling Castle, six days of fun for all the family from 11th to 16th October where visitors can step back in time and experience different aspects of life in the royal court.

Activities range from the opportunity to dress as a Lord or Lady of the court to trying out some renaissance dancing or if feeling adventurous, testing your skills with a cross bow! Visitors can also learn how to be a jester at  Historic Scotland’s very own ‘Fool Skool’.

New for this year are children’s tours at Stirling Castle.  Now running every Saturday at 11.15am and Sundays at 2.15pm, the tour is aimed at children aged 5-12 (but not limited to that age group) and is designed to give them an introduction to the castle that they will understand and enjoy

Lasting around 30 minutes, the tour allows young intrepid history hunters to uncover various aspects of history from stories of William Wallace and Mary, Queen of Scots to how to fire the perfect cannonball and storm the castle!  

The castle will also run additional children’s tours during the October holidays. For further details please contact the castle or visit the Stirling Castle website,

Edinburgh Castle will be sounding the guns with the almighty sound of cannon fire and muskets at our popular ‘Besieged’ event on Saturday 6th October 2012 and Sunday 7th October 2012.

Travel back in time to the year 1640 when the Castle was besieged by the covenanters for seven months. Come along and meet the Scottish soldiers of the mid 17th century, see the musketry, pike and cannon displays and enjoy the spectacle of the closing display and parade in Crown Square.
Costumed performances will also run at the castle on select days over the holidays. See for details.

Urquhart Castle meanwhile on the banks of Loch Ness will be playing host to a Time Travelling Story Teller on Saturday 6th October and Sunday 7th October.

The Time Travelling Story Teller brings history to life in an entertaining and fun way and will let visitors find out more about the lives of the people who once lived at the castle in the days when it was a home and a mighty medieval fortress at the centre of highland life. Visitors may even get the chance to meet some of these past inhabitants!

Children can also take part in Historic Scotland’s special quiz celebrating Disney Pixar’s film Brave, so you can find out fascinating and unusual facts about Urquhart Castle, one of the real castles which inspired the film.

Young visitors can also get into the historic spirit by dressing up as their favourite historic hero. Any children who come along to any of Historic Scotland’s ticketed attractions in fancy dress during the school holidays will get a special ‘historic hero’ badge and certificate. By coming along in fancy dress they will also be eligible to enter a competition for a year’s family membership which provides unlimited access to all of Historic Scotland’s properties throughout the year, a VIP visit to Edinburgh Castle, complete with lunch and a special goodie bag. Visitors can text HERO to 84118 to find their nearest Historic Scotland site.

Gillian Urquhart, events manager for Historic Scotland said;
“There are a huge amount of activities happening for all the family this half term at our sites.

“These events are a great opportunity to get young people to engage with history in an interactive, imaginative way as well as providing a great day out for all the family!

“Visitors can choose from stepping back in time to the renaissance court at Stirling to meeting our Highland ancestors at Urquhart to experiencing life under siege at Edinburgh so there really is something for everyone!

“Plus young people can get in on the action by coming along as their favourite historic character!”  

Admission to these events is included as part of admission and is free for Historic Scotland members. For further information on the heroes competition visit

Notes for editors

1.Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with ensuring that our historic environment provides a strong foundation for a successful future for Scotland. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

2.To register for media release email alerts from If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email   

3.The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at:

4.The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at

                                                         Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For further information

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858