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Scotland's top heritage attractions herald a year of exciting historic Events

5 April 2011



2011 EVENTS PROGRAMME BRINGS TO LIFE THE STORY OF A NATION AND CELEBRATES THE PEOPLE AND PLACES OF ITS PAST

Historic Scotland is celebrating the start of this year’s visitor season by announcing a packed programme of colourful events designed to delight all ages throughout 2011.

The fascinating past of Scotland’s finest heritage attractions the length and breadth of the country will be brought to life in a variety of highly entertaining, diverse events over the course of the year.  

These range from spectacular celebrations of Renaissance courtly life, dramatic battle re-enactments and rousing jousting extravaganzas, to more intimate period playlets, musical performances, and living history cameos.

At castles, palaces and abbeys throughout Scotland, visitors will be transported back to days gone by to come face to face with the people of the past through all of history’s eras.  Hundreds of costumed performers and re-enactors will be portraying characters including Iron Age hunters, Roman soldiers, kings, queens and courtiers, Jacobites and Redcoats, Renaissance nobles, knights on horseback, and WWI servicemen.

Easter Revelry
The programme kicks off at Scotland’s top heritage attraction, Edinburgh Castle, with ‘Easter Revelry’ - a long weekend of fun-filled and interactive shows featuring magic, juggling, comedy and dance on Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th and  Monday 25th April.

Some of the other events visitors can look forward to are:

  • The turmoil of 1640s combat comes to life in ‘Siege and Storm’ at Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries (14th & 15th May)

  • The sumptuous splendour of Stirling Castle’s royal palace is celebrated at its lavish launch (4th & 5th June)

  • Historic Scotland’s ever-popular Jousting Spectacular sees the thunder of hooves and clash of lance and shield return to the arena at Linlithgow Palace (2nd, 3rd and 9th and 10th July)

  • An awe-inspiring aerial display by an original spitfire at Fort George’s biggest event of all time – the Celebration of the Centuries (13th & 14th August)

Gillian Urquhart of Historic Scotland’s Events Unit, says: “Last year thousands of visitors of all ages joined in the fun at our events all over the country. We had really great feedback on so many of them and this year’s programme promises to be just as popular.  We’ve got a fantastic line-up with a huge choice of entertainment at Scotland’s greatest heritage sites; there really is something for all the family to enjoy, whatever their ages or interests.

“Our programme features everything from drama to comedy, music and dance, hands-on activities, guided walks, and storytelling. And the events range from very large-scale, dramatic shows featuring hundreds of performers to more intimate living history presentations featuring perhaps just one historic character.  We’ve lots of the activities aimed at children too so they can have fun dressing up in period costume or trying their hand at age-old skills and crafts whilst they learn about our country’s great heritage and the people and places of Scotland’s past.  

Our Rangers Service is also hosting lots of events through the year so there are a variety of fun, interactive nature-focused activities for kids and their parents to enjoy.”

The 2011 events programme takes in a wide range of leading historic attractions across Scotland including Aberdour, Bothwell, Caerlaverock, Dirleton, Dundonald, Doune, Edinburgh, Edzell, Stirling and St Andrews Castles, Linlithgow Palace, St Andrews Cathedral, Dallas Dhu Distillery, Fort George and Holyrood Park.

Most of the daytime events are included in the normal admission price for the attraction so they offer excellent value for a memorable family day out.  And becoming a Historic Scotland member – which works out at less than £7 a month for families – means that visitors can experience nearly all of the programme’s daytime events for free.

For further details of Historic Scotland’s 2011 events programme visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/events

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

  • The children are, left to right: Merryn Gunderson, Emma Martin, Paige Thorpe, Graeme Rae, Lewis Gunderson, and Adam Weir - from Primary 2 & 3, Corstorphine Primary.
  • Historic Scotland cares for over 345 heritage properties and sites throughout Scotland, 78 of which are paid-entry.  These include some of the country’s leading tourism attractions including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. 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 around the web: www.twitter.com/welovehistory, www.facebook.com – search for Make Your Own History, www.youtube.com/historicscotlandtv and www.flickr.com/groups/makeyourownhistory


For further information, interviews and images


Paul Spence
0131 668 8731

Ellen Drummond Ferroni
07801 820 757