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Tickets now on sale for Stirling Castle Palace spectacular opening celebrations

9 May 2011


Jester at Stirling Castle

Tickets are now on sale for the grand opening of Stirling Castle’s Renaissance royal palace following a £12 million refurbishment.

A magnificent weekend of celebrations are in store which will feature 60 costumed performers, lots of entertainments and – most important of all – a chance to be among the first to tour the palace.

The celebrations, entitled Stirling Castle Presents – a Palace Fit for a Queen, take place on 4 and 5 June.

Places are limited, and entry is by pre-purchased ticket only, to ensure everyone has the best possible experience and to avoid overcrowding. Historic Scotland is urging people to book their tickets as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Gillian Macdonald, Stirling Castle executive manager, said: “We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend, with loads of family fun and entertainment.

"It will be a real pleasure to welcome people into the royal apartments, which have been returned to how they might have looked when they were the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots.

“Visitors will also be able to see our new exhibitions and interactive displays, and enjoy all sorts of activities from jesters, dancing and cooking to pike drill and sword fights.

“To make sure that everyone has the best possible experience we have to limit the numbers of visitors to the castle during the main events, so we would encourage people to buy their tickets early.”

The royal palace was built within the castle walls by James V, and probably only completed after his death in 1542. In 1543 it became home to the infant Mary Queen of Scots and her mother Mary of Guise.

A visit to the palace offers the chance to step back into the world of the Scottish royal court in the 1540s.

The six refurbished apartments are beautifully decorated in fine Renaissance style, there are marvellous tapestries, wall hangings, embroideries and furnishings – all showing what a palace would have been like in its heyday.

The reopening of the palace provides Scotland with another major attraction which, it is hoped, will help draw visitors from around the world.

The event

Tickets for Stirling Castle Presents – a Palace Fit for a Queen can be purchased at

To make sure that everyone has the best possible time numbers will be limited and tickets must be bought in advance.

The castle gates will open at 10am and activities start at 11.45am.

Some of the great things to see and do will include:

  • Royal procession – 11.45am, Saturday only:  Mary of Guise, Mary Queen of Scots and the royal party arrive at the castle and are welcomed by cannon fire.
  • Palace apartments: Be among the first to see inside the sumptuously refurbished royal apartments. Meet nobles, officials and servants who lived and worked there in the 1540s.
  • Image-Makers for the King: See the original Stirling Heads in a specially-created gallery.
  • All the Queen’s Men: Meet Mary of Guise and Mary Queen of Scots in the Great Hall.
  • Living History Encampment: Pike drill, musket firing and fighting knights.
  • The Royal Feast: See cooks prepare a feast – from sugar fancies to a boar’s head.
  • Music and Dance: Hear the hits of the era – watch the dancers strut their Renaissance stuff.
  • Jesters, Smith and Swordsman: Jesters and fools, a working and meet Adam Otterburn who shows how to fight with rapier and dagger.

Tickets are £13 adults, £6.50 children, £10 concessions.

Notes for editors

For further information

Matthew Shelley
01786 431 325 or 07786 704 299